Greece Approves Plan for Repatriation of 161 Ancient Works, Tarantino and Miramax Settle NFT Dispute, and More: Morning Links for September 9, 2022

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The Headlines

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HEADING HOME. A total of 161 ancient Greek artifacts from the collection of billionaire Leonard N. Stern will eventually make their way back to Greece after its parliament agreed to what the Associated Press termed “a complex deal.” That deal has Athens admitting that it cannot prove that the works—which date from 5300 to 2200 BCE—were illegally exported. Largely attributed to the Early Bronze Age Cycladic civilization, the material will return gradually to Greece from 2033 to 2048, after first going on view at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, beginning next year. Some in the archaeology field had called on Greece to wage a legal battle for the material. (Stern, an ARTnews Top 200 Collectors list alum who has been involved with pet supplies and real estate, has not been accused of wrongdoing.) Greece’s culture minister, Lina Mendoni, said, per the AP, “A legal effort to claim the collection was estimated to have minimal chances of success, and would not have secured the return of all 161 antiquities.”

QUEEN ELIZABETH II, who died on Thursday, at 96, was the steward of an astonishing art collection, as ARTnews noted yesterday. Now King Charles III is the guardian of works by the likes of Rembrandt and PoussinOcula has a rundown of the art world’s reaction to the monarch’s passing, and Dezeen compiled a list of important buildings that she officially opened during her 70-year reign. As it happens, the Queen attended the opening of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo’s current home in 1968 and took in an exhibition in which paintings were displayed on Lina Bo Bardi’s famed glass supports. MASP’s Instagram account has very charming photos of her visit.

The Digest

Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., the Kohler Co. executive chairman who helped create a residency that invites artists to make work with his firm’s plumbing materials, died last Saturday at 83. The program was run with his late sister Ruth Kohler and the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. [Furniture Today and Press Release]

Sylvia Wolf announced that she will retire as director of the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington next spring, after 15 years leading the Seattle institution. The next director may have the chance to toast the Henry’s 100th birthday: It arrives in 2027. [Press Release/ArtDaily]

In other leadership news, Makayla Bailey and Michael Connor have been tapped to be co-directors of Rhizome, the New Museum–affiliated organization that champions digital art. Bailey has been the group’s development director since last year, Connor its artistic director since 2015. [Artforum]

Quentin Tarantino and Miramax have filed paperwork saying that they have reached a settlement in a suit brought by the movie production company against the filmmaker in a bid to prevent him from selling NFTs based on his handwritten screenplay for Pulp Fiction (1994). No one has commented yet. [Courthouse News]

Repair work is nearly finished on San Gabriel Mission, the 251-year-old religious landmark in San Gabriel, California, that was damaged in a 2020 arson attack. The construction efforts are estimated to have cost $7 million. Insurance covered most of that bill. [Los Angeles Times]

Israel said that it has acquired a rare bit of papyrus with a Hebrew inscription from a Montana man that has been dated back some 2,500 years. The man, who has not been named, inherited it from his mother, who reportedly got it in Jordanian-occupied east Jerusalem more than 50 years ago. [The Associated Press/NBC News]

The Kicker

BIG NUMBERS. Painter Christina Quarles opened her latest solo show last night at Hauser & Wirth in New York. Her work, which depicts free-floating, shapeshifting bodies, has been very much in-demand of late, with a bidder paying some $4.5 million at Sotheby’s back in May. In an interview with the Cut , she shared how she learned about that record price: “Somebody texted me: ‘OMG your work just went for…’ and then I saw a dollar sign, a 4, and then 562. I was like, ‘Oh the work went for $4,562 at auction, that seems pretty disappointing.’ ” Then she realized the actual number. “That just shows you how, as an artist, you’re always in disbelief,” she said. [The Cut]


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