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British Museum challenges local tax bill

17 June 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

British Museum challenges £720,000 tax bill | The British Museum is challenging Camden Council in court over an unpaid £720,000 tax bill for business rates, reports the Camden New Journal.  Bodies with charitable status are entitled to a tax reduction of 80–100 per cent, but the council has decided that the museum’s privately run catering concessions should be treated as businesses liable to pay the full rate. The initial rates decision was taken by HM Revenue and Customs’ Valuation Office Agency and the museum’s earlier appeal was rejected by the council. Camden council’s finance chief commented, ‘we need careful about what is a charity and what is not’.

V&A announces partnership with State Tretyakov Gallery and Vogue Russia | London’s Victoria and Albert Museum has announced a new partnership with Moscow’s State Tretyakov Gallery and Vogue Russia. The arrangement, which builds on the V&A’s existing links with Russian institutions, will see the parties involved develop and create a major new exhibition. ‘Russia is a fascinating country of contrasts, but it remains shrouded in mystery,’ said V&A director Martin Roth. ‘This co-curation presents a wonderful opportunity to work with our Russian partners to promote greater understanding of Russia’s rich and diverse cultural history.’

Artists’ Union England receives formal recognition | Artists’ Union England has received a certificate of independence, making it the first trade union for artists to receive formal recognition in England, reports Arts Professional. AUE was established in 2014, but it is only now that it has been able to earn the required certificate. The cost of the certificate was covered by individuals, as well as other trade unions including the Scottish Artists Union, Musicians Union, and the General Federation of Trade Unions.

MoMA parts ways with Sally Berger | Rajendra Roy, chief curator of film at the Museum of Modern of Art, has confirmed that the institution has fired long-serving assistant film curator Sally Berger. Some have attributed this to Berger’s decision to withdraw a documentary critical of the North Korean regime from the MoMA Doc Fortnight festival in February. Berger has worked at the museum for more than 30 years. According to Artforum, her colleagues are ‘incredulous’ at her dismissal.

ArtNews SA files for bankruptcy | ArtNews SA, the former publisher of art titles including ARTnews and Art in America, has filed for bankruptcy. Several weeks ago, the company’s majority shareholder Peter Brant announced that he had assumed ‘full control’ of his magazines. Brant has declined artnet news’s requests for comment.

Adjaye Associates to design Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art | Adjaye Associates has been selected as the winner of the competition to design a major new contemporary art museum in Riga, Latvia. Adjaye’s proposal reflects the vernacular architecture of the Baltic states, and will make extensive use of wood. The €30 million museum is scheduled to open in November 2021.

Gillett Griffin (1928–2016) | Gillett Griffin, the widely respected curator of Pre-Columbian and Native American art, emeritus at Princeton University Art Museum, has died at the age of 87. Born in Brooklyn in 1928, Griffin grew up in Connecticut, and developed his passion for collecting while a student at Yale University School of Art. Griffin came to Princeton in 1952, and joined the museum in 1967. He donated much of his extraordinary collection to PUAM.