23 December 2019

Europe

Mysterious Museum Theft Recovery. The long-missing shield gifted to Italy’s General Garibaldi has been recovered in Rome: Last week, officers from the operational department of Italy’s Comando Carabinieri per la Tutela del Patrimonio Culturale and the Rome Gianicolense Station have recovered an important ornamental bronze shield.  The object, gifted as a sign of gratitude to Giuseppe Garibaldi by the citizens of Sicily in May 1878, was donated to Rome by Garibaldi and first kept in the Capitoline Museum.  Later it was transferred to the National Museum of the Risorgimento located inside the Palazzo del Vittoriano (the Victor Emmanuel II National Monument) complex, where at some point, it disappeared from the collection approximately twenty years ago. 

21.12.2019, ARCA: Mysterious Museum Theft Recovery. The long-missing shield gifted to Italy’s General Garibaldi has been recovered in Rome

Welsh first minister defends locking away Banksy mural: The Welsh first minister has defended his government’s handling of the festive Banksy work Season’s Greetings, which is to be locked behind closed doors in a former police station after being briefly put on show to the public.

20.12.2019, The Guardian: Welsh first minister defends locking away Banksy mural

NI museum lands six Rembrandts as part of a tax bill deal: A deal struck over an outstanding tax bill has landed a Northern Ireland museum six works by Rembrandt. The Ulster Museum is the surprise beneficiary of an agreement negotiated by the tax authorities to secure £150,000 owed to the Exchequer.

19.12.2019, The Belfast Telegraph: NI museum lands six Rembrandts as part of a tax bill deal 

National Gallery buys Orazio Gentileschi masterpiece for £22m: The National Gallery has succeeded in a £22m bid to buy Orazio Gentileschi’s The Finding of Moses after the public came to its help. The masterpiece has been on loan to the gallery for nearly 20 years, so long that many assumed it was part of the permanent collection, said the director, Gabriele Finaldi.

18.12.2019, The Guardian: National Gallery buys Orazio Gentileschi masterpiece for £22m

Geneva-based foundation Aliph directs $10m to heritage conservation projects in conflict zones: The International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (Aliph) today announced $10m in grants for 20 conservation projects, including an effort by the World Monuments Fund (WMF) to reconstruct a shrine destroyed by the Islamic State in northern Iraq.

17.12.2019, The Art Newspaper: Geneva-based foundation Aliph directs $10m to heritage conservation projects in conflict zones 

17.12.2019, Le Journal des Arts: L’Alliance pour le patrimoine dans les zones de conflit élargit son périmètre  

France promises to return 26 looted Benin artefacts by 2021: During a visit to Benin on 16 December, the French culture minister Franck Riester said that 26 royal artefacts looted by French troops during the colonial conquest will be returned to the West African country by 2021. “The restitution will need the adoption of a specific law and we are trying to set an agenda with the parliament which would allow the vote by 2021,” says a spokesperson for the French culture minister, adding, “by then, Benin would be able to identify a secure site to display the works”. The minister met with Benin’s president Patrice Talon and signed a general agreement for joint exhibitions, museum loans and technical assistance.17.12.2019, The Art Newspaper: France promises to return 26 looted Benin artefacts by 2021

United States

‘All bets are off’: Hong Kong protests cause insurance headaches for dealers heading to Art Basel: As dealers struggle to insure works of art bound for Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protestors continue to clash with police, Art Basel in Hong Kong organisers say they are working with a local insurance broker to offer cover—at 20 times the normal rate.

20.12.2019, The Art Newspaper: ‘All bets are off’: Hong Kong protests cause insurance headaches for dealers heading to Art Basel 

The House just gave the National Endowment for the Arts its largest funding bump in a decade, despite Trump’s threats to squash it: Despite the Trump administration’s repeated calls to zero out funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the budget passed this week in the House of Representatives includes a bump in resources allocated to the arts agency.

20.12.2019, Artnet: The House just gave the National Endowment for the Arts its largest funding bump in a decade, despite Trump’s threats to squash it

Dispute Roils Estate of Prominent American Artist: The heirs of 20th-century American painter Thomas Hart Benton are suing a Kansas City bank, alleging it has mismanaged the multimillion-dollar estate of the influential artist, including hundreds of artworks.18.12.2019, The Wall Street Journal: Dispute Roils Estate of Prominent American Artist

World

Jitters and reasons to be cheerful: art market experts give their 2020 predictions: Faced with economic uncertainty, turmoil in Hong Kong, Brexit and a shrinking auction market, the art trade has some justifiable anxiety about the coming year

22.12.2019, The Art Newspaper: Jitters and reasons to be cheerful: art market experts give their 2020 predictions

A ‘Great Wealth Transfer’ Is Coming. What Will It Mean for Art?: The numbers vary wildly, but all are dizzying: $15 trillion. $30 trillion. $59 trillion. $68 trillion. More than $15 trillion in assets is expected to be passed to younger generations in the next decade, including a lot of art. These are the figures being bandied about as economists and financial experts try to get their heads around a global phenomenon known as the “Great Wealth Transfer.” 18.12.2019, The New York Times: A ‘Great Wealth Transfer’ Is Coming. What Will It Mean for Art?

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