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China closes Forbidden City and part of Great Wall to contain coronavirus outbreak

Plus: German museums postpone two exhibitions on Iran | Oswald Oberhuber (1931–2020) | and recommended reading

24 January 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

China closes Forbidden City and part of Great Wall to contain coronavirus outbreak | The Forbidden City in Beijing and the Badaling stretch of the Great Wall of China are among several tourist attractions that have been closed to visitors, in a bid to contain the outbreak of coronavirus. Other measures put in place to halt the spread of the disease – which was unknown to science until last month but has since killed at least 26 people and infected more than 800 others – include the lockdown of 13 Chinese cities, restricting the movement of some 41 million people. The Badaling section, located around 50 miles outside Beijing, is the most popular stretch of the Great Wall, drawing tens of thousands of visitors per day in peak seasons.

German museums postpone two exhibitions on Iran | Two museums in Germany have indefinitely postponed exhibitions organised in collaboration with Iranian museums, which were planned for later this year, after insurers refused to cover loans because of current political tensions. The Archaeological Museum in Frankfurt was due to host ‘Death in Salt. An Archaeological Investigation in Persia’ – a collaboration with the National Museum of Iran in Tehran – while 200 loans from Iranian museums were to be included in the Badisches Landesmuseum’s show ‘The Persians’.

Oswald Oberhuber (1931–2020) | The Austrian artist Oswald Oberhuber has died at the age of 88. Oberhuber, who worked in a variety of genres including painting, collage and sculpture, represented Austria at the Venice Biennale in 1972, and twice participated at Documenta (1977 and 1982); he also served as rector at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

Recommended reading | In the TLS, Stanley Donwood reflects on the rapid rise and sudden decline of record-sleeve art. Shaun Walker writes for the Guardian about the riches of the Czartoryski collection, which has recently gone back on display in Krakow amid continuing controversy over its purchase by the Polish state in 2017.