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Chris Dercon to head up Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais

Plus: New York court orders Sotheby’s to be repaid for fake Parmigianino painting | Figurative painting in cave in Borneo dated to 40,000 years ago | and Dallas Museum of Art receives $4m gift from Beverly and Donald S. Freeman

8 November 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Chris Dercon appointed president of Grand Palais | Chris Dercon has been announced as president of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais (Rmn-GP), appointed by the new French culture minister, Franck Riester. Dercon will begin his role, which encompasses directorship of the Grand Palais and the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris, in January, replacing Sylvie Hubac, who resigned in June to oversee home affairs at the Conseil d’État. One of his highest profile responsibilities will be overseeing a major refurbishment of the Grand Palais between 2020–22. Dercon, who has formerly directed institutions including the Tate Modern and Haus der Kunst, comes to Paris after a turbulent tenure as head of the Volksbühne Theatre in Berlin; he resigned from the position in April of this year.

New York court orders Sotheby’s to be repaid for fake Parmigianino painting | The Art Newspaper reports that a federal court in New York has ordered the Luxembourg-based collector and businessman Lionel Saint Donnat de Pourrières to pay Sotheby’s more than $1.2m in reimbursement for a painting sold at the auction house in 2012. The painting of Saint Jerome had been attributed by some experts to Parmigianino and exhibited as such at institutions including the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna (in 2003) and the Metropolitan Museum in New York (in 2014); forensic reports found synthetic pigments in the paint, however, and concluded that the work was a modern forgery.  

Figurative painting in cave in Borneo dated to 40,000 years ago | Researchers believe they have discovered the world’s oldest figurative painting in a limestone cave in Kalimantan province on the island of Borneo. One of a trio of animal paintings on the walls of the cave, which depicts wild cattle, has been dated using a technique called uranium series analysis, approximating its creation to some 40,000 years ago. If this is accurate, then the painting predates all other examples of prehistoric cave art found elsewhere.  

Dallas Museum of Art receives $4m gift from Beverly and Donald S. Freeman | Artnews reports that the Dallas Museum of Art in Texas (DMA) has received a donation of $4m from one of its board members, Beverly Freeman, and her husband Donald S. Freeman. The money will go towards a new exhibition endowment fund, named after the Freeman family, and follows the Freemans’ previous gift of $1.5m to the museum in 2015. 

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