11 November 2019

Europe

Museum Theft: Numismatic thieves also strike at the Museo Civico Archeologico in Castiglion Fiorentino: In the second of two museum thefts reported in Italy last week, two thieves broke into the Museo Civico Archeologico in Castiglion Fiorentino around 2:00 am by forcing open a window in Palazzo Pretorio, in the early morning hours of 7 November.   As the alarm sounded drawing attention to their incursion, the culprits had to work quickly in order to complete their burglary before a private security firm, responding to the alarm, had time to intervene.

09.11.2019, ARCA: Museum Theft: Numismatic thieves also strike at the Museo Civico Archeologico in Castiglion Fiorentino 

Museum Theft: Museo di San Mamiliano in Sovana, Italy: In one of two museum thefts last week in Italy, authorities have reported that fifty gold solidus, dating back to the 5th century CE have been stolen from the Museo di San Mamiliano in Sovana, Italy.  

09.11.2019, ARCA: Museum Theft: Museo di San Mamiliano in Sovana, Italy 

Nicola Sturgeon apologises for error on funding of Aberdeen art gallery: Nicola Sturgeon has apologised to MSPs after incorrectly stating that Aberdeen city council had never applied to get funding for its new art gallery. Civic leaders had claimed that they were offered no financial help for the £35 million overhaul of the city’s art gallery, while the Victoria & Albert Museum in Dundee, which opened last year, was allocated £40 million.

08.11.2019, The Times: Nicola Sturgeon apologises for error on funding of Aberdeen art gallery 

Bern museum sells $4m Manet painting from Gurlitt art hoard: The Bern Museum of Fine Art is selling a painting by Édouard Manet that is one of the most valuable of around 1,500 works it inherited from Cornelius Gurlitt, a reclusive hoarder whose hidden collection included Nazi-looted art.

07.11.2019, The Art Newspaper: Bern museum sells $4m Manet painting from Gurlitt art hoard 

Spanish Businessman Accused of Smuggling Picasso Painting Could Face $111 M. Fine: It’s been four years since businessman Jamie Botín was first accused of smuggling a $27.4 million Pablo Picasso painting out of Spain, despite its classification by the country’s government as a cultural treasure. Now, Botín could face jail time for allegedly attempting to sell the painting outside Spain.

05.11.2019, Art News: Spanish Businessman Accused of Smuggling Picasso Painting Could Face $111 M. Fine 

UK Government to protect international heritage from disasters and conflict: The UK Government is extending the Cultural Protection Fund with an additional £10 million of investment.

05.11.2019, Gov.uk : UK Government to protect international heritage from disasters and conflict 

Art world caught up in UK’s ‘big problem with dirty money’: A hard-hitting report analysing recent corruption cases has revealed the art world’s links to high end corruption and money laundering.

04.11.2019, The Art Newspaper: Art world caught up in UK’s ‘big problem with dirty money’ 

In a Brazen Treasure Heist in France, Thieves Rammed a Medieval Cathedral With a Tree Trunk and Made Off With Precious Artifacts: Thieves broke into a French cathedral early this morning and made off with priceless treasures in a brazen heist. 

04.11.2019, Artnet: In a Brazen Treasure Heist in France, Thieves Rammed a Medieval Cathedral With a Tree Trunk and Made Off With Precious Artifacts 

Is Brexit Going to Cause a Crisis in the London Art Scene?: Dealers and collectors, worried about future customs and taxes, are moving works out of the country. Among the ways the 2016 vote for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union is affecting daily life, one of the most closely watched is its effect on the British art market.04.11.2019, Town & Country: Is Brexit Going to Cause a Crisis in the London Art Scene?

United States

Marciano Art Foundation Is Accused of Unfair Labor Practices: Labor organizers in Los Angeles have accused the Marciano Art Foundation, a private museum, of violating federal law by dismissing dozens of employees after they announced that they wanted to form a union.

08.11.2019, The New York Times: Marciano Art Foundation Is Accused of Unfair Labor Practices 

06.11.2019, The Art Newspaper: Marciano Art Foundation announces it won’t reopen in wake of layoffs following union drive 

A portrait of Rembrandt sold for more than 30 times its estimate—could it be by the Dutch master himself?: A portrait of Rembrandt from The Bass collection in Miami vaulted 30 times over its pre-sale estimate to fetch $550,000 ($675,000 with fees) at Christie’s in New York last week. Catalogued as “manner of Rembrandt”, the high price has prompted speculation over whether the rather heavily overpainted and undated canvas is in fact an autograph work. Provenance details are scant. The painting was acquired by John and Johanna Bass and donated to the US museum named after them in 1964, but there is no information prior to that, according to the online catalogue. The composition is derived, Christie’s says, from two self-portraits by Rembrandt: one in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (around 1628) and one in Munich’s Alte Pinakothek (1629).

06.11.2019, The Art Newspaper: A portrait of Rembrandt sold for more than 30 times its estimate—could it be by the Dutch master himself? 

Caller Leads Los Angeles Police to $800,000 Worth of Stolen Lithographs: A cold case of stolen artwork has been (partially) cracked after one phone call. Last Tuesday, Los Angeles police followed up on a tip that a storage locker in San Francisco held nearly 1,300 signed lithographs by the late Scottish abstract expressionist Benjamin Creme that could be worth $800,000.

06.11.2019, Art News: Caller Leads Los Angeles Police to $800,000 Worth of Stolen Lithographs 

05.11.2019, The Washington Post: Caller leads Los Angeles police to $800,00 in stolen artwork 07.11.2019, The Art Newspaper: Los Angeles police recover $800,000 worth of stolen lithographs by Scottish artist Benjamin Creme

World

Auction Guarantees Have Led to Record-Breaking Results. But the Golden Age of Guarantees Is Over: These lucrative hedges were once the financial instrument of choice for speculators and market manipulators, but now they have lost their luster.

11.11.2019, Artnet: Auction Guarantees Have Led to Record-Breaking Results. But the Golden Age of Guarantees Is Over 

‘Museum Diplomacy’ as New Pompidou Center Opens in Shanghai: The French museum will curate the exhibitions and provide works from its collection. Chinese officials are keeping a close eye on what gets shown.

05.11.2019, The New York Times: ‘Museum Diplomacy’ as New Pompidou Center Opens in Shanghai 

05.11.2019, Art News: Centre Pompidou’s New Shanghai Outpost Faced Censorship: Report 

Artists and their Aliases: Who Has License to Assume A Fake Identity?: From literary personas to art world fraudsters, these artists walk a fine line between rerouting their positions and breaking the law.04.11.2019, Frieze: Artists and their Aliases: Who Has License to Assume A Fake Identity?

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