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French police said on Saturday that a painting by the American neoexpressionist and street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat was stolen from the owner's Parisian apartment.

The painting by Basquiat, who was affiliated with the American avant-garde artist Andy Warhol, was estimated to be worth 10 million euros ($11.3 million).

According to French police, there were no signs of a break-in into the apartment where the painting was housed, suggesting that the thief's motive may stem from a family dispute.

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A Banksy artwork has been sold to a private collector for enough money to keep the seller - a cash-strapped boys' club - open for "a few years".

The sale price of "Mobile Lovers," which has been on display at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, will be revealed on Wednesday when it is handed over.

The piece of street art appeared in a Bristol doorway in April, but a row broke out over who owned it.

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Brazilian customs authorities were in for a surprise on Monday. Upon inspecting a shipping container sent to Rio de Janeiro from the US, they found 20 works of contemporary art worth an estimated $4.5 million, the AP reports.

The two containers were marked as containing the belongings of a 75-year-old Brazilian woman. They had been shipped from Florida. Brazilian authorities don’t buy the front, however, alleging instead that a company was using the woman’s move to evade import and sales taxes on the artworks.

Among the 20 pieces are works by Rio de Janeiro–based artist Beatriz Milhazes and São Paulo–based street art duo Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo (better known as Os Gêmeos). The only work on which an estimated monetary value has thus far been placed is a sculpture by noted Rio-based postwar artist Sérgio de Camargo, who died in 1990. The unidentified piece is valued at $900,000.

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A public square in Paris’s 13th arrondissement will be named after Jean-Michel Basquiat after the French capital’s City Council approved a proposal from  Jérôme Coumet, the 13th arrondissement’s mayor.

“Basquiat is one of the biggest contemporary artists,” Coumet told Le Figaro. “He defended the cause of African-Americans in the US, and was also a lover of France. He was the artist who blazed the trail for street art, and art in public space.”

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A boys' club who had a rare piece of Banksy artwork left on their front door have had it valued on the Antiques Roadshow for £400,000.

The work, called Mobile Lovers had appeared overnight on a plank of wood screwed to a wall close to the Broad Plain Boys' Club in Banksy's home town of Bristol.

Dennis Stinchcombe from the club, became involved in a row with the local council after removing the artwork put on a public wall near the youth club.

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In 1979 when Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) was still an unknown graffiti artist, he shared an apartment with his girlfriend, Alexis Adler, in Manhattan’s East Village. Typical of his street art roots, Basquiat covered the space in murals, his signature scrawled crowns, and other artistic markings. The couple split up a year later, shortly before Basquiat rocketed to art stardom. Sadly, his life and career were cut tragically short by a drug overdose in 1988.

Adler, who now works as an embryologist at New York University, eventually purchased the apartment she once shared with Basquiat and never painted over his work. She also held on to the artist’s notebooks, postcards, painted clothes, photographs, and drawings. After three decades, Adler has begun consulting with advisors in regard to her unparalleled collection of Basquiat ephemera. It has been rumored that she is looking to release a book on her never-before-seen collection, which could entail an exhibition and sale, but has not been confirmed by Adler.      

After his death, Basquiat remained a major figure in the art market and he continues to be the subject of highly anticipated exhibitions. Adler’s holdings will no doubt be a welcomed addition to the Basquiat market presence. In an attempt to ready herself for the frenzy that will undoubtedly ensue, Adler has hired Stephen Torton, Basquiat’s former assistant, to represent her in any future sales. Lisa Rosen of Fine Art Restoration is responsible for refurbishing and removing a wall from the apartment that contains a full Basquiat mural and Sur Rodney Sur, the former director of the Gracie Mansion gallery, has already catalogued the 65-plus items in the collection.

Also included in Adler’s remarkable collection is a script for a play written by Basquiat and rolls of 35mm film documenting the artist at work as well as candidly going about his day. The collection offers a rare glimpse of the artist on the brink of unprecedented fame.

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When notable street artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat, passed a spiral notebook back and forth with his high school classmates, he surely didn’t anticipate the collaboration being at the center of a heated lawsuit. Al Diaz and Shannon Dawson, Basquiat’s adolescent cohorts, are suing Yale University’s Beinecke Library to have their contributions to the “SAMO© high-school notebook” recognized.

 Diaz and Dawson claim that Yale has glossed over their roles in creating the notebook that is bursting with puns, notes, doodles, and scribblings, and are passing it off as a priceless piece of Basquiat’s oeuvre. The duo also claimed that the book was stolen from Dawson and somehow ended up in Yale’s library. The respected institution reportedly paid as much as $40,000 for the notebook.

The lawsuit raises a number of questions concerning artist ephemera, a notoriously difficult thing to trace. The fact that Diaz and Dawson had a falling out with Basquiat after the artist rose to fame also makes navigating the case difficult.

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Wednesday, 15 August 2012 16:24

Street Art Mural Sparks Racial Debate in Boston

A mural by the Brazilian street artists Os Gêmeos, installed in Boston as part of their first US solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Art, has drawn some divisive comments and stirred up debate about cultural understanding.

The twin brothers painted the 70-foot-tall mural The Giant of Boston depicting a boy wearing a red jacket wrapped around his head in the city’s high-traffic area of Dewey Square (the figure of a shrouded graffiti tagger is a common motif in the artists’ work).

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