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THE NETHERLANDS WILL ADOPT A PLAN TO REPATRIATE STOLEN ARTIFACTS to their countries of origin, the Art Newspaper reports. “There is no place in the Dutch State Collection for cultural heritage objects that were acquired through theft,” the Dutch culture minister, Ingrid van Engelshoven, said. When it comes to European countries dealing with colonial collections, the nation now “has a modest lead, but that can change,” one expert said. Meanwhile, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Royal Society of Tasmania in Australia are planning to apologize to Indigenous people for taking ancient petroglyphs in the 1960s, according to an Aboriginal leader who spoke with ABC News. The works will be returned to their original site in March. In the New York Review, artist and writer Coco Fusco has an incisive essay that considers how curators and artists are addressing such colonial histories . There are finally public debates occurring, but “the thorny process of figuring out what to do with the colonial war booty that is scattered throughout hundreds of public and private collections in Europe and America has not been resolved,” Fusco writes.
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IN THE UNITED STATES, PERFORMANCE VENUES AND CONCERT HALLS, which have been hard-hit by pandemic lockdowns, will soon be able to apply for support from a $15 billion fund being administered by the Small Business Administration. But many are worried about just how far that money will go, the New York Times reports, not least because the bill, which initially targeted live-event spaces, was expanded in the legislative process to include some aquariums, museums, and zoos. Over in Germany, the Ministry of Culture said it will distribute another $1.2 billion in aid to cultural groups, Artforum reports, in its latest attempt to mitigate the financial hits organizations have taken because of lockdowns. Minister of Culture Monika Grütters said that the program “sends a sign of hope and encouragement to the cultural scene that has been struck in its vital nerve.”
Street artist Don Leicht, who was known as the Original Space Invader, has died at the age of 74. [Artforum]
The New Museum is preparing to open “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America,” an exhibition conceived by curator Okwui Enwezor before his 2019 death. Nadja Sayej went behind the scenes of the show. [The Guardian]
The Cuban activist group 27N has filed a legal complaint, demanding that the nation’s culture minister, Alpidio Alonso, be removed from office after artists were arrested at a recent peaceful protest and allegedly attacked by police. [The Art Newspaper]
Now that legislation has passed allowing for the creation of the National Museum of the American Latino in Washington, D.C., there is planning and fundraising work to do. [NBC News]
Tennis giant Serena Williams’s Florida home includes works by Leonardo Drew and Radcliffe Bailey, as well as a chair by Kaws and Campana. There’s also a karaoke room hidden behind a bookcase. [Architectural Digest]
Artist and activist Stan Herd has made an Earthwork portrait of the late congressman John Lewis in Atlanta. [Associated Press]
Actress Angelina Jolie is selling a Winston Churchill painting that was once owned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Not a set of names one expects to see together!) Jolie got it as a gift from then-boyfriend Brad Pitt in 2011. [CNN]
A zoning board in Kinderhook, New York, ruled that Nick Cave’s text artwork, which had been displayed on dealer Jack Shainman’s exhibition space there, was protected speech. The village’s code enforcement officer had earlier said the work violated rules on signs. [Hyperallergic]
Ronald Lee Newman, the deputy director of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, has resigned after one month in the position. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]
The Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio has named former Metropolitan Museum of Art curator Carlos A. Picon as its consulting curator of ancient art. [The Blade]
Speaking of the Met, the New York museum also recently received as a gift three paintings by Orsola Maddalena Caccia, a little-known 17th-century Italian painter and nun. [Artnet News]
Artist Wangechi Muti is scheduled to have an exhibition at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor later this year. Ted Loos interviewed the artist while she was working at her studio in Nairobi, Kenya. [WSJ. Magazine]
The galleries Edward Tyler Nahem and Robilant + Voena have signed leases at 980 Madison in Manhattan, which has long been home to Gagosian and other dealers. [Real Estate Weekly]
Author and activist Ibram X. Kendi argues that a new Black Renaissance is underway. [Time]
FIFTY YEARS AGO THIS MONTH, former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis paid a private visit to the White House with her children. She had turned down prior requests after the assassination of her husband, President John F. Kennedy, but this time she agreed, People writes, so that she could see the newly installed portrait that Aaron Shikler had painted of her late husband—an iconic image of the president with his arms crossed and head lowered. “I painted him with his head bowed, not because I think of him as a martyr, but because I wanted to show him as a president who was a thinker,” Shikler once said. “A thinking president is a rare thing.” [People]
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