10 August 2020

Art@Law | Constantine Cannon

Europe

Tourist posing with 200-year-old sculpture breaks its toes: An Austrian man has apologized for the damage he caused to a Canova sculpture, saying he didn’t realize he had crunched the foot of the plaster Pauline Bonaparte. 

06.08.2020, The New York TimesTourist posing with 200-year-old sculpture breaks its toes 

05.08.2020, SmithsonianIn pursuit of the perfect photo, tourist accidentally breaks sculpture’s toes  

05.08.2020, The Art NewspaperAfter CCTV footage is released, tourist who damaged Canova sculpture turns himself in  

Yves Bouvier evaded paying taxes on £276m of art sales, Swiss authorities claim: Switzerland’s Federal Criminal Court ordered documents unsealed that call into question whether the dealer declared all profits from sales made to Dimitry Rybolovlev. 

04.08.2020, The Art NewspaperYves Bouvier evaded paying taxes on £276m of art sales, Swiss authorities claim  

04.08.2020, ArtnetSwiss authorities are investigating embattled art dealer Yves Bouvier for evading as much as $360 million in taxes  

Media scion James Murdoch now owns a controlling stake in MCH Group, Art Basel’s struggling parent company: Shareholders of Art Basel’s parent company, MCH Group, have agreed to a package of stabilizing measures put forward by its board of directors earlier this month. All of its proposals, including a much-discussed cash infusion from media scion James Murdoch, passed in an Extraordinary General Meeting on August 3, and MCH can now begin to implement them. 

03.08.2020, ArtnetMedia scion James Murdoch now owns a controlling stake in MCH Group, Art Basel’s struggling parent company 

To aid struggling local galleries and artists, the German government will boost its art acquisition budget by 600 percent: The German federal government is beefing up its art collection in an effort to help struggling artists and dealers. The country’s culture minister announced on Monday that Germany will increase its acquisition budget for contemporary art sixfold this year, to €3 million, up from €500,000. 

03.08.2020, ArtnetTo aid struggling local galleries and artists, the German government will boost its art acquisition budget by 600 percent 

03.08.2020, Le Journal des ArtsAllemagne, augmentation du fonds de soutien aux artistes

United States

Philadelphia Museum of Art vote to unionise in 89% supermajority: In a landslide decision, workers at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) have voted to join the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees District Council 47 union (AFSCME DC 47). More than 300 staff members cast ballots by mail, resulting in an 89% supermajority. The PMA is now the first major US museum with a single “wall-to-wall” labour union, which will represent employees across all departments and services. 

07.08.2020, The Art NewspaperPhiladelphia Museum of Art vote to unionise in 89% supermajority

World

Russia to fund small-scale replica Hagia Sophia in Syria that will be used as a church: A miniature replica of the Hagia Sophia will be built in Syria backed by the Russian government according to the Lebanese news agency Al-Modon. The move follows the controversial decision by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to turn the historic Hagia Sophia site in Istanbul from a museum back into a mosque. Erdogan’s decree followed a ruling by the Council of State, Turkey’s highest administrative court. 

06.08.2020, The Art NewspaperRussia to fund small-scale replica Hagia Sophia in Syria that will be used as a church  

What is a museum? A dispute erupts over a new definition: Museums are having an identity crisis. Answering the question of “What is a museum?” might seem easy to anyone who’s visited one, but it has provoked a furor at the International Council of Museums, a Paris-based nonprofit that aims to represent the interests of museums worldwide. 

06.08.2020, The New York TimesWhat is a museum? A dispute erupts over a new definition 

Huge explosion in Beirut decimates city and leaves art scene in disarray: Two powerful explosions at the Port of Beirut on early Tuesday evening left more than 70 people dead and over 4,000 injured. Initially, Lebanese state-run National News Agency reported that a fire broke out near the Beirut Port. According to Lebanon’s Prime Minister, an investigation is underway concerning an estimated 2,750 tons of the explosive ammonium nitrate that has been stored at the site for six years. 

05.08.2020, The Art NewspaperHuge explosion in Beirut decimates city and leaves art scene in disarray  

06.08.2020, ARCAAn intimate snapshot of Beirut’s devastation through a look at the Sursock Palace and Museum

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