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Archaeologists discover ancient ceremonial site at Lake Titicaca

Plus: Mark Weiss reaches $4.2m settlement with Sotheby’s over disputed Frans Hals; and Art Institute of Chicago postpones exhibition of Mimbres pottery

2 April 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Archaeologists publish findings on ancient ceremonial site at Lake Titicaca | Marine archaeologists have published findings on the archaeological materials discovered at an ancient ceremonial site at Lake Titicaca in the Andes. The nature of the site was determined by relics remaining in the Khoa reef, including animal bones and other ritualistic artefacts such as precious stone figurines, incense burners and gold objects. The area was governed by the Tiwanaku state from the 5th to the 12th century AD, and the discovery suggests that organised religion emerged far earlier in the region than was previously thought, pre-dating the Incas. 

Dealer Mark Weiss settles with Sotheby’s for $4.2m | The London dealer Mark Weiss has reached an amicable $4.2m settlement with Sotheby’s, made ‘without any admission of liability’. This is the latest development in an ongoing dispute over the sale in 2011 of a painting attributed to Frans Hals, for $11.2m; the sale was brokered by Sotheby’s on behalf of Weiss and co-consignor Fairlight Art Ventures, who had in turn bought it from Giulianio Ruffini. After the painting was found to be a forgery, Sotheby’s refunded the buyer and took legal action to recoup this money. Fairlight continues to contest the case, which is still going to trial in London.

Art Institute of Chicago postpones exhibition of Mimbres pottery | The Art Institute of Chicago has announced the indefinite postponement of a forthcoming exhibition, ‘Worlds Within: Mimbres Pottery of the Ancient Southwest’, which was set to open in May. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the decision resulted from feedback from indigenous communities in the US ‘that we needed to change the way we were presenting the materials’, which include pottery found in burial sites of the prehistoric Mimbres people.

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