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Displaying items by tag: cultural heritage

Germany's most important contemporary artist, Gerhard Richter, is the latest art star to criticize the German government's planned tightening of their cultural protection legislation.

Last Sunday, Georg Baselitz took radical action and withdrew all of his works on long-term or permanent loan from German museums to protest government plans, which would restrict artworks classified as “nationally significant cultural heritage" from being exported.

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Police have arrested two curators of a new Cairo museum for allegedly stealing ancient artifacts and replacing them with replicas, the antiquities ministry said on Wednesday.

Looting of the country's cultural heritage has increased since the popular uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and during the years of political turmoil that followed.

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A new bill introduced in Washington, DC last week seeks to block looted Syrian cultural heritage from entering the US. The Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act asks Congress to appoint a cultural property protection czar and establish emergency import restrictions to protect endangered cultural patrimony. The bill aims to “deny terrorists and criminals the ability to profit from instability by looting the world of its greatest treasures,” says the congressman Eliot Engel, a Democrat from New York, in a statement. Engel is co-sponsoring the legislation with Chris Smith, a Republican from New Jersey.

Black market sales of looted cultural objects are the largest source of funding for the Islamic State after oil, according to Newsweek.

Published in News
Monday, 20 October 2014 14:59

Museum Directors Oppose Warhol Sale

In mid-september the German casino conglomerate Westspiel announced their plan to sell "Triple Elvis"(1963) and "Four Marlons" (1966) at Christie’s, New York in November. The paintings are expected to fetch over €100 million or £80 million. A petition has since been sent by twenty-six museum directors in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia to the regional government, demanding it prevent the auction of two works by Andy Warhol, reports "Die Welt."

In the petition, the directors claim that the sale “contravenes international conventions” whose ultimate goal is to “protect public cultural heritage.” They fear the sale could set a very dangerous precedent that could become a “controversial political issue with considerable ripple effect.”

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More than 80 prominent archaeologists and other scholars from around the world have signed an open letter calling on the United Nations Security Council to ban trade in Syrian antiquities, a market they say is now destroying Syria’s cultural heritage and providing funding for extremist groups.

“Our shared world heritage in Syria is being looted and turned into weapons of war,” the letter says.

Published in News
Thursday, 18 September 2014 11:56

The Chinese Art Market is on the Rise Again

A pair of Chinese porcelain vases fetched $1.2 million; a 7-inch-tall celadon vase sold for $2.3 million and a bronze Buddha statue went for $485,000 -- all blowing past their presale estimates many times over.

So went the buying spree during Asia Week in New York this week as Chinese dealers and collectors packed the salesrooms and snapped up pieces of their cultural heritage. Auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonhams and Doyle New York are expected to tally $95 million.

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In accordance with a 10-year partnership with the city of Arras and the Nord Pas de Calais region, the Château of Versailles is to loan some of its artwork and artifacts to the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Arras, Art Daily has reported.

Initiated by the regional council, the partnership aims to disperse Versailles’ vast cultural heritage for public display in other parts of France.

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A Renaissance masterpiece by Raphael has warped because the air conditioning in a Rome museum has not worked for six months, raising questions once again over Italy’s ability or willingness to look after its precious cultural heritage.

In the heat and humidity of the Italian summer, the High Renaissance master’s "Deposition," which shows Christ being carried from the cross, became deformed, forcing officials in the capital’s Galleria Borghese to place a dehumidifier next to the art work in an attempt to save it.

Published in News
Monday, 01 September 2014 12:07

Portuguese Government to Sell Miró Paintings

The collection of 84 paintings and a sculpture has an estimated price of almost 50 million dollars.

The Portuguese government announced on Friday that it will not list 84 painting and a sculpture of the Spaniard artist Joan Miró as cultural heritage. This decision allows the government to sell the works to help the country's economic crisis.

Joan Miró was one of the world's most important surrealist artists. He created many paintings, sculptures, and engravings.

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The Essl Collection which is one of Europe's finest collections of contemporary art is to be liquidated. The 7,000 works will be sold off in London, this October after Karlheinz Essl the owner of the BauMax hardware store chain suffered near-insolvency. The collection was organised as a non-profit private foundation and is an important part of Austrian cultural heritage and of great international cultural value. Agnes and Karlheinz Essl’s passion for art has given the collection its unique signature.

The main focus of the collection was Austrian art from 1945 with works by artists like Maria Lassnig, Valie Export, Arnulf Rainer, Max Weiler, Markus Prachensky, the artist of the Viennese Actionism like Hermann Nitsch and Günter Brus, new painting of the 1980s to the younger generation of Austrian artists such as Elke Krystufek and Clemens Wolff.

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