Comment

A masterpiece of Roman design, rediscovered in Nicaragua

Long thought lost by scholars, a spectacular silver gilt monstrance by Luigi Valadier has now been tracked down to a Central American basilica

24 May 2021
A saintly sight? The Cerne Abbas giant in Dorset.

Would medieval Christians have blushed at a giant chalk erection?

Even if the Cerne Abbas giant is Anglo-Saxon, that doesn’t make it pagan – after all, Christians were no prudes in those days

21 May 2021
The Whitechapel Bell Foundry. Photo: Thomas Marks

The sad, shameful demise of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry

The appeal to save Britain’s oldest place of manufacture has been rejected and the foundry will become a boutique hotel. How could Historic England have let this happen?

Jean-Michel Basquiat in the film ‘Downtown 81’ (1980–81/2000).

No, you probably can’t sell your Basquiat as an NFT

If the cancelled sale of a Basquiat NFT is anything to go by, disputes about intellectual property will affect the course of the big NFT adventure

12 May 2021
Joseph Beuys in 1975, photographed by Caroline Tisdall.

The disappearance of Joseph Beuys

The German artist’s greatest work was himself – so marking his centenary makes for a curatorial conundrum

11 May 2021
A rendering of the plans for the new Colosseum floor.

Will a gladiator’s-eye view make visiting the Colosseum more spectacular?

Installing a floor in the Colosseum will make the ruin less familiar – but may help us understand the original experience of the building

10 May 2021
A still from the opening sequence of Dario Argento’s horror film ‘The Stendhal Syndrome’ (1966), shot in the Uffizi Galleries in Florence.

How to cope with Stendhal syndrome when it strikes

The mysterious affliction usually only assails art buffs in Florence – but with many museums finally set to reopen, will visitors start dropping like flies?

7 May 2021

The celebrity horse that’s putting Napoleon in the shade

Hanging a plastic skeleton of Napoleon’s favourite horse above his tomb may not be as wildly inappropriate as it seems

6 May 2021
Fleet Street in 1925, with Chronicle House and the Barclays building – both set to be demolished – on the right

If Fleet Street isn’t safe from demolition, where in London is?

The City of London has approved its own plans to demolish eight historic buildings in the Fleet Street conservation area – so what real protection exists for the city’s heritage?

5 May 2021
Narendra Modi speaking outside the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, in May 2019.

Is Modi out to destroy New Delhi?

The former imperial capital is due for another reinvention – but in shaking up the urban plan, the Indian government faces accusations that it is merely rebuilding the city in its own image

4 May 2021

Can the London art market bounce back?

Are virtual viewings and diminished sales here to stay, or will the city’s galleries and auction houses see high footfall return?

4 May 2021
Dress circle: visitors to the Tate Gallery in 1957.

How to behave in a commercial gallery, if you’ve never dared set foot in one

They may have intimidated you in the past – but you’ll have to wise up to the ways of commercial galleries if you want to see any art in the UK this month

8 Apr 2021
A specially designed vehicle transports the mummy of King Seqenenre Taa from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square to the new Museum of Egyptian Civilization on 3 April 2021.

In Egypt, a motorcade of mummies says more about the modern nation than the ancient past

The recent move of the royal mummies in Cairo was a made-for-TV extravaganza

Children on the boating lake in Battersea Gardens at the Festival of Britain in 1951.

Will the ‘festival of Brexit’ prove a tonic for the nation, after all?

The government’s plan for a grand national jolly has been widely lampooned – but perhaps it’s just what we need

1 Apr 2021
MacKenzie Scott, who has donated more than $6bn in unrestricted gifts over the past year.

MacKenzie Scott has given away billions with no strings attached – and it’s time arts donors followed suit

Too often arts patrons hinder the organisations they set out to help by imposing conditions on their gifts

30 Mar 2021
At the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Photo: © Ron Blunt/National Gallery of Art

It’s time museum leaders stopped talking to themselves – and started listening instead

They’re eager to express their support for social justice – but without listening more attentively, museum directors will never make good on their rhetoric

24 Mar 2021
Will the real William Shakespeare please stand up? The effigy above the playwright’s grave in Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon.

Is this what Shakespeare really looked like?

A dumpy effigy in a church in Stratford-upon-Avon has been mocked for centuries, but new research claims it’s the most accurate likeness of the playwright there is

23 Mar 2021
A Teotihuacán mask sold at Christie’s Paris in February for €437,500

Why was Mexico so determined to stop a sale of ancient artefacts in Paris?

Laying claim to its archaeological heritage is central to Mexico’s identity as a modern nation

23 Mar 2021
Broadcasting legend? Cellini’s Perseus plus boombox

Art really does work on the radio – especially if it’s cast as true crime

A new series on BBC Radio 3 delves into the notorious life of Benvenuto Cellini – and it’s a binge-worthy Renaissance thriller, Christina Faraday writes

22 Mar 2021
Book end? The National Art Library at the V&A, London, photographed in 2016.

For the future of scholarship, the National Art Library must be protected

The V&A says it’s protecting the jobs of librarians (for now), but the fate of the greatest art library in the UK remains uncertain

19 Mar 2021
Left: Addie Card, 12 Years Old, Spinner in cotton mill, North Pownal, Vermont (1910), Lewis Hine. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Right: Digital colourisation of Lewis Hine’s photograph of Addie Card by Marina Amaral. Photo: © Marina Amaral

Does the past look better in black and white?

Photographers and film-makers have long added colour to their images – but does the current craze for colourisation create a false impression of olden times?

11 Mar 2021
Christopher Monkhouse, photographed in Pittsburgh in the 1970s

Remembering Christopher Monkhouse (1947–2021), a renowned curator for whom collecting was a way of life

Christopher Monkhouse transformed the decorative arts holdings at major museums in Providence, Minneapolis and Chicago, and built his own remarkable collections of books and drawings – and friends

4 Mar 2021
A dose of culture: Luke Jerram with his Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine sculpture

Anti-vaxxers have been around for centuries – and artists have always been on hand to debunk their claims

There’s a healthy tradition of art to challenge vaccine sceptics – from satirical cartoons to contemporary sculptures

3 Mar 2021

In defence of the Stonehenge road tunnel

Plans to sink a dual carriageway beneath Stonehenge have been heavily criticised – but the tunnel will improve our experience of the site, writes Timothy Darvill

1 Mar 2021