Emmanuel Macron in Burkina Faso

Rethinking the restitution of African artefacts

Repatriation is a complex issue, but it is time for a more open-minded approach

2 Jan 2019
Illustration by Graham Roumieu/Dutch Uncle

Is it too late to save Venice?

In the wake of some of the worst flooding in recent history, and with its population in decline, the city is in troubled waters

2 Jan 2019
The sale of David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) on 15 November 2018 at Christie’s in New York.

Will the art market comes to its senses in 2019?

An overheated global art market seems to be showing signs of strain

26 Dec 2018
The entrance to the National Museum of Damascus, featuring the doorway from the Umayyad desert castle at Qasr al-Hayr al-Sharqi in the Syrian desert.

What does the reopening of the National Museum of Damascus mean for Syria?

The museum, which reopened in October after six years, stands as a symbol of the country’s hopes for recovery

19 Dec 2018
View of the East Wing of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin in 2013.

Natural history museums have never been more necessary

Natural history collections are uniquely placed to help us make sense of the relationship between humans and catastrophic climate change

13 Dec 2018

Should paintings be conserved in public?

Rembrandt’s Night Watch is set to be restored in front of visitors. Should we welcome the growing prevalence of public conservation?

29 Nov 2018
Tripoli Cancelled (2017), Naeem Mohaiemen. Installation view at the Turner Prize 2018, Tate Britain, London.

How can museums make us pay proper attention to moving images?

As film and video art moves into the mainstream, curators have to find new ways to keep viewers hooked

28 Nov 2018
Mounted ruler (16th century), Edo peoples, Benin kingdom, Nigeria.

The Benin Bronzes are not just virtuoso works of art – they record the kingdom’s history

Benin City will soon have a permanent display of its court bronzes for the first time in over a century. What makes these artworks so extraordinary?

Volunteers dismantling the installation of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in 2014.

The centenary of the Great War is over – but did artists and museums do it justice?

For four years, exhibitions and events throughout the UK have explored the art of remembrance – with varying results

14 Nov 2018
Shoes (detail; 1886), Vincent van Gogh.

Artists’ campaigns for better pay are picking up pace – but will museums take note?

The image of the penniless artist is an economic reality for many. Now some organisations are fighting for change

12 Nov 2018
Illustration by Graham Roumieu/Dutch Uncle

Are the principles set out for identifying Nazi-looted art fit for purpose?

On the 20th anniversary of the Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, their effectiveness is up for debate

29 Oct 2018
Love is in the Bin (2018), Banksy.

The satirical world of contemporary art – from Banksy to broadcasting

Artists and auction houses alike contribute to the comic excesses of their world – but are they in on the joke?

29 Oct 2018
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