Art News Daily

London’s Olympic Park sculpture now £13 million in debt

Plus: David H. Koch (1940–2019) | National Portrait Gallery puts portrait of Jane Seymour on display | and recommended reading

23 August 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world 

ArcelorMittal Orbit now £13 million in debt, according to new figures | The number of visitors to the ArcelorMittal Orbit in London has dropped dramatically, according to a new report released by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC), which also shows that the structure is £13m in debt. The 114.5 metre-high structure, which was designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond in the run-up to the 2012 Summer Olympics and repurposed by Carsten Höller with wraparound slides in 2016, was realised with a £9.2m loan from steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, a loan that has grown with interest to £13m. The project was praised by Boris Johnson during his tenure as mayor of London, who said in 2010 that he was ‘certain that this is the right thing for the Stratford site, in games time and beyond’.

David H. Koch (1940–2019) | David Hamilton Koch, the US businessman, philanthropist and Republican donor, has died at the age of 79. Alongside his brother Charles, Koch was a major figure in the right-wing libertarian movement, an advocate for small government, lower taxes and a free market. Koch was also a major supporter of the arts, including institutions such as the New York City Ballet and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

National Portrait Gallery puts portrait of Jane Seymour on display | A portrait of Henry VIIIs third wife Jane Seymour, dating from around 1540, went on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London yesterday. Acquired in 2016,  painting, which is attributed to the Workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger, has been through a lengthy conservation process to remove overpainting and varnish. Curator Charlotte Bolland, noting that this is the first painted representation of Seymour to be displayed by the gallery, said ‘it really is filling quite a gap’.

Recommended reading | The Scotsman looks at the rebuilding of Glasgow School of Arts Mackintosh Building amid reports of institutional turmoil. Forbes visits Chinas so-called ghost museums, where an overabundance of new structures have resulted in a dearth of exhibits and lowvisitor numbers. The Guardian considers the experience of viewing art from behind the camera of a smartphone.