ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Belgian Museum Returns Nazi-Stolen Painting After 80 Years

After years of research, the painting has been returned, the first restitution of any artwork looted from a Jewish family in the second world war by the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, which covers six museums, with works spanning the old masters to Magritte. - The Guardian

The Extravagantly Painted Chapels Of Michoacán

The walls and ceilings of these old places of worship, some of them dating back to the 1600s, illustrate Catholic stories and teachings and are painted in an imported European style, but their pigments — and their exuberance — are those of the indigenous Purépecha. - T — The New York Times Style Magazine

The “Most Important Archaeological Find In The UK” In A Century

A 5,000-year-old chalk sculpture discovered in east Yorkshire, due to be displayed at the British Museum, has been described as the most important piece of prehistoric art to be found in Britain in the last century. - The Guardian

How Three Canadian Museums Are Dealing With Having Mishandled Indigenous History

The Royal BC Museum’s troubles go beyond outdated exhibits. Allegations of a toxic, racist work environment were on display for all to see, after the 2020 resignation of Lucy Bell as head of the First Nations Department and Repatriation program. - The Globe and Mail (Canada)

National Gallery of Canada Establishes New Decolonization Department

The National Gallery of Canada has committed to reimagining its collections and programs from a decolonial perspective. Today the museum announced the creation of the Department of Indigenous Ways and Decolonization. - ARTnews

Italy Creates Underwater Sculpture Museum To Thwart Illegal Fishing

The marble sculptures create both a physical barrier for the trawlers’ nets and a unique underwater museum, open to anyone either through arranged scuba diving tours or their own dive. - National Geographic

On His First Day On The Job, A Museum Guard Vandalized A Painting With A Ballpoint Pen

Anna Leporskaya's Three Figures (1932-34) was on loan from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow to the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Center in Ekaterinburg when a new guard decided that two of those three figures should have eyes. - The Guardian

SFMoMA Names A New Director

Christopher Bedford, director of the Baltimore Museum of Art since 2016, has been named the new director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. - San Francisco Chronicle

The Real Story Behind The Famous Bust Of Nefertiti (It’s Not What You Probably Think)

It was not an object of veneration, it was not meant for public display, and it wasn't considered valuable in its day except to craftsmen. (If it were, it would probably have been destroyed in the wave of iconoclasm after the death of Nefertiti's husband, Akhenaten.) - Aeon

Restitution Of Cultural Artifacts Is Gaining Momentum

International co-operation and resolve is growing firmer, as seen most recently in December, when Greece’s resolution, “Return or restitution of cultural property to the countries of origin”, was unanimously adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. - The Art Newspaper

Oh, Great — Even More Damage To What’s Left Of The Bamiyan Buddhas

The new Taliban governor of Bamiyan province somehow heard a rumor that there's buried treasure under what used to be the large 6th-century statues (destroyed in 2001, the last time the Taliban were in power). He's having the site dug up and refused orders from Kabul to stop. - Artnet

What Makes The Architecture Of LA’s New Stadium (and Home Of This Week’s Superbowl) So Interesting

“Thinking about the Getty Villa, the Getty , Dodger Stadium, the cliffs in Malibu or Laguna,” shaped the way the team thought about SoFi. - Los Angeles Times

Archaeologists Discovered An 800-Year-Old Imperial Palace Where One Of The Winter Olympic Villages Was Being Built

The site — at Zhangjiakou, where most of the skiing and snowboarding events are being held — is believed to be the Taihe Palace, summer home of the late 12th-century emperor Zhangzong. Finds so far include walls, foundations, a moat, and a number of high-quality ceramics. - Artnet

The Picasso “Guernica” Tapestry Was Taken From The UN Last Year. Now It’s Back.

Last year, to the surprise of many (including the Secretary General), the tapestry's owner, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Jr., had it taken from its place outside the Security Council. Turns out he was just having it cleaned and conserved. He has, however, announced a new ownership plan for the artwork. - Forbes

US Treasury Department Warns Of Money Laundering Through Fine Art

The treasury department did find evidence of money laundering in the high-value art market. A common theme is that criminals use shell companies to buy art and hide behind a corporate veil. - Toronto Star (AP)

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