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Belgian police intervene in ownership dispute over religious sculptures

Plus: Security footage of Dresden heist released | Hetain Patel wins Jarman Award | and Performa prize awarded to Nairy Baghramian and Maria Hassabi

26 November 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world 

Belgian police intervene in ownership dispute over religious sculptures | A group of six wooden fragments from a 16th-century retable, currently on loan from the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen to an exhibition at the M Leuven museum, has been subject to an administrative seizure by Belgian authorities, after a complaint by the church of Sint-Gorikskerk in Boussu-lez-Mons. Members of the church have been in talks with the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen for several years, alleging that the works were stolen from the church at the beginning of the First World War. Under the terms of the administrative seizure, the works will remain on display in Leuven until the close of the exhibition on 26 January, at which point they will be taken to the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage in Brussels for restoration.

Security footage of Dresden heist released | Police in Germany have released security footage of the raid on the Green Vault at the Residenzschloss in Dresden, which took place on Monday morning (25 November). The footage shows one of the two suspects using an axe to smash a display case, after the pair had disabled the alarm system by setting an electrical panel near the museum on fire. Police have also released images of some of the baroque-era jewels included in the three parures (sets) – part of the treasury of Augustus the Strong – that were taken during the heist; the 10 items confirmed as missing include a diamond-encrusted sword and scabbard and a jewel of the Polish White Eagle Order.

Hetain Patel wins Jarman Award | The artist and filmmaker Hetain Patel has been awarded the 2019 Film London Jarman Award, it was announced at a ceremony at the Barbican Centre in London last night (25 November). Patel, whose work ranges across media from film to sculpture and performance, often exploring issues of cultural identity in the UK, was selected for the £10,000 prize from a shortlist of artists that included Cécile B. Evans, Beatrice Gibson, Mikhail Karikis, Imran Perretta and Rehana Zaman. Work by each of the six artists will be displayed in a special exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery until 8 December.

Performa prize awarded to Nairy Baghramian and Maria Hassabi | At the conclusion of Performa in New York on Sunday evening, Nairy Baghramian and Maria Hassabi were named the winners of the performance art biennial’s Malcolm McLaren Award, which comes with a prize of $5,000. The pair had collaborated on a new work for the biennial entitled Entre Deux Actes (Ménage à Quatre), which combined Baghramian’s sculptures with Hassabi’s choreography.

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