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Christie’s to auction Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi

Plus: Fires in northern California force closure of arts institutions | Controversy over heritage funding in France | Rem Koolhaas to design New Museum expansion | and Dr Tarnya Cooper joins National Trust as curatorial and collections director

11 October 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi comes up for auction at Christie’s | Christie’s has announced that it is to auction Leonardo da Vinci’s recently attributed masterpiece Salvator Mundi at its New York sale in November. The painting is the last known Leonardo work remaining in private hands, and was generally presumed to have been destroyed until it was identified in 2005. In a highly unusual move, the painting will be auctioned as part of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art sale, where it is expected to fetch around $100m.

Fires in northern California force closure of arts institutions | California governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency due to the wildfires ravaging northern parts of the state. According to ArtNews, several arts institutions housing ‘prominent collections’ have been temporarily forced to close their doors for safety reasons. The Hess Collection, the Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, and the Stonescape, all located in Napa, have confirmed that their collections remain unaffected.

Controversy over heritage funding in France | A proposed lottery fund for the preservation of heritage sites has sparked controversy in France, reports the Times (£). Critics of the putative scheme have suggested that any money raised will be disproportionately allocated to monuments linked to the ancien régime, thus neglecting others linked with France’s post-1789 republican tradition.

Rem Koolhaas to design New Museum expansion | Rem Koolhaas’s OMA practice has been chosen to design the New Museum’s extension into 231 Bowery. As the New York Times reports, the project marks OMA’s first public project in New York, and with a relatively modest budget of $85m, it is expected to break ground in 2019. The museum says that it has raised 50 per cent of the necessary funds.

Dr Tarnya Cooper joins National Trust as curatorial and collections director | Art historian Dr Tarnya Cooper has joined the National Trust, taking up the role of curatorial and collections director. Cooper, who has been curatorial director at the National Portrait Gallery since 2011, has published several books, and curated major NPG exhibitions, including this year’s ‘The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt’.

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