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Christie’s to close South Kensington branch

Plus: Bernard Arnault to open new art space in Paris | Louvre security staff to strike | and Beyer Blinder Belle to become the Frick’s executive architect

8 March 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Christie’s to close South Kensington saleroom | Christie’s is to close its secondary London saleroom in South Kensington at the end of 2017, reports the New York Times. Faced with a cooling European market, the auction house will also be scaling back its operations in Amsterdam, and possibly laying off as many as 250 employees, or 12 per cent of its workforce. The news reflects a shift in sales to new buyers from Europe to Asia and the USA. Christie’s is to open a new gallery in Los Angeles in April. ‘The art market is fast-evolving,’ said CEO Guillaume Cerutti. ‘We have been looking at the globalisation of the market in the last decade and need to be present and strong where the clients are.’

Bernard Arnault to open new art space in Paris | Businessman and art collector Bernard Arnault has announced plans to convert Paris’s Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires into a space for arts and crafts for his LVMH company. According to Le Parisien (French language article), LVMH will pay the city of Paris €150,000 annually for a 50-year lease of the building, which is located in the Bois de Boulogne, close to the company’s Fondation Louis Vuitton museum.

Louvre security staff to strike | Security staff at Paris’s Musée du Louvre have informed the museum’s president that they are to go on strike on 10 March, citing the museum’s poor handling of crowds for its current Vermeer exhibition. According to Artforum, security staff say that they have experienced ‘physical and verbal aggressions’ from visitors to the blockbuster exhibition, and it is thus ‘in the best general interest of the public’ that their union has called for a strike.

Beyer Blinder Belle to become the Frick’s executive architect | The Frick Collection has announced that Beyer Blinder Belle is to serve as the executive architect for the upgrade and expansion of the museum’s facilities. The firm will provide technical support to help realise the plan, which as previously reported here, is to be masterminded by Selldorf Architects.

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