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£1 Billion Shipwreck Discovered off Colombian Coast

7 December 2015

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

‘Holy Grail’ of Shipwrecks Discovered off Colombian Coast | The Colombian government has announced that it has located the wreck of an 18th-century Spanish galleon thought to contain around £1 billion in treasure. The San Jose was reportedly carrying a cargo of bullion when it was sunk by British (or would that be ‘English’?) vessels off Cartagena in 1708. The Colombian government, which following a court case with US based salvage company SSA has legal ownership of the wreck, plans to build a museum to house its treasures.

Assemble Win Turner Prize | Many congratulations to architectural collective Assemble, who have been awarded the 2015 Turner Prize for their Granby Four Streets redevelopment project in Liverpool’s Toxteth area. Though they were runaway favourites to win this year’s award, the London based collective’s nomination raised eyebrows when it was announced. Apollo’s reviewer was not the only one to question whether the very worthy project should have been eligible for a contemporary art prize.

Woman Stabbed at Art Basel Miami Beach | A woman has been charged with attempted murder after stabbing a spectator at an art event on Miami Beach last Friday. New York resident Siyuan Zhao reportedly knifed a visitor at the Art Basel event repeatedly before being taken into custody. Zhao’s victim has since been hospitalised with non-life-threatening injuries. According to various reports, onlookers believed they were watching a piece of performance art. It is not known at this point whether Zhao intended to capitalise on the confusion.

Unions Oppose Plan to Turn Art School into Woody Allen Museum | Trade Unionists in Barcelona have objected to plans to turn the city’s Escola d’arts I Oficis art school – the alma mater of no less a figure than Picasso – into a museum dedicated to film director Woody Allen. The building has stood empty since 2009, but prior to this had operated as an educational establishment since 1775. Union members have since been petitioning to restore it to its original function, protesting that the plans to devote it to the veteran film director would benefit tourists rather than residents.

Waldemar Januszczak Offers Advice to Next Tate Britain Director | Art critic Waldemar Januszczak had a few words of guidance for incoming Tate Britain Director Alex Farquharson in yesterday’s Sunday Times. Januszczak, a longstanding critic of Farquharson’s predecessor Penelope Curtis, offered a scathing verdict on the ‘thematic’ curatorial approach the Tate has offered in recent years, and described it as ‘the nation’s most important museum’. According to Januszczak, the ‘secret to great exhibition-making’ is as follows: ‘Round up lots of great art. Put it in the right order. That’s it’.

Plans Unveiled for City of London’s Tallest Tower Yet | Following Friday’s news of Arup Associates’ plans for a new skyscraper on the site of the Broadgate, architect Eric Parry has unveiled his competition winning design for the City of London’s tallest tower yet. Though the 73 storey tower is set to rise as high as the Shard, Britain’s highest building, Parry told the Guardian that he ‘wanted to do something that wasn’t flamboyant’. Which is one way of putting it, certainly.

Damien Hirst’s Mayfair Christmas Tree Criticised as ‘Innappropriate’ | Though he may refute the accusation, Damien Hirst is nothing if not a provocative artist. It’s perhaps unsurprising, then, that the 30ft Christmas tree he has installed outside London’s Connaught Hotel has raised the ire of local residents. Hirst describes the tree, which is decorated with needles, scissors and medicine bottles, as ‘a celebration of togetherness’. According to the Daily Mail, however, critics have variously condemned it as ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unacceptable’. Who said the silly season ended in September?