The news and comment we’ve spotted online this week.
York Art Gallery introduces visitor charges
When the York Art Gallery reopens after a major refurbishment on 1 August, it will charge visitors a £7.50 entrance fee. The city’s residents will be able to visit for free on just three days a year. The York Museums Trust, which runs the Castle Museum, the Yorkshire Museum and York St Mary’s, as well as the art gallery, is introducing a membership scheme which will allow entry to its attractions for £22 a year. The trust’s funding from the local council has fallen from £1.5m in 2012 to £600,00 this year.
Ai Weiwei gets his passport back
Four years after he was banned from travelling outside China, Ai Weiwei has been given his passport back. The artist announced the news by posting an Instagram photo of himself holding his recovered passport. As well as being good news for the artist, his newly regained ability to travel is good news for the Royal Academy of Arts, which is holding a major retrospective of the artist’s work this autumn.
Baselitz and Richter exercise their political clout
Georg Baselitz and Gerhard Richter have changed the mind of Germany’s culture minister Monika Grütters. A proposed new law, which is to be discussed by the German cabinet next month, was to require export licences for works of art which are more than 50 years old and valued at more than €150,000. In protest against the changes, Baselitz announced that he would withdraw all his works that were on loan to German museums and Richter said he was thinking of doing the same. This week, Grütters told Die Welt that the law is being revised so that it will apply only to works over 70 years old and valued at over €300,000.
The Hermitage is opening a contemporary outpost in Moscow
The Hermitage Museum has hired the New York-based Asymptote Architecture to design the Hermitage Modern Contemporary. The planned Moscow outpost, to be built on the site of the former ZiL car plant, will display the Hermitage’s 20th-century art collections as well as contemporary work.