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Church of the Holy Sepulchre reopens after renovations

Plus: Staff strike at the Musée Rodin | Guggenheim and Rockbund museums call off Middle Eastern art show | and Pompidou Centre to open ‘pop up’ in Shanghai

22 March 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Jesus’s tomb to reopen after nine-month restoration | A tomb in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus is believed to have been buried after the crucifixion is to reopen today following a nine-month renovation project. The restoration was led by a team of Greek scientists and restorers, who performed delicate work on a small structure above the burial chamber that experts believed was at risk of foundering. ‘If the intervention hadn’t happened now, there is a very great risk that there could have been a collapse,’ the World Monuments Fund’s Bonnie Burnham told Associated Press. As part of the restoration, the iron girders that had supported the structure for nearly 70 years were removed. The $4m renovation programme was jointly funded by contributions from the six denominations that share the church, the Palestinian Authority, King Abdullah of Jordan and Mica Ertegun.

Staff strike at the Musée Rodin | Employees at Paris’s Musée Rodin have gone on strike in protest at their working conditions, reports Le Figaro (French language article). The action was announced in a letter addressed to culture minister Audrey Azoulay on 14 March, and coincides with the opening of an exhibition at the Grand Palais commemorating the centenary of the sculptor’s death. In the letter, museum employees complained that working conditions for welcoming staff, security guards and box office workers were becoming ‘worse by the day’.

Guggenheim and Rockbund museums call off Middle Eastern art show | New York’s Guggenheim Museum and the Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai have called off a planned exhibition of Middle Eastern art, reports ArtNet News. Entitled ‘But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and Africa’, the exhibition was curated by Sara Raza and would have featured work from artists including Kader Attia and Hassan Khan. It was scheduled to open in New York last year, before travelling to China this April, but has been cancelled due to what the Guggenheim describes as ‘unforeseen circumstances’.

Pompidou Centre to open ‘pop up’ in Shanghai | The Art Newspaper reports that Paris’s Centre Pompidou is in negotiation to open up a satellite branch in Shanghai’s cultural district. It is believed that the project, to be realised in collaboration with the district government of Xuhui and the Shanghai-based West Bund Development Group, is to be housed within the West Bund Art Museum, with annual running costs of Rmb 50m ($7.2m).

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