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Art Outlook

6 August 2015

The news and comment we’ve spotted online this week.

Italy finds €80million for cultural projects

Earlier this week the Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini announced €80 million to be invested in specific projects. €18million will go towards rebuilding the arena of the Colosseum in Rome and restoring its floor; The Uffizi will receive €18million for the completion of is ‘Grandi Uffizi’ project, which is to increase the museum’s exhibition spaces. Although all of the projects which will receive funding in this scheme are in central and northern Italy, a separate package is planned for the south.

All-out strike at the National Gallery

After the National Gallery in London announced that it has granted the five-year contract for its visitor and front of house services to Securitas, the museum’s workers in these areas voted to go on a continuous strike which is due to begin on 11 August – the week before Gabriele Finaldi takes up his new post as director. The PCS Union is sceptical about how the National Gallery can save money and Securitas make a profit without their members losing out. A statement from the National Gallery says it will begin to pay everyone the London Living Wage and that all affected staff will be able to transfer to Securitas and keep their current working conditions. More on this story.

Gulf Labor takes action in Venice

Gulf Labor has published a new report edited by Andrew Ross about working conditions on Saadiyat Island on Abu Dhabi. The coalition of artists campaigns to improve the situation of construction workers working on cultural sites in the Gulf States. To mark the launch of the report at the Venice Biennale, Gulf Labor held the first of four panel discussions in the Central Pavilion. In other actions this week members of the group occupied the second floor of Israeli Pavilion and read out a statement about Palestine, calling for artistic institutions to support the BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) campaign against Israel.

Bonhams appoints a Global CEO

Bonhams has announced the appointment of Matthew Girling as its Global CEO to oversee the whole business. Girling was formerly joint CEO of the auction house, responsible for Europe and Asia, as well as the Group Jewellery Director. In more restructuring at the top, Bonhams will appoint a managing director for New York, as Patrick Meade moves from his role of CEO of Bonhams in the US to Group Vice Chairman in charge of Fine Arts across the whole business.

Lead image: used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 2.5; original image cropped)

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