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Can Moscow’s Shukhov Tower be saved?

Plus: Shortlist for Hepworth Sculpture Prize announced | Sean Scully wins International Artist of the Year award | Nina Zimmer named director of Kunstmuseum Bern & Zentrum Paul Klee | The weekend’s best reviews & comment

21 March 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Shukhov Tower placed on Monuments Fund Watch List | Moscow’s Shukhov Tower has been placed on the 2016 World Monuments Fund Watch List, providing a boost to activists seeking to save the structure from collapsing. The 160m-high broadcasting tower, which was completed in 1922, is one of the most famous examples of Soviet modernist design, but years of neglect have put it at grave risk. Calls to save it come against a backdrop of similar campaigns to preserve Russian cultural heritage, and a declining economic situation. As Vladimir Shukhov, the great-grandson of the tower’s designer, told the New York Times: ‘This tower is unfortunately probably a reflection of that political and economic reality that is taking place in the country right now.’

Shortlist for Hepworth Sculpture Prize announced | Phyllida Barlow, Steven Claydon, Helen Marten, and David Medalla have been shortlisted for the Hepworth Wakefield’s inaugural Hepworth Sculpture Prize. The four artists will exhibit work at the museum in October, before a judging panel that includes David Chipperfield, Alastair Sooke, and Sheikha Hoor al-Qasimi, among others, announces a winner the following month.

Sean Scully wins International Artist of the Year award | Sean Scully has been named as winner of the Harper’s Bazaar Art International Artist of the Year award, a prize intended to promote cultural dialogue between east and west. The Dublin-born artist has been recognised for his ‘outstanding performance in contemporary art over the past year’, in particular his recent retrospectives in Beijing and Shanghai. Next month, a new exhibition titled ‘Resistance & Persistence’ will open in Nanjing before touring to Guangzhou and Wuhan.

Nina Zimmer named director of the Kunstmuseum Bern & Zentrum Paul Klee | The umbrella foundation responsible for the Kunstmuseum Bern and the Zentrum Paul Klee has appointed Nina Zimmer as the director of both museums, the first person ever to occupy this role (German language article). Zimmer, a specialist in modern art, is currently deputy director at the Kunstmuseum Bern and will take up her new post in August.

The weekend’s best reviews & comment | In the Sunday Times (£), Waldemar Januszczak had his doubts about the Royal Academy’s Giorgione show, writing that the museum’s ambitious attempt to devote an exhibition to the enigmatic artist added ‘layers of doubt to layers of doubt’. In the Observer, meanwhile, Laura Cumming praised the National Portrait Gallery’s ‘Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky’, and the Daily Telegraph’Alastair Smart had little good to say about Pallant House’s exhibition of John Piper tapestries. Le Figaro ran an interesting piece on the export status of Joan of Arc’s ring (French language article), while in The Guardian, Mary Archer, chairman of the trustees of the Science Museum Group, defended the decision to transfer items in the Royal Photographic Society’s collection in Bradford to the V&A in London: ‘We could have opted for a quiet life but instead dared to ask: is there a better home for this collection?’

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