Ron DeSantis Slashes Arts Funding, Paris’s Centre Pompidou Defends Renovation Plans, and more: Morning Links for June 21, 2024

The Headlines

FLORIDA SLASHES ARTS BUDGET. Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed over $32 million in arts and culture grants that had already been approved by the state legislature for next year’s budget, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The cuts to two arts grants programs that support nonprofits throughout the state were part of nearly $1 billion in overall cuts for next year; DeSantis formally signed off on those cuts last week. In one case, the Tampa Museum of Art was set to receive $500,000 from state grants to build an expansion project, and another $70,500 for programming. That funding is no more. “It’s a huge disappointment and a quandary,” said the museum’s director, Michael Tomor.

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POMPIDOU RENOVATIONS. On Thursday, the Centre Pompidou in Paris presented plans for its much-debated renovation project, which will see the museum progressively close starting in March before entirely shuttering in September. The museum won’t reopen until 2030. One final exhibition will be devoted to photographer Wolfgang Tillmans, the museum announced at a press conference that was attended by ARTnews. Tillmans’s show will be held in the museum’s beloved public library after it has been emptied for renovations. Pompidou president Laurent Le Bon responded emotionally to criticisms of the renovation pproject, explaining that any partial closure would require staff to work in uncomfortable—and even unsafe—conditions. “It’s a terrible moment for the institution,” he said, “but I will not play with the lives of people, to please a few. I have a criminal liability.” The renovation will include the removal of asbestos, upgrading fire safety, disability access, and general repairs. Architects Moreau Kusunoki and Frida Escobedo will lead the project.

The Digest

Climate activists from the group Just Stop Oil sprayed orange paint on what they believed was Taylor Swift’s private jet at the UK’s Stanstead Airport, but it later came to light that her jet wasn’t there. Two people were arrested for vandalizing the other jets present. [Los Angeles Times]

The Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki (AAG) is launching a new triennial exhibition in New Zealand in partnership with the iwi (tribe) Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei this July. Titled “Aotearoa Contemporary,” it will feature 27 artists, including Sung Hwan Bobby Park, the collective The Killing, and the duo Qianye and Qianhe Lin. [ArtAsiaPacific]

French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac has been chosen to create the clerical outfits for the reopening of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral in December. This is not his first foray into ceremonial Catholic garb: in 1997, he designed rainbow garments for the Church’s World Youth Day celebration. [WWD]

The oldest known bottle of wine in the world appears not to be from Germany, as previously thought, but from Spain. The newly found bottle, which is more than 2,000 years old, was discovered in a Roman necropolis in Carmona, Andalusia. That means that the Speyer wine bottle in Germany’s Historical Museum of Pfalz, dated to between 325 CE and 350 CE, is no longer the reigning champion. [El Pais]

French artists and cultural workers are unsure of how to respond to the country’s populist shift to the right and the prospect of the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) gaining a majority in upcoming legislative elections. [Le Monde]

The Kicker

MELONI’S CULTURE REVOLUTION. For the New York Review of BooksRachel Donadio reports on Italian far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s attempts to shape the country, and whether her party’s fascist roots can be felt in the government’s policies. One area where Meloni has been most effective is the cultural realm, where she has been busy replacing leaders of arts institutions. Donadio spoke to several new leading right-wing figures in Italy’s arts scene, and while their positions may vary, they tend to share a more sympathetic view of the country’s fascist past and other darker chapters of Italian history. Censorship is an ongoing issue, per Donadio, particularly when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues and immigration. Djarah Kan, an Italian author and journalist whose parents are from Ghana, summed it up: “This country is a badly run museum.”


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