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Art Fund voices concern over possible ‘Brexit’

20 June 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Art Fund director warns about risks of leaving the EU | Stephen Deuchar has issued a statement confirming the Art Fund’s position regarding the upcoming EU referendum. ‘The Art Fund is concerned by the impact on UK museums and galleries should the UK leave the EU,’ the director said. ‘[…] At a time when the fate of the majority of museums and galleries is already quite precarious, leaving the EU could spell the further loss of what has been a crucial funding stream, especially those which are dedicated to developing regional areas.’

High-profile departures at the Met | Following the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s announcement that it was to scale back costs, it’s been announced that three senior employees are to step down. Susan Sellers, the institution’s head of design, is resigning, while senior vice president for marketing Cynthia Round, and chief digital officer Sree Sreenivasan will step down but will stay on temporarily as consultants.

Shortlist announced for John Moores Painting Prize | The organisers of the John Moores Painting Prize have named the five artists shortlisted for the 59th edition this year. The nominees are Talar Aghbashian, Gabriella Boyd, Benjamin Jamie, Selma Parlour and Michael Simpson. The winner of the £25,000 award will be announced on 7 July at Liverpool’s Walker Art Gallery, coinciding with the launch of this summer’s Liverpool Biennial.

University of Notre Dame sued for displaying allegedly stolen early American art | The University of Notre Dame is facing a lawsuit for allegedly displaying $575,000 worth of early American art that was stolen from collector Jay Leff 20 years ago. The late Mr Leff’s son Scott has filed the suit against the Indiana university, claiming the institution bought the collection from a New Mexico dealer who acquired it from his father’s ex-wife. Scott Leff believes that the latter stole the collection from his father, and reported the theft to Pittsburgh police in 1996. He is seeking the art’s return or damages of equivalent value.

London’s Museum of Immigration launches fundraising drive | East London’s Museum of Immigration and Diversity has launched a ‘now or never’ funding drive to raise £4 million, reports the London Evening Standard. Founded in 1983, the institution is the UK capital’s only museum devoted to the story of migration. It currently receives no public funding and is staffed by volunteers alone, meaning that it is seldom open to the public. It is hoped that the fundraising drive will attract contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Sadiq Khan’s mayoral administration, allowing the museum to open full time and to restore its historic building.

Christo unveils Floating Piers in Italy | Bulgarian-born artist Christo has unveiled his first major project in more than a decade on Lake Iseo, Italy. The walkway, covered in yellow nylon fabric, stretches for 3km and connects two small islands in the middle of the lake with the mainland. According to Deutsche Welle, it has attracted some 55,000 visitors since it opened to the public on Saturday.

Export bar for Cardiff Castle vase | Culture minister Ed Vaizey has placed a temporary export bar on a 19th-century vase by William Burges, which may be at risk of leaving the country unless the asking price of £225,000 can be matched by a UK buyer. The vase is part of a set designed specifically for Cardiff Castle, and is the only one left in private ownership.