ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


The Damages To Art In The Capitol Building

Insurrectionists' "time in the building is now represented by the damage they left behind. A 19th-century marble bust of former President Zachary Taylor was flecked with what appeared to be blood. A picture frame was left lying on the floor, the image gone. The photos and videos, some of them taken inside by the rioters themselves, were startling." - The New York Times

Medieval Silver Hoard Unearthed In Polish Village

Archaeologists from the Polish Academy of Sciences discovered a ceramic vessel containing well over 6,000 coins and rings as well as silver bullion near a village in central Poland, not far from the site of the country's largest-ever treasure find in 1935. Researchers believe that this hoard may have been the dowry of a 12th-century Kievan princess who married an important Polish noble. - New York Observer

Venice’s Mayor Wants Museums To Stay Closed, And Half The Town is Furious

"The decision by Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, to extend the closure of the city's 11 civic museums — including the Doge's Palace, the Museo Correr, Ca' Rezzonico, Ca' Pesaro and Palazzo Fortuny — until 1 April, the beginning of the tourist season, has provoked a culture war in Venice and beyond. Italy's museums have been closed since 5 November under national government restrictions, which are currently due to lift on 15 January" — unless, of course, COVID cases spike yet again. - The Art Newspaper

What New Anti-Money-Laundering Rules Will Mean For The U.S. Art And Antiquities Market

One of the provisions added to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2021 makes antiquities dealers subject to the Bank Secrecy Act. One of the key rules requires identifying the individuals behind LLCs — meaning that it will be much harder to buy and sell items anonymously. There's a strong likelihood that the law will be applied to the larger art market in the next few years. - Artnet

How The UK Art World Will Change Post-Brexit

The symbolic implications of the UK leaving the European Union has hit the art world hard. But the deal will also have a concrete impact on the way the it does business. - Artnet

Parisian Billionaire’s Museum Is, At Last, Ready To Open

"At 84, the billionaire François Pinault will finally realise a 20-year plan to build a private museum for his contemporary art collection in Paris. France's third-richest man is poised to open the Bourse de Commerce-Pinault Collection just two blocks away from the Musée du Louvre on 23 January — as long as pandemic restrictions allow." - The Art Newspaper

Orbán Gov’t In Hungary Fans Rightist Backlash Against Black Lives Matter Artwork

"Commentators on pro-government television chatshows threatened to pull the statue down if it was erected, and compared it to putting up a monument to Adolf Hitler. Others laughed that it was an absurdity given there are few black people in Budapest. … Notably, most pro-government coverage neglected to note that the statue will only be a two-week installation, not a permanent addition to the city." - The Guardian

The Organization Working To Reimagine Public Monuments

The goal is to assess the country’s landscape of public memory in a time when our shared identity as Americans feels strained, if not broken. Then we can begin to understand where we go from here, says Monument Lab cofounder and director Paul Farber. - Philadelphia Inquirer

The Art World’s 12 Biggest 2020 Controversies

Museums and galleries faced financial challenges that threatened their very existence, as Black Lives Matter uprisings forced a reckoning with the art world’s structural racism and controversial monuments that celebrate shameful histories around the globe. - Artnet

Squatters Invade Site Of Oldest City In Americas And Threaten To Kill Archaeologists

The place is Caral, estimated to be 5,000 years old and now a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Peruvian coastal desert about 125 miles north of Lima. Archaeologist Ruth Shady discovered the ruins in 1994. Over the past year, an extended family of squatters has made repeated invasions, claiming that the land — which has increased in value by a factor of ten in the past few years — was given to them by a military government in the 1970s. They've threatened the excavation crew and poisoned their beloved dog. - The Guardian

To Save Itself, San Francisco Art Institute Might Sell Its Diego Rivera Mural To George Lucas

The long-financially-strapped school — which shut itself down last March, only to reverse that decision a month later after raising $3 million — has one valuable asset other than its campus that it could sell: a piece of meta-art by Rivera depicting workers painting and installing a Diego Rivera mural. And the creator of the Star Wars franchise wants it for his Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles. - Artnet

An Enormous Expansion Of Melbourne Contemporary Museum

The proposed new building, the NGV Contemporary in Melbourne, will be Australia’s largest gallery of contemporary art and design, says Tony Ellwood, the director of the National Gallery of Victoria. It will span 30,000 sq. m, one third of which will be exhibition space. - The Art Newspaper

Has The Gagosian Gallery Left San Francisco?

As of Thursday, Dec. 31, the gallery phone was disconnected and the exterior banner as well as signage in the window had been removed. Mentions of the San Francisco location have also been stripped from the Gagosian website, which serves as an online hub for its myriad galleries. - San Francisco Chronicle

The Biggest Archaeological Finds Of 2020

As always, Egypt was fruitful ground for archaeologists, with the discovery of the first ancient Egyptian funeral parlor, the world’s oldest Illustrated book, and a mummy buried with a secret painting gallery, among other finds. But the biggest news in Egyptian archaeology this year was undoubtedly the excavation of over 100 painted sarcophagi in Saqqara, an ancient burial ground south of Cairo. - Artnet

More Museums Are Presenting “Sponsored Content.” Is This A Problem?

"On either side of the Atlantic, museums have teamed up with corporations in an effort to utilize their spaces—and collections—in order to reach new audiences and make a little extra dough." - Artnet

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