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The drawing found in Blombos Cave, South Africa.

The oldest drawing in the world has been discovered – but is it art?

A 73,000-year-old fragment of stone marked with red lines raises questions about the nature of aesthetic experience

25 Sep 2018
Illustration by Graham Roumieu/Dutch Uncle

Will Macron’s culture pass have much impact?

In a new pilot scheme, every 18 year old in France will get €500 to spend on culture next year

24 Sep 2018

Is it time to call an end to biennials?

Biennials are a mainstay of the contemporary art world, but their purpose seems increasingly unclear

15 Sep 2018
Closed Loop (2017), Jake Elwes

AI art is on the rise – but how do we measure its success?

Artworks produced using artificial intelligence have long confounded viewers

13 Sep 2018
The Hoa Hakananai’a at the British Museum in London.

The Easter Island statues now scattered around the world

Some 20 of the famous stone statues can be found in leading museums – and now campaigners want them back

29 Aug 2018

Does the system for protecting historic buildings in New York still work?

The controversy over the expansion of the Frick has been resolved, but questions surrounding the preservation of New York’s historic buildings remain

28 Aug 2018
Sign indicating where the Venus de Milo was discovered in 1820; photo: Wikimedia Commons

In search of the Venus de Milo – on Milos and in Paris

The statue has been in Paris for nearly two centuries, but does it belong back on the island of Milos?

28 Aug 2018
The statue of Emmeline Pankhurst in Victoria Tower Gardens, designed by Arthur George Walker and unveiled in 1930, photo: Wikimedia Commons

‘No more pushing around of Mrs Pankhurst’

The site of Emmeline Pankhurst’s statue in Westminster was chosen by her fellow suffragists – there is no reason for it to change

24 Aug 2018
The Baltimore Museum of Art, which in May sold five artworks at auction for nearly $8 million to raise funds for new acquisitions. Would capitalising those works have allowed the institution to pursue its acquisition strategy without compromising its existing holdings?

Could the art-finance industry offer museums some much-needed options?

The industry is currently geared to private individuals, but perhaps museums should consider it, too

22 Aug 2018

Martin Puryear may prove the ideal choice to represent the US at Venice

The sculptor has made quietly effective political work in the past. Will he do so again next year?

20 Aug 2018

The true worth of Robert Burns’s manuscripts

New research methods will help distinguish Robert Burns’ texts from forgeries – but will it change how we read him?

16 Aug 2018
Dickens’s Dream (detail; 1875), Robert William Buss.

Does the spirit of Charles Dickens live on in his furniture?

A table owned by the author has been export stopped in the UK – a situation that Dickens himself would have relished

8 Aug 2018
'The List', before its defacement. Credit: Liverpool Biennial/Mark McNulty.

The destruction of The List at the Liverpool Biennial is deeply troubling

The List, which documents the thousands of people who have died trying to reach Europe, was torn down from hoardings in Liverpool

7 Aug 2018
Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria (c. 1615–17; detail), Artemisia Gentileschi.

The remarkable career of Artemisia Gentileschi

The National Gallery’s acquisition of a work by the painter is welcome – not least because baroque women artists were long neglected

23 Jul 2018

‘Real Detroiters are tired of their city being a symbol’

How the city’s long-term residents are fostering a thriving arts scene

12 Jul 2018

It’s vital that objects from national collections are shown more widely

Museums across the UK are able to borrow from the national collections, but they need external support to do so

4 Jul 2018
Illustration by Graham Roumieu/Dutch Uncle

Is the international art world too elitist?

The proliferation of biennials and art fairs has brought with it the rise of a jet-set elite. Do such events encourage meaningful engagement?

2 Jul 2018
The exterior of Istanbul Modern, which is being housed in a temporary space in the Union Française building until it's new Renzo Piano-designed home opens in 2021

Will the new Istanbul Modern revitalise Turkey’s struggling art scene?

The new Renzo Piano-designed Istanbul Modern is set to open in 2021, but will it signal a return to health for the country’s art scene?

27 Jun 2018
Sunflowers, (1889) Vincent Van Gogh, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Van Gogh Foundation)

How the scientific study of paintings has become accessible to everyone

A revolution in chemical-imaging techniques is bringing us closer to the original visions of artists such as Van Gogh

25 Jun 2018
The Virgin and Child with Two Angels

‘Mounting an exhibition about Leonardo da Vinci is an act of hubris’

In the run-up to the 500th anniversary of the artist’s birth, getting other museums to lend you their Leonardo is no mean feat

20 Jun 2018

‘The building as it was is gone for good’ – remembering the Glasgow School of Art

The devastating fire at the Glasgow School of Art means that incredibly difficult decisions lie ahead

18 Jun 2018

The murky mystery of Caravaggio’s stolen Palermo Nativity

While recent reports suggest Caravaggio’s stolen Nativity may be intact in Switzerland, it’s worth treading carefully

8 Jun 2018
Crown, probably made in Gondar, Ethiopia, around 1740, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

The looted Ethiopian artefacts that ended up in UK museums

In the debate surrounding the Maqdala artefacts, the significance of the individual objects is often ignored

31 May 2018
Gold reliquary of Anne of Brittany's heart.

What’s the motive for museum thefts?

Recent thefts from museums in England and France lay bare the thinking behind such crimes

30 May 2018