Art Industry News: British Museum chairman suggests Greece and UK could share custody of the Parthenon Marbles + other stories

Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most radical developments coming from the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know on Wednesday, June 15.


The Race to Restore Gaddafi’s Fortune (and Art) – In a story made for an HBO adaptation, Vanity Fair dives into the high-stakes race to recover the billions of dollars in art, cash and gold stolen by Muammar Gaddafi, as a motley crew of characters in Libya attempt to restore the country’s wealth. Hedge funder Michael Steinhardt and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos appear. †Vanity Fair

German court rejects bid to remove anti-Semitic relic A German federal court rejected a Jewish man’s request to have a 700-year-old anti-Semitic statue removed from a church where Martin Luther once preached. The Federal Court of Justice ruled that the Church of Wittenberg had appropriately addressed the issue by adding a memorial that explained the history and context of the damaging image, thus distancing itself from the statue’s original “defamatory message.” †Courthouse News

Can Greece and UK Share Custody of the Parthenon Marbles? † In a new interview, George Osborne, the chairman of the British Museum, suggested he be open to various solutions to the stalemate over the Parthenon Marbles. Speaking to the LBC radio station, he said there should be “a deal where we can tell both stories in Athens and in London if we both approach this without a ton of preconditions, without a ton of red lines.” He suggested an arrangement whereby some of the marbles could be transported between Greece and London, but he could not speak for “all the trustees of the British Museum.” †the art newspaper

Stradivarius Played on Wizard of Oz Soundtrack raises over $15 million – The violin, made in Italy and called the “Da Vinci, Ex-Seidel” Stradivarius, after its owner Toscha Seidel, the Wizard of Oz composer, raised $15.3 million at instrument auction house Tarisio on Thursday. The sale marked the first time in 15 years that a violin from what is known as Stradivarius’ “Golden Age” had been put up for auction. †news week


Museum of Decorative Arts Chief Decamps in front of the Louvre – Olivier Gabet resigns after nine years as director of Les Arts Décoratifs, a private non-profit organization that oversees the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and its library. Gabet, who has overseen shows on topics ranging from Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli to Barbie doll and the Little Prince, will lead the Louvre’s decorative arts department. press release

Baloise Prize of Art Basel awarded – The Baloise Prize, awarded this year to galleries showcasing works by emerging artists at Art Basel, went to Chapter NY to showcase Tourmaline’s new film pollinator and Jahmek Contemporary Art, one of the few African galleries at the fair, for the exhibition of South African artist Helena Uambembe. The prize includes a CHF 30.00 grant and works by the two artists will go to the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt and MUDAM in Luxembourg. †ART news

ART SG Fair publishes list of exhibitors – The long-delayed Singapore art fair has released the list of more than 150 galleries participating in the inaugural event, which will run from January 11-15, 2023. The fair will be produced by the Art Assembly group, which recently announced the launch of Tokyo Gendai . The lineup juxtaposes mega galleries like Pace and Gagosian with local spaces including Gajah Gallery and iPreciation. †ART news

San Diego Museum reopens – The Timken Museum of Art in San Diego reopens this week after a $3 million renovation designed to better showcase its 84-piece collection of Old Masters, Russian icons and 20th-century American art. The institution was closed for two years during the renovation, completed by the architectural firm Gensler. †the art newspaper


Ai Weiwei launches public artwork in Sweden – The activist and artist has unveiled his latest public artwork in Stockholm. The sculpture is the first installment in a new public art series launched by Brilliant Minds, described as the “Davos of the creative industry” and founded by Spotify’s Daniel Ek. The work, titled Archery bow, is a 40m high stainless steel sculpture resembling a birdcage intersected by a silhouette of two embracing people. †press release

Brilliant Minds launches a new public initiative with the unveiling of Ai Weiwei’s Arch in Stockholm. Photo credit: Yanan.

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