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Art Outlook

16 July 2015

The news and comment we’ve spotted online this week

Cuban government returns Tania Bruguera’s passport

The government returned the passport on 10 July having confiscated it last December when Bruguera attempted a performance on Havana’s Plaza de la Revolución. The performance artist has said that she will not leave Cuba until the government guarantees her right to return. She is still set to be the first artist to take part in a new residency programme in New York City later this month.

Gerhard Richter threatens to pull loaned artworks from German museums

In an interview with Dresdner Morgenpost on Monday, the artist stated that if a proposed amendment tightening national restrictions on the export of cultural property were passed, he would take all his pictures ‘out of the museums, quickly put them on the market and sell them off.’ Richter’s criticism of the proposal follows fellow German artist Georg Baselitz’s decision earlier this week to remove all his loaned artwork from German museums. Richter says that he will only take such action if the law changes.

Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid to file for bankruptcy

The Factory, founded in 1721 by King Philip V, is due to file for bankruptcy after it failed to resolve its immense debts. Their losses stood at nearly €6m in 2013, and they have been unable to pay their 52 employees for the past four months. Monica Oriole, the president of the foundation that runs the factory, resigned at a board meeting on 13 July when it was decided that the company would begin applying for bankruptcy.

Plans for Louvre store go ahead despite protests

From 2018, 250,000 works from the Louvre collection will be taken to a new store in Liéven. The move, which is expected to take five years to complete, has provoked an outcry of criticism, with 42 of the 45 Louvre curators signing an urgent letter to the museum’s president asking him to reconsider the project last October. Despite 13 former heads of departments and curators appealing directly to President Hollande earlier this year, the project looks set to keep moving forward.

Smithsonian confirms it will continue to show Cosby collection

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art will continue to display around 60 works from Bill Cosby’s collection in the exhibition ‘Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue.’ The museum, which has been criticised for the decision, released a statement on 7 July explaining that while they in no way condone the behaviour of Cosby, who is being investigated for sexual assault, the exhibition is primarily about the importance of the artwork, not the collectors. This statement will be displayed on a sign outside the show.

Taiwan donates $1 million to new Eisenhower memorial in Washington

The government of Taiwan will contribute $1 million to the $142 million memorial designed by Frank Gehry to honour Eisenhower. The memorial has made slow progress so far due to criticism of the design and a lack of funding.

Shepard Fairey turns himself in to Detroit police

The street artist who created Obama’s ‘Hope’ poster in 2008 turned himself in to Detroit police on Tuesday after they issued a warrant for his arrest in June for malicious destruction of property.

Douglas Gordon attacks theatre with axe following bad reviews

After receiving lukewarm reviews for his play at the Manchester International Festival ‘Neck of the Woods,’ director and Turner Prize-winning artist Gordon took an axe to the wall of the Home theatre, part of the new £25 million arts venue which opened in May. The theatre confirmed that the artist, who drew a wolf claw around the damage and signed it, will pay for the repairs.