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Ai Weiwei to Pen Autobiography

15 October 2015

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Ai Weiwei to Write Memoir | If you thought Ai Weiwei’s social media accounts offered the last word on his life and work, think again. In a statement, the artist revealed that he has signed a deal to write a memoir with Crown Publishing, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House. According to the artist, the book, which is to be published in the spring of 2017, will recount his struggle for freedom of expression in the face of ‘totalitarian’ repression from the Chinese authorities.

Exhibition Censored and Closed in St Petersburg | An exhibition at St Petersburg’s Nabokov Museum has been censored and closed to the public, reports the Moscow Times. The show, by artists Dominique Goblet and Kai Pfeiffer, has attracted controversy for its supposedly graphic sexual content, but it seems the authorities are not behind its closure. The museum, which has in the past been subject to considerable vandalism at the hands of Orthodox extremists, appears to have called an early end to the exhibition out of fear of further attacks.

Graham Ovenden Works to be Destroyed | A judge in London has ordered that works seized from the studio of artist and convicted paedophile Graham Ovenden are to be destroyed, reports the Daily Telegraph. Aware that she was ‘risking the wrath of the art world’, District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe made the decision to destroy a selection of Ovenden’s drawings and photographs as well as works by other artists in his collection on account of their ‘graphic’ nature. For his part, Ovenden has protested there is a ‘conspiracy’ to destroy the material.

Greece to Raise Museum Entry Prices | The Greek Government has hinted that entry charges at some of the country’s most prominent museums and heritage sites may be about to rise by as much as 430%, reports The Times. The price rise, which will come into force at numerous archaeological sites and some 200 state museums, is intended to bring charges up to par with the rest of Europe. At a time when corners must be cut in a financially troubled country, it seems culture is not a priority.

Works of Art to be Tagged with DNA | In a bid to combat forgers, a group of artists, archives and museums are advocating that works of art be tagged with synthetic DNA samples, reports The Art Newspaper. Individuals and associations that have put their name to the initiative include Eric Fischl, Berlin’s Brüke Museum and Philip Halsam Archives.

Beirut’s Sursock Museum Reopens | Good news from Lebanon: following a seven-year revamp costing $15 million, the Sursock Museum has finally reopened its doors, reports the Guardian. The museum, which was once the home of art patron Nicolas Sursock, has been one of Lebanon’s most prestigious modern art institutions since it opened in 1961.