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Chilean film makers demand return of Easter Island statue from UK

Plus: Joseph Rosa appointed director of Frye Museum | Penelope Curtis to curate contemporary art section at TEFAF Maastricht | and Auckland Castle’s Zurbarán paintings to tour US

12 August 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Film makers demand return of Easter Island statue | Chilean film makers Leo Pakarati and Paula Rossetti say that they have gathered 500 signatures for a petition urging their government to demand the return of Hoa Hakananai’a, an Easter Island moai (statue) from the UK. The 4-ton moai, which is thought to date back to the 13th century, is part of the permanent collection of the British Museum, and has been in the UK since 1869. In a new documentary, Pakarati and Rossetti have identified some 500 objects in collections around the world, which they believe were looted from Easter Island. As they admit, ‘it will not be easy’ to repatriate these artefacts. As Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo points out, ‘there is a current of opinion on the island that believes these imposing but fragile figures are ‘better conserved’ in foreign museums’ (Spanish language article).

Joseph Rosa appointed director of Frye Museum | Joseph Rosa, director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor, has been appointed to lead Seattle’s Frye Art Museum. Rosa, who has been at UMMA for six years, was previously chief curator of architecture and design at the Art Institute of Chicago, and has served as a juror for bodies including the National Endowment of the Arts. ‘We are confident that Joe will build on what has already been accomplished and, drawing on our new strategic plan, take the Frye to even greater heights,’ said Frye trustee Michael Doherty. Rosa will take up his post on 1 October.

Penelope Curtis to curate contemporary art section at TEFAF Maastricht | Former Tate Britain director Penelope Curtis will curate the contemporary art section of TEFAF Maastricht in 2017, which according to ArtNet News will ‘use the motif of the recumbent figure to explore universal themes such as life, death, fertility, fecundity, grief, and commemoration’. Curtis, is currently director of Lisbon’s Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, a post she has held since leaving Tate last year.

Auckland Castle’s Zurbarán paintings to tour USA | The spectacular collection of Francisco de Zurbarán paintings at County Durham’s Auckland Castle is to travel to the US for the first time, where it will be displayed at Dallas’s Meadows Museum and New York’s Frick Collection. The paintings, which depict Jacob and his sons, have hung in the castle for more than 250 years. For more on the Zurbaráns and how they were secured for Auckland Castle by Jonathan Ruffer, see our coverage here.

 

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