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Church of the Holy Sepulchre closes indefinitely

26 February 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Church of the Holy Sepulchre closes indefinitely | The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem has been shut indefinitely by church leaders during a protest on Sunday. The Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox churches, who are the primary custodians of the site, decided to lock the building’s doors in protest of a new tax policy and land expropriation law which they view as an attack on Christians in the Holy Land. It is unclear when the church will reopen. The Israeli government has delayed its consideration of the contested land bill by a week in the hope the dispute can be resolved.

Outsider Art Fair reaches Basel | The Outsider Art Fair has announced that it will launch a third edition in Basel this year (in addition to New York and Paris), reports the New York Times. Around 25 dealers will be offering work by from 13–17 June at the Hotel Pullman, very near to Art Basel, which runs until a day earlier (June 16). The artists on display will be international, though Andrew Edlin, owner of the Outsider Art Fair, says the edition hopes to focus on the history of art brut in the region, including pieces from Adolf Wölfli and Aloïse Corbaz.

Stolen Degas discovered near Paris | Les Choristes (1877), the Degas work which was stolen nine years ago when it was on display in Marseille’s Cantini museum, has been discovered by the French customs police on a bus near Paris. The thirteen-by-ten-inch pastel work depicts a line of chorus singers in the opera and has been found in time to join an exhibition, planned for the centenary of Degas’s death, at the Musee d’Orsay.

French cultural figures express support for Jeff Koons sculpture | A group of French art figures on Thursday published an open letter in Le Monde urging that Paris accept a sculpture gifted to them by Jeff Koons as a memorial to the victims of the Paris terror attacks. The op-ed is a response to another letter published on 22 January, which was signed by over 20 prominent cultural figures, and which called for Paris not to install the 12-metre-high Bouquet of Tulips. Signed by the president of Galerie Lelong among others, the new open letter argues that Koons ‘wanted to offer Paris a bouquet of flowers, a monumental work unpublished and unique, a message of hope’.

Recommended reading | In the Financial Times, Julie L. Belcove talks to Lorna Simpson, who is well known in the US for her mixed-media pieces exploring race and gender but ‘still under the radar’ internationally. In the Art Newspaper, Catherine Hickley writes about the gradual reappraisal of East German art after  decades of its being dismissed. And in the Independent, William Cook asks whether we should admire the paintings of Emil Nolde, the Nazi-supporting ‘degenerate’ artist, whose retrospective at the National Gallery of Ireland has recently opened.