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China’s Terracotta Army is coming to Liverpool

Plus: Bavaria sued by heirs of persecuted art dealer Alfred Flechtheim | Director of Berlin’s Polish Institute fired | Renzo Piano’s ‘Paddington Cube’ given approval | and director of Seattle’s Pop Culture Museum to step down

7 December 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Terracotta warriors to go on show in Liverpool | On a visit to the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, UK culture secretary Karen Bradley announced that the famous Terracotta Warriors discovered on the site in 1974 will be exhibited in Liverpool in 2018. The effigies last travelled to the UK for a blockbuster exhibition at the British Museum in 2007, and to Edinburgh in 1985. The show will cover a period from 307 BC to AD 220, taking in everything from China’s pre-unification Qin rulers to the final years of the Han dynasty. The Guardian sees the loan as a British exercise in ‘soft power’, a view bolstered by Bradley’s statement: ‘The exhibition will also encourage an ongoing cultural exchange between China and Britain, further progressing the relationship between our two nations and strengthening lasting ties.’

Bavaria sued by heirs of persecuted art dealer Alfred Flechtheim | The heirs of Alfred Flechtheim, a German-Jewish art dealer who was victimised by the Nazis and forced into exile, have sued the state of Bavaria to claim back paintings they say were sold under duress. According to the New York Times, Flechtheim was one of the most prominent art dealers in interwar Germany, and as such was an early target for Nazi persecution. His heirs claim that eight paintings by Max Beckmann, Paul Klee and Juan Gris, currently in possession of the Bavarian State Painting Collection, were sold after 1933. The Collection, however, maintains that Flechtheim sold them prior to the Nazis’ rise to power.

Director of Berlin’s Polish Institute fired for giving ‘too much attention’ to ‘Jewish subjects’ | Katarzyna Wielga-Skolimowska, the director of the Polish Institute in Berlin, has been fired with immediate effect after tussling with the Polish government, who say that she devoted too much attention to Jewish subjects. Poland’s conservative governing party says that the country’s 24 overseas institutes are intended to promote Polish culture abroad, and that Wielga-Skolimowska’s programming focussed too narrowly on Polish-Jewish subjects. According to Artforum, the government has dismissed 13 of its 24 institute directors this year alone. According to the Israeli media, Berlin’s Jewish Museum has called on Poland’s ambassador to Germany to reverse the decision.

Renzo Piano’s ‘Paddington Cube’ given approval | Property developer Irvine Sellar has revealed that a plan for a west London development masterminded by architect Renzo Piano has been given the go ahead by Westminster Council. According to the London Evening Standard, the project is intended as a ‘Shard-style shot in the arm’ for a supposedly ‘tatty’ area. The plan is a revision of Piano’s previous, controversial proposal for which plans were withdrawn earlier this year.

Director of Seattle’s Pop Culture Museum to step down | Patty Isacson Sabee, director and CEO of Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, is to step down from the institution at the end of the year, reports ArtNet News. Sabee, who was named CEO in 2014, has served 10 years at the museum, which itself was founded as the Experience Music Project by software pioneer Paul Allen in 2000.

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