Some of the stories, debates and discussions we’ve spotted this week
Spotlight on Syria
It’s three years since the start of the conflict in Syria. This evening, a reworked version of Banksy’s famous Balloon Girl will be projected onto landmarks across the globe in an attempt to draw public attention back to the ongoing crisis.
Last week The New York Times reported on the destruction and looting of the country’s heritage sites – what might these cultural losses mean for the country in the longer term?
Sydney Biennale sponsorship row
Australia’s arts minister George Brandis has condemned Sydney Biennale’s ‘shameful’ decision to cut out its main sponsor, Transfield. The biennale’s funding agreement with the Australia Council expires next year, and judging by Brandis’s comments, may not be renewed.
The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) has decried Randolph College’s decision to sell major artworks from the Maier Museum of Art to raise funds. George Bellows’ Men of the Docks, one of the works in question, was acquired recently by London’s National Gallery for $25.5 million.
Vandals and Artists
The artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset have spoken out against vandalism after their installation Prada Marfa was defaced in Texas: ‘We saw it recently when a work by Ai Weiwei was smashed in Florida and now with the attack on Prada Marfa. Unlike movements such as Occupy Wall Street, these acts of vandalism have nothing to do with political activism—they are only symptoms of some disturbed minds’ personal vanity.’
St Ives in the storeroom
A number of important works by St Ives modernist artists including Borlase Smart and Alethea Garstin have been discovered in the Penwith Gallery’s storeroom during a clear-out.
Up in arms: Michelangelo’s David
The US company ArmaLite ran an advert recently depicting Michelangelo’s David posing with an enormous gun, which the Italian government quickly pointed out was illegal…