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Activists in Berlin attack controversial Holocaust memorial

Plus: Foundation for Contemporary Arts announces inaugural Helen Frankenthaler Award for Painting | and cemetery of high-status Romans discovered in Somerset

7 January 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Activists in Berlin attack controversial Holocaust memorial | Twenty members of the Action Artists Committee (AKK) attacked a controversial temporary Holocaust memorial in Berlin on 5 January. Their attempt to remove the statue using a sledgehammer and an angle grinder was interrupted and prevented by the police. The work in question was installed outside the Reichstag parliament building in December by a collective known as the Center for Political Beauty. It consists of an 8-foot column filled with soil taken from the sites of concentration camps, most samples of which had been found to contain the human remains of Holocaust victims.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts awards inaugural Helen Frankenthaler Award for Painting | The Foundation for Contemporary Arts has announced New York artist Kerstin Brätsch as the winner of its inaugural Helen Frankenthaler Award for Painting. The annual $40,000 prize goes to an artist who has demonstrated an experimental approach to the medium. It is given via the FCA’s existing Grants to Artists programme and is underwritten by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation. 

Cemetery of high-status Romans discovered in Somerset | A Romano-British cemetery containing over 50 graves has been discovered in Somerton, Somerset, and several unusual features have led archaeologists to suggest it may have been a resting place for particularly high-status individuals. Most of the graves have been carefully built with a stone lining and sealed with roofing slabs. Several contain jewellery as well as evidence of provisions for the afterlife such as knives, money, clothing and food. The flat placing of the bodies also suggests that locals had adopted a Roman style of burial.