A tourist in Venice on 24 February 2020, wearing a protective face-mask and a Carnival mask.

Spread of coronavirus causes museums across northern Italy to close

Plus: Collector files lawsuit for $1m against Princeton University  | Yona Friedman (1923–2020) | Jack Youngerman (1926–2020) | Sotheby’s moves Hong Kong sales to New York | Nazi-looted Andrea della Robbia sculpture restituted to Germany | and recommended reading

24 Feb 2020
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New art centre dedicated to Alexander Calder to open in Philadelphia

Plus: Jingart fair in Beijing cancelled due to coronavirus | Monet ‘self-portrait’ reattributed to Charles Giron | and recommended reading

21 Feb 2020
Eyal Weizman.

Director of Forensic Architecture barred from travelling to United States

Plus: Staff at UK art schools join nationwide strike | Louvre cancels show of Bulgarian religious art | Ethiopian crown repatriated from the Netherlands | and new £20 note celebrating JMW Turner enters circulation

20 Feb 2020
The Dionysos pediment from the Parthenon marbles at the British Museum.

Leaked Brexit negotiating paper stokes Elgin Marbles dispute

Plus: Egyptian coffin painting discovered at Harvard Semitic Museum | David Adjaye and Cai Guo-Qiang win 2020 Noguchi Award | and Raphael tapestries return to Sistine Chapel

19 Feb 2020
A render of the new V&A Museum of Childhood.

V&A Museum of Childhood to close for £13m renovation

Plus: Six trustees resign from Cooper Hewitt museum | and Arts Council England pushes for greater diversity in arts organisations

18 Feb 2020
Jenny Waldman.

Jenny Waldman to direct Art Fund

Plus: India requests restitution of bronze idol from Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum | FBI repatriates over 450 cultural objects to Haiti | and billionaire gaming entrepreneur Mark Pincus pledges $3m to James Turrell’s Roden Crater art project

17 Feb 2020
Clément Chéroux.

MoMA appoints Clément Chéroux new chief curator of photography

Plus: Former Sotheby’s attorneys to found new art law firm | Anne Marion (1938-2020) | and recommended reading

14 Feb 2020
Blain Southern at 4 Hanover Square in London.

Blain Southern closes all three galleries in London, New York and Berlin

Plus: Oliver Dowden named new culture secretary in cabinet reshuffle | House of Representatives votes to establish a Smithsonian museum for women’s history | and Elisabeth Wild (1922-2020)

13 Feb 2020
Sonia Boyce.

Sonia Boyce to represent UK at 59th Venice Biennale in 2021

Plus: Court dismisses privacy appeal against Tate Modern viewing platform | Native American burial sites destroyed to construct US-Mexico border wall | Hong Kong Arts Festival cancelled due to coronavirus | and Mat Collishaw parts company with Blain Southern gallery

12 Feb 2020
Courtesy Bonhams

Bonhams chief executive Matthew Girling steps down

Plus: Trump’s annual budget renews threat against National Endowment for the Arts | Sofie Scheerlinck appointed interim managing director of TEFAF | Caroline Baumann resigns as director of Cooper Hewitt | Lewisham and Croydon named London Boroughs of Culture | and Rembrandt discovered at small Pennsylvania Museum

11 Feb 2020
Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Climate activists stage three-day protest against BP sponsorship at British Museum

Plus: Ella Fontanals-Cisneros cancels gift of 400 works to Spanish state | Counterspace named as architects of Serpentine Pavilion 2020 | Agnes Gund wins inaugural Ruth Bader Ginsburg leadership award | and Louvre to remain open throughout closing weekend of Leonardo show

10 Feb 2020
Art Basel in Hong Kong in 2019.

Art Basel cancels Hong Kong fair due to coronavirus outbreak

Plus: Uffizi wins court battle against unofficial ticketing websites | New York dealer sues artist Derek Fordjour for $1.45m | and recommended reading

8 Feb 2020
Photo: © Beverly Pepper, courtesy of Marlborough, New York and London

Beverly Pepper (1922–2020)

Plus: Yale art history department defends changes to undergraduate survey courses | and Antony Hudek named director of Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens

6 Feb 2020

Draft executive order could require federal buildings to be classical in style

Plus: Looted temple sculpture confiscated by UK police to return to Afghanistan|Gallery Weekend Beijing postponed due to coronavirus outbreak | Félix Marcilhac (1941–2020) | and College Art Association announces recipients of 2020 awards

5 Feb 2020
A silver rhyton depicting the death of Orpheus (c. 420–410 BC), from the Vassil Bojkov Collection, Sofia.

Bulgarian billionaire’s antiquities collection seized by authorities

Plus: Ikko Narahara (1931–2020) | and Courtauld appoints Tzo Zen Ang as first managing director

4 Feb 2020
Martine Gosselink.

Martine Gosselink appointed general director of the Mauritshuis

Plus: Opening of He Art Museum in China postponed due to coronavirus | Polish government urged to approve reappointment of Jewish history museum director | Gagosian and Steven Tananbaum settle lawsuit| 500-year-old rock art discovered after being damaged by Australian bushfires | and San Francisco tattoo artist sues Disney over alleged copyright infringement

3 Feb 2020
Art Basel in Hong Kong in 2019.

Art Basel tries to reassure exhibitors about Hong Kong fair as WHO declares public health emergency

Plus: Bolsonaro appoints Regina Duarte as Brazil’s culture secretary | Unseen Amsterdam declares bankruptcy | Museum of Chinese in America hopes to salvage collection devastated by fire | Dutch museum sues London dealer after hackers intercept $3.1m deal | and W. M. Keck Foundation donates $50m to $650m Building LACMA campaign

31 Jan 2020
Cecilie Hollberg.

Cecilie Hollberg to return as director of Galleria dell’Accademia

Plus: Smithsonian will no longer have permanent gallery at V&A East | Adam M. Levine to direct Toledo Museum of Art | CAFAM Techne Triennial 2020 postponed due to outbreak of coronavirus | and Asheville Art Museum receives grant to digitise Black Mountain College Collection

30 Jan 2020
Roberto Cicutto at the Pier Paolo Pasolini MoMA film retrospective opening at MoMA PS1, New York, in 2012.

Roberto Cicutto named president of Venice Biennale

Plus: | School of Architecture at Taliesin will close after 88 years | Philadelphia Museum of Art to open anonymous hotline for reports of sexual harassment | and Santu Mofokeng (1956–2020)

29 Jan 2020

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