Some of the stories and discussions we’ve spotted online this week
Destruction at the Mosul Museum, and defiance in Baghdad
Last week, a video was released of Islamic State militants smashing exhibits in Iraq’s Mosul Museum and destroying a statue at the nearby Nirgal Gate, the entrance to the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh. Soon afterwards, the Iraqi government responded by reopening the national museum in Baghdad – which closed 12 years ago after major looting following the US-led invasion – ahead of time.
Ancient tomb discovered in Egypt
An 18th-dynasty Egyptian tomb belonging to the guard of the Temple of Amun has been uncovered at Luxor’s Gorna necropolis site. The chambers were looted during antiquity, and its wall paintings damaged in areas (possibly during the reign of the monotheistic Pharaoh Akhenaten), but large parts of the extensive murals remain in good condition.
Theft at the Chinese Museum of the Chateau de Fontainebleau
About 15 valuable artefacts, including a crown of the King of Siam that was given to Napoleon III in 1861, and a renowned cloisonné enamel of a chimera, were stolen at the weekend from the Chinese Museum of the Chateau de Fontainebleau near Paris. Thieves smashed three display cabinets to take the works during a dawn raid.
The Pompidou’s controversial new director
The appointment of Serge Lasvignes as the new director of the Centre Pompidou has raised eyebrows this week. The top civil servant (currently government general secretary) taught high-school literature for seven years but has little demonstrable experience of contemporary art, and has never run a cultural institution.
Police uncover major Spanish forgery ring
Nine people have been arrested as part of a major police investigation into a forgery ring in Spain. The group of forgers and middlemen is believed to have been in operation for at least seven years, selling works purported to be by the likes of Picasso, Warhol and Miró, 271 of which were seized.
Controversy over the Garden Bridge
The plan to build a ‘Garden Bridge’ over the river Thames in London has come in for criticism again this week. The Guardian reports that Boris Johnson promised taxpayer money as a financial guarantee during negotiations, despite his public claims to the contrary. Last month, Gavin Stamp voiced his own concerns about the project in Apollo.
Art takes over in New York
The Armory Show has opened in New York, accompanied by a host of satellite fairs, major exhibitions and special events. Can’t decide what to visit? Here are a couple of guides to events across the city.