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Art History exams dropped in curriculum shake up

Plus: National Gallery secures ‘unprecedented’ grant from UK government to acquire Pontormo painting | Reiss-Engelhorn Museen wins copyright lawsuit over unauthorised uploads | and Hala Wardé wins competition to design Beirut art museum

13 October 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Art History A-Level dropped in England | Exam board AQA is to stop offering Art History as an A-Level subject from 2018, reports the Guardian. The move has been interpreted as part of the ‘shake up’ to the schools curriculum initiated by the former education secretary Michael Gove, in which perceived ‘soft’ subjects have been culled. AQA, the last exam board in England still offering Art History as a subject, has confirmed that students sitting it AS-Levels next year and A-Levels in 2018 will be the last to do so.

National Gallery secures ‘unprecedented’ grant from UK government to acquire Pontormo painting | London’s National Gallery has come to an agreement with the UK government, in which the latter will grant £19 million to the museum to cover the tax costs on its proposed acquisition of Jacopo Pontormo’s Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap (1530). According to The Art Newspaper, the ‘unprecedented’ grant means that the National Gallery now ‘looks set to buy [the portrait] for just over £30 million’. However, the gallery still needs to find a further £11 million to complete the purchase before the export bar expires on 22 October.

Reiss-Engelhorn Museen wins copyright lawsuit over unauthorised uploads | A court in Stuttgart has ruled that Mannheim’s Reiss-Engelhorn Museen has the right to decide who publishes pictures of its collection online after the museum sued a visitor for uploading photographs to Wikipedia, reports Monopol (German language article, via Artforum). ‘It is for us to decide which images are approved for publication, and which can be used for commercial use, such as merchandising’, said general director Alfried Wieczorek.

Hala Wardé wins competition to design Beirut art museum | Paris-based architect Hala Wardé has been chosen to design BeMA, a new art museum in Beirut, Lebanon. Located on a ‘symbolically charged’ site that was a battleground in the country’s decades-long civil war, the building will house some 1,000 works dating from 1900 to the present day, selected from the government collection. The jurors have described Wardé’s design as a ‘totemic tower’ that will ‘act as a beacon, evocative of the historical structures of treasury, lighthouse, outlook tower, belvedere and campanile’.

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