The destruction of Australia’s ancient Aboriginal heritage

Plus, art under threat in Putin's Russia and George Shaw on Thomas Jones. Produced in association with Christie's

Hosted by with guest speaker . Produced by , David Clack and

The ancient rock shelters at Juukan Gorge were blasted with dynamite on 24 May to expand nearby mining operations Photo: Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura Aboriginal Corporation

This week, we look at the destruction on 24 May of sacred Aboriginal sites in Western Australia by a mining company. We talk to Sven Ouzman, an archeologist and activist at the University of Western Australia about the most recent events and the wider context. Can anything be done to better protect Aboriginal country and Australia’s ancient heritage?

Also, this week, as a Russian referendum approves Vladimir Putin’s new constitution—a foregone conclusion, of course—we look at the Russia's alarming crackdown on artists.

Thomas Jones's A Wall in Naples (1782) Courtesy of The National Gallery, London

And in the latest in our series Lonely Works, in which explore art behind the doors of museums closed due to Covid-19, we look at a work that will soon be lonely no more. The artist George Shaw tells us about Thomas Jones’s A Wall in Naples, which will be seen for the first time in more than three months at the National Gallery in London when it re-opens on 8 July.

George Shaw's The Painted Wall (2017) Courtesy of Anthony Wilkinson Gallery

You can find a list of all the museums reopening dates here and you can listen to our previous podcast interview with Shaw here.

The Week in Art podcast by The Art Newspaper is available every Friday on our website and all the usual places where you find podcasts. This podcast is brought to you in association with Christie's.