Egypt’s Serious Art Looting Problem

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For decades, archaeologist Monica Hanna says, average Egyptians “believed the heritage belonged to the state, to tourists, not to the people.” As a result, she said, youth are easily persuaded by their elders to help plunder cemeteries and religious sites in a fashion that recalls the thievery in Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.”

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Detroit Creditors Solicit Billion-Dollar Bids For DIA’s Art Collection

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“A group of major Detroit creditors said four investors have made tentative billion-dollar bids for the Detroit Institute of Arts – or key portions of its collection – in a move aimed at undercutting the city’s competing proposal to give the museum to a nonprofit in exchange for $816 million in outside funding that would […]

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Breakup Of The Corcoran Will Take Longer Than Expected

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“The Corcoran, The National Gallery of Art and George Washington University were hoping to make the details of the takeover public this week, but it turns out breaking up an institution as old and diverse as the Corcoran is taking more time than they expected.”

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Do Artists Still Need Galleries?

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“Many galleries are signing artists and not doing enough to promote their work.” And in today’s hyper-charged art market, there are many alternative ways of promoting your own art such as working with a manager or hiring your own staff to take on the roles traditionally performed by galleries.

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What To Make Of George Bush, Painter?

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Jerry Saltz: “I was stunned by this work at the time. I still am. Try to conceive of Abraham Lincoln taking up painting after his presidency. Then imagine him choosing to render himself naked in a bathtub, and you’ll see how creepy-interesting Bush’s bathtub paintings are.”

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Munich Prosecutors Release 1000 Art Works Seized In Cornelius Gurlitt Apartment Raid

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Officials had “seized some 1,400 items, including 1,280 artworks, from Cornelius Gurlitt’s apartment in 2012 while investigating a tax case. Gurlitt’s lawyers appealed the seizure, arguing that the art wasn’t relevant as evidence for prosecutors’ suspicions of import tax evasion. He also said that seizing the entire collection was disproportionate.”

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ARTnews Sold to Private Equity Investor

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“Milton Esterow and Judith Esterow, the owners of the magazine since 1972, said in a statement that they sold the 112-year-old publication to Skate Capital, a private asset management firm owned by a Russian, Sergey Skaterschikov.”

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The Largest American Art Show Ever? (It’s Outdoors)

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“Beginning Monday, curators are asking the public to vote online to choose which artwork will be featured on 50,000 displays for the “Art Everywhere” initiative in August. Members of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America are donating the space.”

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A Guy Who Only Buys Art For Its IPO Value (Ugh)

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Jerry Saltz: “There’s a saying in the poker world that, if you don’t know who the sucker is at the table, it’s you. Any gallerist or editor who thinks that Stefan Simchowitz puts art first — or is anything more than an opportunistic speculator — is handing him money.”

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Stolen Renoir Finally Makes It Home After 62 Years

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“It has the makings of a great mystery: Artwork stolen from a prominent museum, plus the FBI, a beautiful woman and an intrepid reporter. But this isn’t fiction, it’s a strange, true tale of how a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir has now safely returned home to Baltimore.”

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