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British Museum helps repatriate tile stolen from Uzbek monument

Plus: New report assesses state of UK art market | More than 5,000 homes in Mosul’s historic Old City destroyed | Republican Congressman submits proposal to save NEA | and plans dropped for museum in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens

18 July 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

British Museum helps recover artefact stolen from Uzbek monument | A calligraphic glazed tile that was stolen from a 12th-century monument in Uzbekistan is to be returned in a ceremony overseen by the British Museum. According to the Guardian, the tile was removed in 2014 from the Chashma-i Ayub monument near Bukhara, but resurfaced recently in a private London gallery. The owner of the gallery, who bought the artefact in good faith, contacted the museum after being notified of its history by an expert. The Uzbek government, which will receive the tile in an official handover at the country’s London embassy this week, has pledged to restore the monument.

New report assesses state of UK art market | A report released today by the British Art Market Federation (BAMF) has underlined the importance of cross-border trade following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, reports the Art Newspaper. For some auction houses, consignments from EU member states count for around a quarter of the UK sales, and 15–20 per cent of all art sold through British dealers and auctioneers currently goes to EU buyers. ‘The message for me is that you can’t be complacent’, says Anthony Browne, chair of BAMF. ‘You’ve got to create the right environment to encourage art sales and growth in the market.’ Currently, the UK’s art market remains the second largest globally, accounting for 21 per cent of global transactions.

More than 5,000 homes in Mosul’s historic Old City destroyed | UN satellite imagery has calculated that around one third of Mosul’s historic Old City has been completely destroyed in the battle to retake it from ISIS militants. According to the Times (£), some 5,000 houses were obliterated in the fighting, with many more suffering ‘moderate’ damage.

Republican Congressman submits proposal to save NEA | Republican California Congressman Ken Calvert has submitted a proposal that includes stipulations to maintain funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities at $145m each. According to Artnet News, the sum represents a $10m combined decrease to current levels, but would nonetheless be sufficient to keep the two bodies functioning.

Plans dropped for museum in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens | Blackpool council has dropped plans for a museum in the town’s Winter Gardens dedicated to its entertainment heritage, citing an £8m funding shortfall. According to the Blackpool Gazette, the council is reconsidering its options, and will look at plans for a museum elsewhere in the town.

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