Art Industry News: British Museum President Suggests Greece and UK Could Share Custody of Parthenon Marbles + Other Stories

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


The race to reclaim Gaddafi’s fortune (and art) – In a story made for an HBO adaptation, vanity lounge immerses itself in the high-stakes race to recover the billions of dollars in art, silver and gold stolen by Muammar Gaddafi as a ragtag cast of characters in Libya attempts to restore the country’s wealth. Hedge-funder Michael Steinhardt and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bogdanos make appearances. (vanity lounge)

German court rejects bid to remove anti-Semitic relic – A German federal court has denied a Jewish man’s request to have a 700-year-old anti-Semitic statue removed from a church where Martin Luther 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 harmful image, thereby distancing itself from the original “defamatory message” of the statue. (Courthouse News)

Could Greece and the UK share custody of the Parthenon Marbles? – In a new interview, George Osborne, the president of the British Museum, suggested an openness to the different solutions in the standoff over the Parthenon Marbles. Speaking to LBC radio station, he said an “agreement has to be made that we can tell both stories in Athens and London if we go into this without a load of preconditions, without a load of lines red”. He suggested an arrangement in which some of the marbles could move between Greece and London might work, but he could not speak for “all the trustees of the British Museum”. (The arts journal)

Stradivarius Played on Wizard of Oz Soundtrack grossing over $15 million – The violin, made in Italy and nicknamed the “Da Vinci, Ex-Seidel” Stradivarius, after its owner Toscha Seidel, the Wizard of Oz composer, fetched $15.3 million at instrument auction house Tarisio on Thursday. The sale marked the first time in 15 years that a violin from Stradivarius’ so-called “golden period” had been offered at auction. (Newsweek)


Museum of Decorative Arts Chef Decamps for the Louvre – Olivier Gabet leaves his post as director of Decorative Arts, a private association which manages the Museum of Decorative Arts and its library, after nine years of service. Gabet, who has overseen exhibitions on subjects ranging from Christian Dior and Elsa Schiaparelli to the Barbie doll and the Little Prince, will head the Louvre’s decorative arts department. (Press release)

Presentation of the Baloise Art Basel Prize – This year’s Baloise Prize, which is awarded to galleries showcasing work by emerging artists at Art Basel, was awarded to Chapter NY for its presentation of Tourmaline’s new film pollinator and Jahmek Contemporary Art, one of the few African galleries present at the fair, for its presentation of South African artist Helena Uambembe. The prize is accompanied by a grant of CHF 30.00 and the works of the two artists will go to the Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt and to MUDAM in Luxembourg. (ART news)

ART SG Fair publishes the list of exhibitors – The long-delayed Singapore Art Fair has released the list of over 150 galleries participating in its inaugural event, which runs from January 11-15, 2023. The fair is produced by Art Assembly Group, which recently announced the launch of Tokyo Gendai. . The lineup places megagalleries like Pace and Gagosian alongside local spaces like 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 Master paintings, Russian icons and 20th-century American art . The institution was closed for two years during the redesign, carried out by the architectural firm Gensler. (The arts journal)


Ai Weiwei launches public artwork in Sweden – The activist and artist 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 industries” and founded by Daniel Ek of Spotify. The book, titled Camber, is a 40-foot-tall stainless steel sculpture resembling a birdcage bisected by a silhouette of two intertwined people. (Press release)

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

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