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Art Outlook

13 August 2015

Honolulu Art Museum sues collector for $880,000

Joel Alexander Greene has so far failed to provide the required provenance documentation for five items of South-East Asian art on loan to the museum. The Hawaiian institution has been paying him an annuity of $80,000 since 2004 in exchange for the works, which he has promised along with 37 others as gifts after his death. If their origins turn out to be illegitimate, it’s likely that the museum will have to restitute them.

Mega-collector threatens to move collection out of Germany

Hasso Plattner joins a growing list of artists, gallerists and other notable figures who have challenged the German government over a proposed amendment to the country’s cultural heritage protection legislation (see Art Outlook: 23 July). His collection is currently promised to the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, which Plattner has financed, but he claims he’ll send it to Palo Alto in the US instead if the law passes.

UK Government extends export bar on valuable ‘Sekhemka’ statue

The sale of an ancient Egyptian sculpture by Northampton Borough Council caused uproar last year, and had serious consequences for the museums in its charge, which were stripped of their Arts Council accreditation. The ‘Sekhemka’ was bought at Christie’s on 10 July 2014 by an overseas collector for just under £16m, but the government placed an export bar on the work in an effort to find an alternative UK-based buyer. So far, nobody has come forward, so they’ve extended the deadline from 29 July to 28 August.

New evidence could uncover Nefertiti’s tomb

The Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves has suggested that Queen Nefertiti could be buried in a chamber adjoining that of Tutankhamun. He was studying high resolution photographs produced by Factum Arte (whose work to produce a facsimile of the tomb won the company Apollo’s Digital Innovation of the Year Award 2014) when he noticed a series of fissures that suggested the presence of as-yet unexplored passageways leading from the burial chamber.

Cloud Gate, or oil bubble? Kapoor takes on China

Anish Kapoor has promised to take legal action against a town in China for commissioning a sculpture that he thinks is ‘identical’ to his famous Cloud Gate in Chicago. Officials in Karamay, the town in question, disagree: according to a spokesman from the local tourism bureau, their polished, globular, reflective steel sculpture looks like an oil bubble (in homage to the town’s core industry) whereas Chicago’s looks like a bean…

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