Turkey shuts down Austrian dig at Ephesus
The Turkish government shut down a dig organised by the Austrian Archaeological Institute at the ancient site of Ephesus because of a political dispute. In August, Austria’s chancellor referred to Turkey’s talks to join the European Union as a “diplomatic fiction”, and Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, then said that Austria was the “capital of radical racism”. Austria’s vice-chancellor, Reinhold Mitterlehner, said that bringing the dig to a halt “mixes politics and science”.
Art Basel owner buys stake in India Art Fair
The Swiss-based MCH Group, which owns the Art Basel franchise, took a 60.3% stake in the India Art Fair. The previous owner, Angus Montgomery, has 29.7% and Neha Kirpal, the fair’s founding director, retains 10%. The announcement came six months after MCH revealed plans to expand its portfolio and buy shares in existing regional art fairs run by other organisers. The new ownership comes into effect ahead of the next edition of the India Art Fair, in New Delhi in February 2017.
Guggenheim Helsinki suffers a setback
Plans to build a Guggenheim on the Helsinki waterfront, which have been a source of local contention since they were announced in 2011, were dealt a major blow when one of Finland’s three ruling political parties vetoed the possibility of state money for the project. A spokeswoman says the Guggenheim is disappointed but remains convinced that “there is broad support for the project”. The French-Japanese architecture firm Moreau Kusunoki won the competition to design the €130 project in June 2015.
Zumthor to design Beyeler’s expansion
The Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, near Basel, in Switzerland, announced that it is to move forward with expansion plans based on the leading Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s proposal. A final design for the CHF80m ($82m) project, which will stand near the architect Renzo Piano’s original building, is expected to be unveiled in late autumn or winter this year. Zumthor, who was born in Basel, said that it was “heartwarming” to design a museum in his hometown.
Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi announced
The French museum professional Manuel Rabaté was appointed director of the Louvre Abu Dhabi ahead of its opening next year. Hissa Al Dhaheri, a UAE national, will be his deputy director. Since 2013, Rabaté has been the director of Agence France-Muséums, the French government agency charged with the Louvre Abu Dhabi project. Al Dhaheri led the Louvre Abu Dhabi project at the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.