Some of the stories and discussions we’ve spotted online this week
IS criminals demolish ancient city
A shocking video posted online this week shows Islamic State militants attacking the ancient Assryian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq with power tools before using explosives to raze the site to the ground.
Author, artist and cultural critic Günter Grass dies aged 87
Grass will be remembered as Germany’s greatest post-war writer, who directly addressed his country’s recent past. But he also trained as a sculptor, and once launched a vociferous defence of Picasso’s Guernica, as remembered in The Art Newspaper’s tribute.
UK refuses to talk about the Elgin marbles
Greece has accused the British Museum and UK government of ‘negativity’ after they declined an offer from UNESCO to mediate the Elgin Marbles ownership dispute. They claim that Greece’s only motive in seeking mediation is to secure their permanent transfer back to Athens – which is off their agenda.
It’s fine to photograph your neighbours for art, rules NY court
A New York court has ruled that Arne Svenson did not break the law by photographing unwitting neighbours with a telephoto lens for his art – but they’d like to see better privacy laws to stop it happening again.
Closing the Queen’s House
Royal Museums Greenwich is doing up the Queen’s House in time for its 400th birthday. The building, which was designed by Inigo Jones in 1616, will close for refurbishment in July and reopen a year later with Orazi Gentileschi’s painting of Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife back in situ for the first time since 1650.
Is the Gurlitt hoard headed for Documenta 14?
Adam Szymczyk would like to show Cornelius Gurlitt’s entire collection at Documenta 14 in 2017 – but the board of trustees at the Kunstmuseum Bern, which inherited the hoard following Gurlitt’s death last May, doesn’t share his enthusiasm.
Six Guggenheim designs for Helsinki: but does the city want any of them?
The Guggenheim has released a final shortlist of six design proposals for its planned Helsinki outpost. But they’re not the only ones looking to redesign the waterfront plot. The results of the rival ‘Next Helsinki’ competition are due to be announced next week.
Ancient basilica to be transformed into underwater museum
Turkey intends to turn a 4th century basilica that it found submerged in Lake İznik last year into a museum – in fact, preliminary work is already underway.
Crane crashes into Dallas Museum of Art
A crane truck tipped over this week in Dallas, denting the roof of the city’s art museum and narrowly missing the outdoor sculpture Ave by Mark Di Suvero. The vehicle’s operator escaped serious harm in the incident.