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The week in art news – hundreds of ancient coins stolen from German museum

Plus: Nottingham Castle Trust goes into liquidation | National Gallery of Canada lays off four senior staff members | Kathleen Soriano named new chair of Art UK board

25 November 2022

Hundreds of 2,000-year-old coins have been stolen from the Celtic and Roman Museum in Manching, Germany, in a heist that took less than nine minutes. The 483 Celtic coins, which were discovered in 1999, date back to the third century BC and are thought to be worth ‘several million euros’, according to local police. The mayor of Manching, Herbert Nerb, told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the thieves cut off the telephone and internet connection for the whole of Manching in order to carry out the heist; ‘all connections to the police were severed’, he said. The Celtic and Roman Museum’s website states that it will remain closed until 29 November.

Nottingham Castle Trust has gone into liquidation, forcing the closure of Nottingham Castle less than 18 months after it reopened to the public after a £33m renovation. The trust’s three-year restoration project aimed to turn the historic site into a ‘world-class heritage destination’, bringing in 300,000 visitors a year. In a statement, Nottingham Castle Trust noted that while visitor numbers were improving, they had remained ‘significantly below’ its projections. The trust will hand the site back to the council, which – according to Pavlos Kotsonis, Nottingham city council’s portfolio holder for leisure, culture and planning – will ensure the castle shall reopen ‘as soon as possible’.

The National Gallery of Canada has laid off four of its senior staff members: chief curator Kitty Scott, Indigenous art curator Greg Hill, director of conservation and technical research Stephen Gritt and senior manager of communications Denise Siele. In an internal memo obtained by the Globe and Mail, chief executive Angela Cassie said, ‘The work-force changes are the result of numerous factors and were made to better align the gallery’s leadership team with the organization’s new strategic plan.’ Hill, who had worked at the gallery for 22 years, protested on Instagram about ‘the colonial and anti-Indigenous ways the Department of Indigenous Ways and Decolonization is being run’. These departures come after the gallery’s last director, Sasha Suda, left in July – a year after unveiling a plan that held Indigenous knowledge at the core of the gallery’s mission. The gallery is still looking for Suda’s replacement.

The curator, writer and broadcaster Kathleen Soriano has been named the new chair of the board of trustees for the charity Art UK. Soriano, who has previously held roles at the Royal Academy of Arts and Compton Verney Art Gallery, and is chair of the Liverpool Biennial and specialist advisor to the National Trust, will work alongside new vice-chair George Entwistle, the former director-general of the BBC. Both will begin in their roles on 16 December.