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Anish Kapoor Defiant in the Face of Versailles Vandalism

7 September 2015

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

ANISH KAPOOR’S ‘DIRTY CORNER’ VANDALISED FOR SECOND TIME | A controversial Anish Kapoor sculpture in the garden of the Palace of Versailles has been defaced with racist graffiti for a second time. However, rather than remove the anti-semitic messages from the 33ft sculpture’s surface, Kapoor has vowed to ‘preserve these scars as a memory of this painful history’. ‘[These are] unmentionable degradations and hate messages’, tweeted French culture secretary Fleur Pellerin, ‘Stupidity and violence against culture’. Kapoor fans may wish to ignore the replies her message solicited: ‘The act is as putrid as that so-called work of art’, read one.

‘EXTRAORDINARY’ NEOLITHIC SITE DISCOVERED NEAR STONEHENGE | Archaeologists working near the site of Stonehenge believe they may have discovered the largest Neolithic monument in Britain. Using geophysical imaging, archaeologists claim to have detected around 100 stone monoliths buried beneath the earth at Durrington Walls, under two miles away from the more famous standing stones. At the time of writing, no stones have yet been dug up at ‘Superhenge’, as it has already been dubbed – it does, though, seem rather more plausible than the existence of the ‘Nazi Gold Train’ that constituted last week’s ‘buried treasure’ story.

JAILED IRANIAN ARTIST COULD FACE FURTHER CHARGES | Atena Farghadani, an artist who was detained last August by Iranian authorities after depicting politicians as animals in a cartoon, may face a longer sentence than the 12 years 9 months originally handed out to her. Ms Farghadani was allegedly seen shaking hands with her lawyer when he visited her in prison – a gesture that has seen both parties accused of ‘indecent conduct’. If found guilty, Ms Farghadani’s plight and that of others in similar positions will be fuel to the fire for opponents of the US-Iran nuclear agreement made in Vienna in July.

ZAHA HADID BIDS TO WIN BACK OLYMPIC STADIUM CONTRACT | Just weeks after her original design for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics stadium was dropped, Zaha Hadid is planning to submit a new proposal for the building. Hadid’s ambitious £1.3bn plan for the stadium was scrapped by the Japanese government in July due to fears of rising costs. The architect has challenged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s decision to ‘start over from zero’, insisting that her firm and its Japanese partners can ‘deliver the most cost-effective delivery plan’ and have the stadium ready ‘in good time’. Given that Tokyo has already spent £35 million on the project over the last two years, one hopes she is as good as her word.

HANS-ULRICH OBRIST AWARDED FOLKWANG PRIZE | Serpentine Gallery co-director Hans-Ulrich Obrist has been awarded the prestigious 2015 International Folkwang Prize by the Museum Folkwang in Essen. Museum director Dr Ulrich Blank praised Obrist, describing him as ‘as much a brilliant curator as a quiet and critical observer’. Obrist is a man who divides opinion – Blank’s words come less than a year after a rather less flattering portrait emerged in a New Yorker profile of the jet-setting Swiss curator.

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