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Anthony d’Offay accused of sexual harassment

15 January 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Anthony d’Offay accused of sexual harassment | Anthony d’Offay, art dealer and creator of the Artist Rooms programme in the UK, has been accused of sexual harassment by three women. The Observer reports the claims made by women who worked with d’Offay between the years of 1997 and 2004. One says that her allegations are in breach of confidentiality clauses in a settlement agreement reached with her former employer. Police are also said to be investigating a complaint made by a young woman against d’Offay for sending malicious communications. D’Offay denies all the above claims. The Tate and National Galleries Scotland, who co-manage the Artist Rooms collection donated by d’Offay in 2008, have since announced that they have suspended all contact with him ‘until these matters have been clarified’.

Historic Environment Scotland issues climate-change risk warning for numerous sites | An study of historic sites in Scotland has found many of these sites to be at significant risk from climate change and in need of urgent protection, the Guardian reports. Historic Environment Scotland, which oversees more than 300 of the country’s significant parks, abbeys, castles, and other sites, issued red (‘most at risk’) warnings for 28 of these locations  (nearly a fifth of all sites) and amber (‘at risk’) warnings for a further 70 per cent, among which is included Holyrood Park in Edinburgh and Edinburgh Castle. The agency combined data from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency and the British Geological Survey with its own site surveys to complete its assessment.

New York releases report on future of city’s monuments | A report on the public art and monuments of New York City, commissioned by the city’s mayor Bill de Blasio in autumn 2017, was released on Friday. The commission, co-chaired by president of the Ford Foundation Darren Walker and Tom Finkenpearl, New York’s cultural affairs department commissioner, does not call for any of the city’s controversial monuments to removed from view, although it does highlight four items for suggested relocation or recontextualisation (through the addition of historical information to accompany the monument). Among the commission’s critics Holland Cotter at the New York Times, who described its approach as overly measured.

Open letter questions works on loan to Ghent’s Museum of Fine Arts | The Art Newspaper has published an open letter, signed by a group of 11 scholars and art dealers, criticising the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent’s decision to exhibit 26 works, on loan from a private collection in Brussels, which the letter describes as of ‘highly questionable’ origin. According to the letter, the objects in question, on view since October 2017 and attributed to Russian avant-garde artists including Kazimir Malevich, Wassily Kandinsky, and El Lissitsky, among others, ‘have no exhibition history, have never before been reproduced in serious scholarly publications and have no traceable sales records.’

Isabella Stewart Gardner museum extends $10m reward for stolen art | The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston announced last week that it has extended its offer of a $10 million reward for information leading to the return of the 13 artworks famously stolen in 1990. The reward was doubled from $5 million in May 2017, and had originally been planned to revert to $5 million at the end of the year. In a statement, the museum’s president said that the extended offer demonstrates the Gardner’s commitment to recovering the missing works.