A new generation of “Monuments Men”
The UK military is seeking to create an “army” of curators, art historians, artists, architects and arts educators who wish to protect cultural heritage in war zones, like the group founded during World War II. Lieutenant Colonel and art dealer Tim Purbrick, who has been in charge of a military cultural protection unit for the last two years, stated that the structure and budget of the unit have not yet been determined, but the army will be seeking to recruit civilian art specialists from the reserves.

Germany for its arts organisations
German Minister of Culture Monika Grütters, who also serves as chair of the Federal Cultural Foundation, announced the recipients of multiyear cultural grants totalling approximately $44 million. Among the organizations benefitting are the Berlin Theatertreffen festival, Documenta in Kassel, the Berlin Biennale and Internationale Tanzkongress. The Federal Cultural Foundation promotes projects that have national significance and contribute to Germany’s international reputation for cultural activities.

Postponements for the opening of Emirates Louvre
French president François Hollande has been prevented from inaugurating the Louvre Abu Dhabi by the emirate, due to diplomatic issues and various technical problems surrounding the museum’s construction, which may delay its opening until November 2017. Specific reasons for the cancelation have not been provided. Among other issues, problems with installing the museum’s water basins and its large cupola, designed by Jean Nouvel.

Penone and Holzer for the new Louvre
Abu Dhabi’s Louvre museum said it is going to commission renowned artists Giuseppe Penone and Jenny Holzer to create artworks to be displayed at its grand opening next year. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and built at a cost of half a billion euros, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will feature 9,200 square metres (100,000 square feet) of gallery space. It was expected to open in December this year but has been postponed until 2017.

The first African art fair
Cancelled last year following the deadly terrorist attacks that rocked Paris in November 2015, the first edition of the art fair AKAA (Also Known as Africa), dedicated to African artists and designers, opened at Paris’s Carreau du Temple, in the troisième arrondissement. Twenty-nine galleries from eleven countries participated and where seen by fifteen thousand visitors during three days. It is scheduled also for autumn 2018.

A too cheap Leonardo
A trio of New York art traders are planning to sue Sotheby’s for alleged fraud over the resale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World), ca. 1500, after learning that the Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier, the man who bought the painting, sold it once more to Russian billionaire and art collector Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million. The traders want to find out if Sotheby’s knew that the painting could’ve been purchased for such a record-breaking price, and whether or not they were misled into selling the work for a smaller amount by Sotheby’s because Bouvier is an esteemed client.

A Frida Kahlo painting has just resurfaced
For decades, an early painting by the Mexican painter, Niña Con Collar, was known only from a black-and-white photo. Then, last summer, a woman in California, now in her 90s, decided to give the painting to Sotheby’s and it has been sold for $1.81 million at a Sotheby’s Latin American art auction. One reason Kahlo’s works are so valued in the international market is that Mexico barred their export for several decades under laws to conserve the country’s cultural heritage.

Selfie-taking tourist destroys a work of XVIII century
A Brazilian tourist visiting Portugal knocked over and destroyed a priceless 18th-century statue of Saint Michael in Lisbon’s National Museum of Ancient Art while trying to take a selfie. In May, another tourist destroyed a different Lisbon statue while posing for a selfie at Rossio station. In the previous case, the responsible has been arrested and charged with destruction of public property.

Anish Kapoor banned from buying the world’s pinkest paint
After having bought the rights of Vantablack, the world darkest colour, Anish Kapoor is not allowed to buy the world’s most vivid pink. In retaliation to the invention of Vantablack, UK artist Stuart Semple has released the pink pigment, which he developed over a decade’s work with global paint labs. The paint is available from one supplier, Culture Hustle. People who want to buy his pink paint now must fill out a legal disclaimer confirming that they’re not Kapoor and have no association to him. The only way he can get it is by sharing his Vantablack with everyone else.

Protest against Scottish gallery closure
The sudden closure of Inverleith House, the beloved art gallery in Edinburgh, after 60 years with no forewarning, has outraged artists and art lovers worldwide and spurred protests. More than 700 people turned out for a demonstration by the gallery earlier this month, and nearly 10,000 so far have signed an online petition. Simon Milne, Regius Keeper at the garden declared that, like most public bodies, they are under increasing financial pressure.

Silvia Meloni

Feature image: Stuart Semple, Pink! (2016)
Image Credits: domusweb.it


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