Our daily round-up of news from the art world
Arup to convert part of Sheffield’s Park Hill estate into arts centre | Arup has been appointed to transform parts of Sheffield’s landmark Park Hill housing estate into a new arts space. According to the Yorkshire Post, Arup will convert the Duke Street block of the 1950s complex into a venue for ‘arts, culture and heritage’. The initiative ‘will help put Sheffield on the map as a top arts and culture destination, both nationally and internationally’, said Arup project director Greg Hardie. Built between 1957 and 1961, Park Hill fell into disrepair in the 1980s. It is now regarded as one of the most significant examples of post-war Brutalist architecture, and was Grade II* listed in 1998.
King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in Saudi Arabia moves closer to opening | After significant delays, a major museum project in the city of Dhahran in Saudi Arabia is ‘finally getting off the ground’, reports the Art Newspaper. Funded by the country’s Aramco oil conglomerate, the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture was officially inaugurated by King Salman last month, with a full opening pencilled in for summer 2018. Construction on the Snøhetta designed structure began in 2008, with an opening date originally slated for 2017.
Hartwig Fischer makes first visit to Iran | ArtNet reports that British Museum director Hartwig Fischer has visited Iran in the hope of maintaining cultural ties at a moment of strained UK-Iranian relations. The visit, Fischer’s first to the country since taking the museum’s directorship, involved a visit to the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and a meeting with its director, Ali-Mohammad Zare. A spokesperson for the British Museum said that Fischer and curator Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis had made the visit to ‘maintain cultural relations with Iranian colleagues’.
Manhattan Children’s Museum completes purchase of new venue | Associated Press reports that the Children’s Museum of Manhattan has completed the purchase of a new home: a deconsecrated church located across Central Park on 96th Street. At 70,000 sq ft, the new venue is approximately twice the size of the museum’s current building, its home since 1989. The new building is scheduled to open in 2021.
Recommended reading | Nan Goldin has written a piece for Artforum, in which she describes how she became addicted to the powerful opioid Oxycontin after routine surgery several years ago. Now clean, she urges the Sackler family, whose company manufactures the drug, to ‘use their fortune to fund addiction treatment and education’. In the Art Newspaper, Anna Somers-Cocks reports on how the Egyptian authorities are stifling creativity in Cairo and elsewhere, despite investing heavily in museum projects to restore the country’s ailing tourism sector. And in the New York Times, Holland Cotter and Roberta Smith criticise the Metropolitan Museum for ending its pay-as-you-wish admissions policy to all but New York state residents. ‘I worry that the Met’s plan is classist, and nativist’, Smith says. ‘It divides people into categories — rich and poor, native and foreign — which is exactly what this country does not need right now.’