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

17 January 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Jaime Botin receives prison sentence and €52m fine for trying to smuggle a Picasso out of Spain | The Spanish billionaire Jaime Botin, who is part of the Santander banking dynasty, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined €52.4 million for smuggling a painting by Pablo Picasso out of Spain. Head of a Young Woman (1906) was seized by police from Botin’s yacht off the coast of Corsica, France, in 2015, taken there by the billionaire after he was refused a permit to take it out of Spain; the country has strict heritage laws, identifying items older than 100 years as ‘national treasures’ and stipulating that export permits are required for owners to take them abroad. Prosecutors argued that Botin, who claimed he was taking the painting to Switzerland for safekeeping, intended to sell the painting at an auction house in London.

Zoe Whitley appointed new director of Chisenhale Gallery | Chisenhale Gallery, a contemporary art space in east London, which shows the work of British and international artists, has appointed Zoe Whitley as its new director. Currently the senior curator of London’s Hayward Gallery, Whitley has previously held curatorial positions at London’s V&A, Tate Britain and Tate Modern, where she co-organised ‘Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power’ with Mark Godfrey in 2017, and last year organised the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. She was on Apollo’s 40 Under 40 Europe list in 2018.

Censored Aichi Triennale show to be restaged in Taiwan | The Taipei Museum of Contemporary Art in Taiwan is planning to restage an exhibition documenting works of art censored in Japan, after the show was in turn partially censored at the Aichi Triennale show last year. According to the museum’s director, Li-Chen Loh, the ‘Non-Freedom of Expression Exhibition’ will also include ‘Taiwanese music, plays, literature and art that had been previously censored in Taiwan’. The exhibition at the Aichi Triennale closed for thr ee days last August after some visitors objected to the display of a ‘comfort woman’in Kim Seo-kyung and Kim Eun-sung’s Statue of a Girl of Peace (2011).

New work from 100 women artists commissioned to mark centenary of 19th amendment | One hundred women artists have been commissioned to produce new work by The Park Avenue Armory in New York to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which when passed in 1920 gave women in the US the right to vote. The ‘100 Years | 100 Women’ initiative will see The Park Avenue Armory collaborating with ten cultural institutions in New York, including the Apollo Theater, the Juilliard School, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York University, to elect 100 artists to respond to the anniversary. The list of artists commissioned will be announced at the end of a series of discussions, seminars and performances taking place in February to launch the programme.

Recommended reading (and listening) | After the National Portrait Gallery announced that it would close for renovation between 2020 and 2023, the gallery’s director Nicholas Cullinan writes a letter to the editor of The Art Newspaper defending the decision – and responding to Bendor Grosvenor’s criticisms in that publication. The New York Times visits Ed Ruscha to discuss his 50-year career ahead of a new exhibition in Texas. GQ argues that museums are unsuitable places to visit on a romantic date. And Radio 4 has just broadcast the first episode of ‘Curating the Future’, a three-part series about the future of museums presented by Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A, which includes contributions from Apollo’s deputy editor, Fatema Ahmed.