Our daily round-up of news from the art world
Ai Weiwei Discusses UK Visa Problems | At a press conference to promote his forthcoming retrospective at London’s Royal Academy, Ai Weiwei has discussed the problems he faced obtaining a UK work permit. Ai was initially refused a visa on the grounds that he had failed to declare a ‘criminal conviction’ from 2011 on his original application, despite the fact that he was never charged. According to the artist, he ‘could not convince’ the British ambassador to China to revoke her decision. The refusal has now been overturned and Ai has since received an apology from the Home Secretary, Theresa May.
Dealer to be Questioned by French Judge over Allegedly ‘Stolen’ Picassos | The Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier was today questioned over the sale of 60 works by Picasso that the artist’s family claim were ‘stolen’, reports the Art Newspaper. Catherine Hutin-Blay, the artist’s stepdaughter, has claimed that the works were stolen from a warehouse and sold to Russian collector Dmitry Rybolovlev, who is himself conducting an ongoing legal case against the dealer for taking ‘undue commissions’ on a separate sale.
Banksy Artwork to Return to Folkestone After Legal Challenge | Art Buff, a mural by Banksy that was ripped from a wall of an arcade in the UK town of Folkestone last September, is set to be returned to its original site. The piece was shipped to America, but after a legal challenge it has been determined that the family who originally planned to sell it was not ‘entitled’ to order its removal and sale.
Madrid-Based Fundación Mapfre to Open Barcelona Space | On 10 October, Madrid’s Fundación Mapfre will open a new exhibition space in Barcelona, reports El País. The new space will open with an exhibition entitled ‘The Triumph of Colour, From Van Gogh to Matisse: Collections from the Musée D’Orsay’.
Fresh Claims Dampen ‘Nazi Gold Train’ Rumours | A man in the Polish city of Walbrzych, where treasure hunters are searching for a rumoured ‘gold train’ buried at the end of World War II, has announced that he has discovered a giant underground shelter at the supposed site. Krzysztof Szpakowski told Polish TV that he had ‘no doubt’ as to his find, adding that whatever it contained, it was ‘not a gold train’.
Frye Art Museum Director to Step Down | Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, the director of Seattle’s Frye Art Museum, has announced that she is to step down in October 2016. Described as ‘one of the best curators in the world’ by the museum’s board president, Birnie Danzker has commented that she believes it ‘important to know when to move on to the next challenge’.