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Anish Kapoor: Versailles vandalism was ‘inside job’

Plus: Neue Gallery reacquires Karl Schmidt-Rottluff’s Nude | Antiquities museum opens in Basra | Vladimir Potanin makes major donation of Russian contemporary art to Pompidou Centre | and Daniel Crouch Rare Books to launch New York gallery

28 September 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Anish Kapoor claims Versailles vandalism was an ‘inside job’ | Anish Kapoor’s sculpture Dirty Corner made headlines after it was repeatedly defaced when on display at the Château de Versailles outside Paris last year. Now, the artist has told the South China Morning Post that he believes the vandalism was an ‘inside job’. Describing the French officials’ response to the vandalism as ‘pathetic’, Kapoor suggested that certain staff at the palace may have been compliant. ‘I’d made three reports to the police [about vandalism] and to this day have had no response from them […] The councillor managed to get a court hearing within hours. I’ll say it again – it was an inside job.’

Neue Gallery reacquires Karl Schmidt-Rottluff’s Nude | The Neue Gallery has reached a restitution settlement over a 1914 nude by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, reports the New York Times. The painting, which was once owned by German-Jewish collectors Alfred and Tekla Hess, was appropriated when the couple were forced to flee Nazi oppression in 1939. The Neue Gallery returned the painting to the heirs of the Hess family, before buying it back for an undisclosed sum.

Antiquities museum opens in Basra | After eight years of planning, southern Iraq’s Basrah Museum has finally been able to stage a partial opening, reports Associated Press. (via the Washington Post.) Situated in a palace that once belonged to toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, the museum currently boasts a collection of more than 600 artefacts, some of which date back as far as Sumerian times. For an in-depth overview of the museum’s troubled genesis, see The Art Newspaper’s coverage.

Vladimir Potanin makes major donation of Russian contemporary art to Pompidou Centre | The Vladimir Potanin Foundation has made a major donation to Paris’s Musée National d’Art Moderne, taking in some 250 works of Russian and Soviet contemporary art. Covering 40 years of art in the USSR and Russia, the donation is intended to shed light on a much misunderstood area of creativity in the former Eastern Bloc. ‘Contributing to the Centre Pompidou Collection is a symbolic gesture encouraging the integration of contemporary Russian Art into the world culture’, said Potanin. ‘Culture is the best way to tell people about Russia, especially so, as we really have a lot to show.’

Daniel Crouch Rare Books to launch New York gallery | London dealer Daniel Crouch Rare Books is to launch a gallery in New York, permitting expansion into the US market. The gallery, which will open next January, will be run by Noah Goldrach, a specialist already based in the US. ‘With premises in both London and New York we are better able to find wonderful items for collectors on both sides of the Atlantic’, said Daniel Crouch in a statement.

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