Hong Kong shuts public museums as a result of the coronavirus

Plus: Hester Diamond (1928–2020) | Minister for Indigenous Australians announces plans to protect Aboriginal artists | Devil head once attributed to Gauguin is declared fake by Getty | and Gordon Smith (1919–2020)

28 Jan 2020
MOLA archaeologists excavate the top of the cesspit.

Cesspit containing medieval artefacts discovered beneath the Courtauld Institute

Plus: Arts Council England publishes 10-year strategy | Museum of Chinese in America seriously damaged in a fire | Architecture tutor dismissed from Glasgow School of Art | and Solent Flour Mills in Southampton to be demolished 

27 Jan 2020
The Badaling section of the Great Wall of China.

China closes Forbidden City and part of Great Wall to contain coronavirus outbreak

Plus: German museums postpone two exhibitions on Iran | Oswald Oberhuber (1931–2020) | and recommended reading

24 Jan 2020

Housing secretary announces inquiry into Whitechapel Bell Foundry redevelopment

Plus: Russian culture minister replaced in cabinet reshuffle | Historic England report values heritage sector at £31bn | and Portland Art Museum receives donation of $10m

23 Jan 2020
Derek Jarman’s cottage at Dungeness, Kent.

Art Fund launches appeal to save Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage

Plus: Thieves confess to stealing and returning Klimt painting | Norman Foster calls for competition to design new House of Lords | and Japan dismisses South Korean protests over national territory museum

22 Jan 2020
Patrick van Maris.

Patrick van Maris to resign as head of TEFAF

Plus: Painting from the Alana Collection seized by French officials | Enniskillen Workhouse awarded £2m in lottery funding | and popularity of art history at UK universities falls by 28.5 per cent in past decade

21 Jan 2020

Tony Hall appointed chair of the National Gallery’s Board of Trustees

Plus: James Mollison (1931–2020) | Painting found inside gallery wall confirmed as long-lost Klimt | Brazilian culture minister fired for speech echoing Goebbels | National Archives in Washington, D.C., issues apology for doctored image | Sculpture looted from Afghanistan to be returned

20 Jan 2020

Jaime Botin receives prison sentence and €52m fine for trying to smuggle a Picasso out of Spain

Plus: Zoe Whitley appointed new director of Chisenhale Gallery | Censored Aichi Triennale show to be restaged in Taiwan | New work from 100 women artists commissioned to mark centenary of 19th amendment | and recommended reading

17 Jan 2020

Putin appoints cultural leaders to rewrite constitution

Plus: Lucas Museum acquires major archive of African-American cinema | Paisley Museum receives £3.8m lottery funding boost | François Pinault appoints Bruno Racine as director of Venice museums | and Cristina Iglesias wins Royal Academy Architecture Prize

16 Jan 2020

Artists exhibiting at MoMA PS1 call on museum to drop board members

Plus: Stan Douglas to represent Canada at 2021 Venice Biennale | former media tycoon appointed first Frieze CEO | and Betty Pat Gatliff (1930–2020)

15 Jan 2020

Director of Erie Art Museum departs following allegations of misconduct

Plus: Architectural plans for new £337m Museum of London revealed | and Amanda Heng wins Benesse Prize at Singapore Biennale

14 Jan 2020
St Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna

Drawing believed to be by Dürer discovered in Vienna

Plus: Roger Scruton (1944–2020) | Nazi-looted works restituted to Jewish owners to be auctioned | Winners of the 2020 Jorge M. Pérez Award announced | and recommended reading

13 Jan 2020
Cecilia Alemani who has been appointed director of the 59th Venice Biennale.

Cecilia Alemani appointed artistic director of the 59th Venice Biennale

Plus: China blocks return of missing Kiefer works found by German museum director | Workers at New York’s Shed seek to unionise | Florian Hufnagl (1948–2019) | and recommended reading

10 Jan 2020
Carrawburgh Roman Fort.

Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall given to National Heritage Collection

Plus: Earthquakes in Puerto Rico force museums to close | and Palais de Tokyo faces criticism over partnership with Qatari state museum

9 Jan 2020
US President Donald Trump makes a statement on Iran at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, on 3 January, 2020.

Trump backs away from military confrontation with Iran

Plus: Saudi Ministry of Culture launches first artist residency | and Joyce Foundation announces 2020 recipients of $50,000 award

8 Jan 2020
Photo: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

Activists in Berlin attack controversial Holocaust memorial

Plus: Foundation for Contemporary Arts announces inaugural Helen Frankenthaler Award for Painting | and cemetery of high-status Romans discovered in Somerset

7 Jan 2020
US President Donald Trump makes a statement on Iran at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, on 3 January, 2020.

International organisations condemn Trump’s threat to target Iranian cultural sites

Plus: John Baldessari (1931–2020) | National Gallery of Australia closes due to bushfire smoke | British Museum acquires export-barred Pahari painting | and recommended reading

6 Jan 2020

Lawrence Abu Hamdan receives 2022 Future Fields Commission

Plus: Russian collectors in Belgium arrested on suspicion of fraud and money laundering | Cheung Yee (1936–2019)

3 Jan 2020
Alasdair Gray (1934–2019).

Alasdair Gray (1934–2019)

Plus: Art-world figures recognised in New Year’s Honours list | Picasso painting of Dora Maar defaced at Tate Modern | and authenticity of dozens of Goya paintings called into question

2 Jan 2020
Syd’s coffee stall in 2019.

Syd’s coffee stall heads to the Museum of London after 100 years on the street

Plus: Artgenève to expand with two new Moscow fairs | and Thomas Hart Benton heirs sue Kansas City bank for estate mismanagement

20 Dec 2019
The Adoration of the Shepherds (detail; c. 1654), Rembrandt.

Ulster Museum is first in Northern Ireland to acquire works by Rembrandt

Plus: Eric Shiner to direct Pioneer Works in Brooklyn | and Mellon Foundation cancels $1.5m grant to North Carolina university over plans for Confederate monument

19 Dec 2019
The Finding of Moses (detail; early 1630s), Orazio Gentileschi.

National Gallery reaches £22m target to buy Orazio Gentileschi painting

Plus: archaeologists discover two 3,500-year-old ancient Greek tombs | Aliph announces $10m in grants for 20 heritage conservation projects | and Art Basel Hong Kong offers discounts and flexibility to participating dealers as the city’s protests continue

18 Dec 2019
UK culture secretary Nicky Morgan arrives at Downing Street on 16 October 2019.

Nicky Morgan to remain as UK culture secretary

Plus: French culture minister promises to return 26 artefacts to Benin by 2021 | and shortlist announced for Margaret Tait Award

17 Dec 2019
Parliament House in Canberra.

Petition against scrapping of Australian federal arts department signed by 34,000

Plus: Arts Council England to monitor class background of arts workers | Protests at Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts over unpaid staff wages | and Caroline Fowler named director of Research and Academic Program at Clark Art Institute

16 Dec 2019