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Art Industry News: As a student, Boris Johnson was passionate about bringing the Parthenon Marbles back to Greece + Other Stories




Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know this Monday, July 4.


Here’s how few statues in Britain are of people of color According to a survey by art education charity Art UK, only 2% of public sculptures in the UK, around 2,600 out of 13,500 works, commemorate people from ethnic minorities. are dedicated to women. The project lasted five years and more than 500 volunteers. (The arts journal)

Boris Johnson pleads for return of Parthenon Marbles, letters reveal The British Prime Minister was a supporter of repatriating the Parthenon Marbles to Greece when he was President of the Oxford Union in 1986. In a letter to Melina Mercouri, Johnson, who was studying the classics at the time, invited the actor-turned-politician who was then Greece’s culture minister to address the union in June that year, saying there was ‘absolutely no reason why’ the Parthenon Marbles should not be returned immediately to Athens, “their rightful home”. In the years since, Johnson has changed his tune, most recently reiterated last November when he said the matter was between British Museum trustees and Greece. (The Observer)

Examining a past of German collectors Julia Stoschek, the collector who owns one of the most important private institutions specializing in media art and sits on the boards and committees of some of the most famous institutions in the world, including MoMA PS1 and the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, inherited his family fortune from his great-grandfather, German industrialist Max Brose, who was a member of the Nazi Party. Stoschek is now among a group of patrons facing scrutiny for their families’ Nazi ties, as Artnet News reported in April last year. (New York Times)

Tristram Hunt thinks it’s time to review UK law preventing restitution On BBC Radio 4Today program, the director of the Victorian and Albert Museum questioned the current usefulness of the National Heritage Act 1983, which prohibits certain national museums from disposing of objects unless they are duplicates or damaged. Hunt questioned whether the government’s position on the issue “holds water” after 40 years, adding that it was not just a matter of repatriation but also that: “museums hold a huge amount of material now some of which should be eliminated and we don’t have the freedom to do that.” (TANNING)


V&A returns Marble Head to Turkey The head of Eros, which had been kept at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London for 90 years, was finally reunited with his sarcophagus at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. (TANNING)

Chinati director resigns Jenny Moore is stepping down as director of the contemporary art museum founded by Donald Judd after nine years. Moore left after completing a master plan created in 2017 to preserve and revamp the site. Marella Consolini, the museum’s former director of operations, returns as acting director while the board searches the world for Moore’s replacement. (New York Times)

New documentary explores David Hammons The artist is the subject of a new documentary The Fusion Goes On Forever: The Art and Times of David Hammons directed by art writer Judd Tully and filmmaker Harold Crooks. The artist, however, makes no appearance in the feature film, as the makers instead interviewed numerous other art world figures and collected archival footage of Hammons to create something a hollow portrait of the artist’s life and work. The film premiered at Sheffield Doc Fest and does not yet have a theatrical release date. (ART news)


Just Stop Oil Activists Start Again Just Stop Oil activists simply won’t stop as they continue to stick to important works in museums in a series of protests calling on museums to end their collaborations with new oil and gas projects. Their latest stunt took place at the Manchester Art Gallery, where they glued themselves to the frame of a Turner painting on Friday and were later arrested. Two demonstrators aged 21 and 24 were released this morning from police custody. It was the third in a week following similar protests at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow and the Courtauld Gallery in London. The group’s supporters also stormed the track of British Grand Prix yesterday. (Guardian)

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