Relations With The U.S. Or No, Cuba Is Not Returning Exiles’ Art

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“With the recent loosening of US restrictions on trade with Cuba, prisoner exchanges and the promise of warmer relations to come, the two countries are closer than they have been for 50 years. But for those Cuban exiles in the US whose art was seized by the Cuban authorities in the 1960s, restitution of their property is still no closer. Cuba continues to reject the charge that the art in question was stolen, and has no mechanism for its return.”

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This Greek Artist Is Hacking The Euro

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“A handful of euro notes have circulated depicting ominous events like people fleeing buildings, hanging themselves, and writing bloody-looking graffiti that reads, ‘THE END IS NIGH.’ Playing off the typical euro note’s blandly interesting and politically approved historical architecture, this altered money strikes right to the heart of the crisis.”

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Paris Museum Shuts Down Without Warning

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“It is a sad 20th birthday for the Musée Maillol in Paris, which shut its doors indefinitely this weekend. The museum has posted a message on its website that says the closure is due to planned renovation work, but there is more to the story. On 5 February, the company that manages the museum, Tecniarte, filed for bankruptcy.”

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Mexico’s Modern-Day Diego Riveras

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“In the 1920s and ’30s, Mexican muralists like Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco painted murals that powerfully illustrated the issues of their day. Today, street artists rule the nation’s walls, addressing its problems with an arsenal of wit and aerosol cans.”

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Why Do People Keep Taking Naked Selfies At Angkor?

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“In less than a month, the Kingdom has kicked out seven foreigners for public nudity, including two American sisters and three French tourists who, in separate cases, disrobed at different ancient temples in the Siem Reap complex and posed for pictures.”

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The Frank Lloyd Wright House That Has Survived Earthquakes And Is Now Reopened To The Public

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Hollyhock House’s curator: “Within the context of Wright’s career, it’s the first house of his second period — post Prairie-style period. It’s also his first house in Los Angeles. That means it’s the first time he gets to experiment with Japanese-inspired ideas of dissolving the walls between the exterior and the interior. Here, he’s got a climate he can do that in.”

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Is Capitalism Going To Kill Off Art?

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“The rise of art as investment commodity for the ultra-wealthy does seem to distort the process of art-making and -selling for everyone else. A painting was sold last week for $300-million (U.S.), probably to the feudal sheikdom of Qatar; meanwhile across the board, artists’ real incomes are declining. It is rather confusing.”

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Everything’s Popping Up Pompidou (All Over France)

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“The Paris museum is expanding its empire, and aims to establish domestic temporary outposts. “We will soon launch an open call for candidates [to select a French city],” says a spokesman for the Centre Pompidou. These pop-ups will remain open for four years.”

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Extremists Destroy Important Sufi Shrine In Yemen

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Aside from anger at the act of violence, the difficulty of protecting such sites and the Islamists’ capacity to strike have caused frustration and pessimism. The attack took place “barely 20 km NW from Al Anad airbase, where hundreds of US armed forces personnel are based.”

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Longtime Director Of Boston’s Gardner Museum To Retire

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Anne Hawley said “she has been quietly weighing the decision for two years now, as the museum completed fund-raising efforts that included $114 million for the museum’s sleek 2012 expansion, designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, and an additional $50 million to fortify the museum’s endowment.”

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Russia Fires Director Of Moscow’s Tretyakov Gallery

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“Irina Lebedeva, the director of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, has been dismissed from her position, Russia’s Ministry of Culture announced … Zelfira Tregulova, a former deputy director of the Kremlin Museum, has been confirmed as her successor. … A statement on the ministry’s website was bluntly critical of [Lebedeva’s] managerial skills.

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Judge Rules: Met Museum Can Charge Admission

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Two separate lawsuits had been brought against the museum challenging its policy of charging a $25 “recommended” entrance fee, based on the Met’s original 1876 lease and a subsequent state law that provided city land and funds to establish the museum in return for free admission to the public during most of the week.

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Police Seize Possible Leonardo Da Vinci Painting In Switzerland

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“Negotiations to sell the oil painting of a fifteenth-century noblewoman, Isabella D’Este, for around 120 million euros ($135.9 million) were at an advanced stage,” … when the canvas was taken from the vault of a Swiss bank currently under investigation for tax fraud.

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