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The week in art news – Mariupol art school bombed with civilians sheltering inside

Plus: Bonhams acquires Danish auction house Bruun Rasmussen | Budi Tek (1957–2022) | Planning permission granted for Madison Square Garden Sphere in east London

25 March 2022

Earlier this week, local authorities reported that Russian forces had bombed an art school in the besieged city of Mariupol, in which around 400 civilians were sheltering. While the exact number of casualties at the G12 Art School building has not yet been confirmed, the announcement made by Mariupol City Council via the instant messaging service Telegram highlighted that many of those seeking refuge in the school were women, children and the elderly. The news was followed by further reports of bombardment on Monday morning, and a museum dedicated to the Mariupol-born 19th-century artist Arkhip Kuindzhi was destroyed by Russian shelling.

Bonhams have announced their third major acquisition in recent weeks, with the purchase of the Danish auction house, Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers. Having operated from Bredgade 33 in Copenhagen since 1948, the family-owned auction house will move into the Bonhams network, joining Bukowskis and Skinner which were acquired by the group last week.

The Chinese-Indonesian art patron and collector, Budiardjo ‘Budi’ Tek, has died at the age of 65, of complications caused by pancreatic cancer. Since he began buying art in 2004, Tek has amassed some 1,500 works, with a focus on Chinese art of the 1980s and ’90s though also including works by artists such as Anselm Kiefer and Maurizio Cattelan. In 2014, Tek founded the Yuz Museum in Shanghai, which has since staged major exhibitions of work by Yang Fudong, Alberto Giacometti and Andy Warhol; with the Yuz Foundation, Tek has partnered on numerous projects with Los Angeles County Museum of Art since 2018, and at his death efforts to establish a long-term continuous partnership between the two institutions were ongoing.

The controversial Madison Square Garden Sphere has been approved by the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC). Though further authorisation by the Mayor of London is required, the venue is forecast to have a capacity of 21,500 spectators and to house the largest and highest-resolution LED screen in the world; it is to be located between Stratford station and the Olympic Park in East London. The news comes after strong opposition from local residents and MPs, who fear high levels of light and noise pollution.

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