U.S. To Return Assyrian Artifacts To Iraq

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“American officials on Monday are expected to repatriate about 65 objects to the Iraqi government, among them the head of a massive statue that was stolen in 2007 or 2008 from the same ancient Assyrian archaeological site where Islamic State militants have been rampaging in recent weeks.”

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OK, This Is Just Odd: The Boston Globe Pens An Open Letter To The Thieves Who Stole Art From The Gardner Museum In 1990

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“You can bask in a certain solidarity with the rest of humanity, for starters. And then, better still, you can wise up. You can recognize your mistakes. You can shake your head and rub your eyes in disbelief that you were ever so dumb as to break into a museum, or to receive a stolen Vermeer, and you can marvel at the fact that back then you really didn’t know what the hell you were doing.”

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Five Contemporary African Artists To Watch

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“Auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s focus more on Africa’s antique statues than on contemporary photography or video installations. But contemporary art from the continent is finding a foothold at some premier gatherings in Europe and the U.S.”

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The Planned Lucas Museum In Chicago Gets Hit With Another Setback

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“A Chicago judge ruled Thursday that local conservation group Friends of the Parks could move forward with a suit to block construction of George Lucas’ radical new museum on the city’s lakefront. The lawsuit, filed in November, claims the planned site for the institution is part of a protected waterway belonging to the state and cannot legally be privately developed.”

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No New Thinking In Gardner Museum Heist

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“When opened in 1903, the Gardner was, for a time, the largest privately-owned museum in the United States and boasted priceless canvases by Rembrandt, Degas, Vermeer, and other masters. Yet when the museum was hit in 1990, there wasn’t even a central fire-alarm system. The fire alarms were independent buzzing wall models, like those ones homeowners can buy at Walmart or Home Depot.”

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Should Military Action Be Taken To Prevent ISIS From Destroying Historic Sites?

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Saving ancient sites “needs to be a priority, it needs to be the first thing” in the struggle against Islamic State, Zahi Hawass said before lecturing this week at USC. “I receive emails all the time from young archaeologists in these countries, and they are afraid. We can’t wait, we can’t leave them to destroy our history.”

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Met Museum Chooses An Architect For Its Expansion

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“In a project likely to involve demolishing the existing Lila Acheson Wallace Wing in the museum’s southwest corner — though there are no firm design plans yet — the renovation will increase gallery space, double the size of the Roof Garden and possibly create an entrance from Central Park.”

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Lost “City Of The Monkey God” Discovered In Honduran Rain Forest

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“An expedition to Honduras has emerged from the jungle with dramatic news of the discovery of a mysterious culture’s lost city, never before explored. The team was led to the remote, uninhabited region by long-standing rumors that it was the site of a storied ‘White City,’ also referred to in legend as the ‘City of the Monkey God.’ “

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One Year After Being Bombed, Cairo’s Museum Of Islamic Art Is Still A Hollowed-Out Shell

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“Nowhere has this glacial pace of government administration been more keenly exhibited than in the authorities’ clumsy efforts to reboot the museum. From frequent delays in kick-starting construction, to the events immediately following the attack, the restoration has become mired in confusion, red tape, and allegations of corruption.”

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Metropolitan Museum Names New President

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“The Metropolitan Museum of Art has appointed Daniel H. Weiss, the president of Haverford College in Pennsylvania, to succeed its outgoing president, Emily Rafferty, who is stepping down later this month after a decade in the post and nearly 40 years at the museum.”

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How The Starchitects Of The 1950s Reimagined Baghdad

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“In the 1950s, King Faisal II enlisted a coterie of architectural heavyweights—Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Le Corbusier, Josep Lluís Sert, and Alvar and Aino Aalto—to reimagine Baghdad as a bustling, cosmopolitan city.”

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A Victory For Photographers: Taking Pictures Is Not A Crime

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“Los Angeles has agreed to pay a $50,000 settlement to three photographers after they were detained by LA County Sheriffs while taking pictures in public places. As part of the settlement, the city will also teach its sheriff deputies that photography is not a crime.”

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ISIS Destroys Third Ancient Site In Three Days

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“On Friday, the group razed 3,000-year old Nimrud and on Saturday, they bulldozed 2,000-year old Hatra – both UNESCO world heritage sites.” On Sunday, they reportedly went after Khorsabad, which “was constructed as a new capital of Assyria by King Sargon II shortly after he came to power in 721 BC.”

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Van Gogh Landscape To Be Shown For First Time In 100 Years

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Le Moulin d’Alphonse Daudet à Fontvieille, which depicts vivid green grapevines leading up to a windmill with broken wings in the distance, is a work on paper that he created with graphite, reed pen and ink and watercolour shortly after he reached Arles, in the south of France.”

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“A Turning Point In Cultural History”: Why The Louvre Abu Dhabi Is Worth Celebrating, Despite Its Dark Side

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Jonathan Jones: “Nothing excuses the inhuman working conditions that have been reported. But I suspect that when it opens, this audacious new museum will be admired as a world destination and artistic treasure house. And so it should be. For the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a turning point in cultural history.”

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Who Stole (And Then Returned) An Oscar Murillo Painting From The Floor Of MoMA?

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“Doyle said that the painting was unharmed, adding that ‘no action such as an arrest was taken.’ The painting was returned to the floor of the gallery, where, she said, ‘the museum will assure that there is the appropriate level of security in the exhibition.’ She did not say how the museum was able to identify the person who took the work, describing that as a ‘security matter.'”

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