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Archaeologists unearth cache of jewels at Pompeii

Plus: Sadiq Khan backs calls for slavery museum in London | Artists request removal of work from Aichi Triennale | and UK government places export bar on £28m Monet

13 August 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Archaeologists unearth cache of jewels at Pompeii | Archaeologists in Pompeii have announced the excavation of a ‘sorcerer’s treasure trove’ of jewels and other artefacts, including mirrors, scarabs, and glass beads, along with the remains of the box that once held them. The objects likely belonged to the female servants or slaves living in the House of the Garden, where they were excavated, and are thought to have been used for ritual purposes – as amulets to ward off bad luck – as well as for personal ornamentation. There are ongoing attempts to find a DNA match between the artefacts and any of the 10 bodies also found at the site.

Sadiq Khan backs calls for slavery museum in London | London mayor Sadiq Khan has voiced his support for proposals for a museum in London dedicated to the history of Britain’s role in the slave trade. ‘It’s right and fair that all Londoners see themselves and their history reflected in our city’s museums and cultural institutions,’ Khan said of the idea, which was put forward in the Fabian Society’s recently published ‘Capital Gains’ report. 

Artists request removal of work from Aichi Triennale | A group of artists called yesterday for their works to be removed from display at the Aichi Triennale, which opened on 1 August, in protest against the closure of an exhibition within the triennial exploring the censorship of art. The exhibition was closed three days into its run, with organisers citing security risks after receiving terrorist threats. The apparent target was a sculpture by a Korean artist referring to the history of military sexual slavery in Japan. The artists, who include Tania Bruguera, Pia Camil and Park Chan-kyong, describe the closure as ‘an unacceptable act of censorship’ and ‘demand that the organizers temporarily suspend the exhibition of our artworks’ until the exhibition reopens. 

UK government places export bar on £28m Monet | Arts minister Rebecca Plow has placed a temporary export bar on a Venetian painting by Claude Monet. Le Palais Ducal (1908), valued at just under £28m, was sold at auction at Sotheby’s earlier this year. By deferring any decision made on the painting’s export license application until 8 November, possibly 8 May 2020, the minister is giving UK buyers more time to acquire the work, which has been in the country since the 1950s.

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