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Art Outlook: 20 February

20 February 2014

Some of the stories, debates and discussions we’ve spotted this week

Protecting Kiev’s cultural sites
As the violence escalates in Kiev, The Art Newspaper reports on the efforts to protect some of the museums, sites and collections caught in the crossfire.

Corcoran Gallery of Art takeover plans
The Corcoran Gallery of Art will be dissolved, and parts of its collection dismantled, if a proposed deal with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University goes ahead.

Beirut Art Center appoints a new director
Marie Muracciole will take over as BAC’s director on 15 March 2014. She most recently served as Head of the Cultural Department at Paris’ Jeu de Paume from 2006–11, and has curated several international exhibitions in the interim period.

The future of art books
Rupert Christiansen, writing in The Telegraph, blames the high price of reproduction rights for the decline in middle-market art publications, and calls on the art world to make changes. Continue the debate in our February Forum…

Scottish spoils?
David J. Black asks what will happen to British collections if Scotland votes in favour of independence. Do politicians and museum directors have their heads in the sand?

Smashing stuff
Jonathan Jones responds to the news that a visitor smashed a vase from Ai Weiwei’s installation at Perez Art Museum: ‘surely Ai Weiwei, and not Caminero, is the vandal who ruined a whole bunch of antiquities by painting them whimsical colours?’

Obama is very sorry
Barack Obama has sent a handwritten note of apology to Professor Ann Collins Johns from the University of Texas. She contacted him to defend art history after the US President’s ‘off-the-cuff’ comments in a speech last month.

President Barack Obama looks at the Edward Hopper paintings now displayed in the Oval Office, February 7, 2014. The paintings are Cobb’s Barns, South Truro, top, and Burly Cobb’s House, South Truro Photo: Chuck Kennedy