Issue 266 - March 2015

News | Market | Books | Comment | Conservation | Exhibitions | Features | Museums |


Interpol confirms Libyan treasure was looted Free

The largely forgotten cache of thousands of antiquities was taken by thieves months after the city was seized by rebel forces

Head sold at Christie’s stolen from Libya Free

Italian buyer has voluntarily relinquished the work

Anger over Louvre’s plan to clean a Leonardo Free

Specialists fear artist’s “smoky finish” effect may be harmed

Football star and former Formula 1 boss caught up in fakes case Free

Jonathan Zebina and Flavio Briatore deny knowing paintings may be forgeries

Delvoye risks “trouble” with offer to Ai Weiwei Free

Chinese artist’s assistants warn of reprisals if he accepts invitation to rebuild wrecked Shanghai studio in Ghent

At large in London: the public Rodin that nobody owns Free

Government departments and agencies all deny The Burghers of Calais is theirs

Court challenge puts California royalty law to the test

Christie’s, Sotheby’s and eBay sued by leading artists and their heirs

Court says no to noodles

Ruling on perishable items could affect art that is meant to decay

The problem with authenticating Warhol Free

While some fear the negative effects of the closure of the vetting board, others say its role was not essential

Anger over Louvre’s plan to clean a Leonardo

Specialists fear artist’s “smoky finish” effect may be harmed

Saudi artist targeted over Jerusalem show Free

Ahmed Mater is condemned by online petition after his work is shown at museum on the “Green Line”

Why back this rival to the Istanbul Biennial?

Questions raised about why politicians supported new Bosphorus event


Momart dispute reveals hazards of shipping art Free

Call a specialist, you could get a commercial courier

The people and the places

Oehlen’s new homes

Foundation loses battle to cast original Giacomettis

Paris organisation to appeal the decision

Sympathy grows for alleged forgers Free

Media has painted four defendants in fake art trial in a positive light

Nervous dealers grateful for the institutions

Contemporary market reassured by additions to public collections and big public shows

Islamic sales limp in with lacklustre results…

Dealers anxious as star buys prove few and far between

Phillips pulls ahead in photography sales

Richard Avedon proved ever-popular at New York auctions

Florence Biennale takes a contemporary approach

The Old Masters and antiques fair was less cluttered, resulting in strong sales


The bare bones of faith

The cult of relics explored, explained and derided in a series of recent books

Thomas Rowlandson revealed

Two substantial books on the great British caricaturist, draughtsman and painter

Industrial light and magic

This reassessment of John Atkinson Grimshaw’s reputation is overdue

The world in chaos and in colour

A survey of Alex Webb’s 30-year career

Separate paths

The concluding part of Theodore Rabb’s consideration of the divergence of art in Flanders and the Dutch Republic

Problems with perspectives

A study of Christian and Arab optics and symbolic forms

Looking with wonder at the world

An illustrated 13th-century Arabic treatise addresses the inexplicable aspects of the Creation

Nothing too risky…

An exhibition catalogue that largely focuses on artists with international profiles and sidesteps local controversies

Gifts and the strings attached to them

The uses of giving in Islamic international diplomacy

Almost as many pictures as there are stories

A selection of western images made for The Thousand and One Nights

Filling in the gaps

Contemporary photographers and 1990s artists

What the West knows about the East

A description of the 10,000-volume collection of early records of encounters between Islam and Europe

Cultural Klondike exposed Free

Dubai aimed to rival Abu Dhabi as a cultural centre: this is why it did not happen


Has peace broken out after the trial of Marion True? Free

Some in the US museum world take the view that the Italian authorities should take advantage of the apparent truce

Justice is slow, but Italy has not given up the fight Free

The ministry is now looking at ‘cryptic provenances’ such as ‘Swiss private collection, 1980s’


Haiti heritage rescue could stall Free

Chief conservator stresses need for continuity of funding after handover to local authorities

There really is an app for everything

Device will streamline condition reports for museum objects

The complexities of preserving seals

As with contemporary works of art, seals are often multimedia, making their conservation problematic

Moscow’s heritage under threat Free

Demonstrations break out over plans to tear down the city’s historic buildings

Foundation to save the Deccan’s sites

Organisation aims to raise awareness


Met the magnificent

After eight years, Islamic galleries reopen in New York

Grabbing centre stage

The Performa biennial features the work of more than 100 artists and aims to create full-bodied experiences

Before and after Columbus

The arts of the Spanish New World

Is this a Leonardo?

National Gallery show includes newly discovered painting

Artists through the looking-glass

Lewis Carroll’s novels offer rich artistic inspiration

Life after the Leipzig School

Saatchi’s German survey aims to reveal next generation

Eccentricity on the Nile

Flinders Petrie, the one-off archaeologist

Silk Road to a blockbuster

Dutch museum reopens with Chinese loans

He survived and thrived

How Louis-Léopold Boilly escaped the guillotine

Drawings fit for a king

Pierre Jean Mariette’s noble collection reassembled

Kusama’s late flowering

A celebration of the Japanese artist’s hot pink period

Kiefer gets high on Kabbalah…

The $55m Amir Building opens with the artist’s Jewish works

Art Basel Miami Beach refocuses on the art

The public programme includes a sculpture park and videos screened on Frank Gehry’s New World Center

Shooting for the moon

Early Nasa photographs go on sale


The outsiders

Sculpture is moving out of museums on a huge scale. After years of controversy, why is public art now so popular?

An unlikely countryside alliance

Outdoor art is coming to the bleakest, most remote regions of Norway in a multi-million-euro bid to boost cultural tourism

“There’s a perversity in my method”

With a biennial, two shows and a knitwear range on the go, Liam Gillick talks about the lasting effect of his Goldsmiths years

Maurizio Cattelan: genius or joker? Free

He is stepping down from the art world the day his Guggenheim show opens. But is it just another prank?

The superstar and the insider’s choice

Intimate portraits reveal Gerhard Richter to be highly self-critical, and William Turnbull to be an artist’s artist

A potted history of clay

TV series is a rapid survey of ceramics from the Middle Ages to Grayson Perry

Artists win film award

Jarman prize goes to “activists”


Pushkin accused of displaying a fake Free

Growing concerns over authenticity of Modigliani portrait on show in Moscow museum

What should we do with “our” antiquities? Free

US museum directors wrestle with the long-term consequences of artefacts acquired without watertight provenance

The collection that Walmart built Free

Opening soon: Alice Walton’s long-awaited Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Clyfford Still’s wishes are strictly honoured Free

Museum fulfils abstract expressionist’s desire that his work, and his alone, be shown in perpetuity

Museum-quality Zoffanys up for sale

Pop musician-aristocrat consigns paintings to Sotheby’s

Secrets of the shield taken by Captain Cook

Latest tests in the British Museum could fundamentally change our view of Aboriginal culture

Titians stop Penny spending Free

Duke of Sutherland’s pictures are national galleries’ priority

Honeymoon ends for “El Niemeyer” Free

Arts centre closes as its board and politicians fall out

Castello di Rivoli under fire

Direction of double-headed leadership questioned

Munch plans in disarray amid political row Free

Museum relocation deadlocked as city parliament splits over controversial design

New Koons in old-school Frankfurt… Free

…and a work by Demand for revamped Städel

Budapest “mega-project” to defy the downturn

Government appoints museum director to oversee €150m cultural quarter

Slovenia gets a second taste of national art Free

Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova opens this month

Vanity, vanity: the problems facing China’s private museums Free

Spaces bloom and then wither as founders’ commitment quickly fades