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Climate activists stage three-day protest against BP sponsorship at British Museum

Plus: Ella Fontanals-Cisneros cancels gift of 400 works to Spanish state | Counterspace named as architects of Serpentine Pavilion 2020 | Agnes Gund wins inaugural Ruth Bader Ginsburg leadership award | and Louvre to remain open throughout closing weekend of Leonardo show

10 February 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Climate activists stage three-day protest at British Museum over BP sponsorship | Climate activists staged a 51-hour demonstration at the British Museum in London this weekend, in protest of the museum’s relationship with sponsors BP. The action began on Friday morning (7 February), when members of the group BP or not BP? smuggled a Trojan horse into the courtyard; it reached its peak on Saturday, with the museum estimating that the number of participants was in the ‘high hundreds’. Around 40 protestors remained in the Great Court of the museum overnight on Saturday, leaving on Sunday morning. In a statement, the museum’s director Hartwig Fischer said that ‘we respect other people’s right to express their views’, while adding that the museum relies on ‘external support and sponsorship’ for its programming.

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros cancels gift of 400 works to Spanish state | The art collector Ella Fontanals-Cisneros has cancelled the planned donation of 400 works from her collection to the nation of Spain, which had been intended to form the founding collection of a new museum of Latin American art. According to El País, Fontanals-Cisneros called off the donation, which was announced in 2018, over a series of disagreements with the new Spanish culture minister, José Guirao.

Counterspace named as architects of Serpentine Pavilion 2020 | The South African architectural practice Counterspace will design this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, a temporary structure erected each summer on the grounds of the Serpentine Galleries in Kensington Gardens, London. The proposal submitted by Counterspace, which was founded in Johannesburg in 2014, draws inspiration from community spaces from neighbourhoods across London, including Ealing, Peckham, Brixton and Edgware Road, chosen for their ‘relevance to migrant and other peripheral communities’. The structure itself will consist of small moveable parts that will be dispersed throughout the city.

Agnes Gund wins inaugural Ruth Bader Ginsburg leadership award | The art collector and patron Agnes Gund has been awarded the inaugural Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award by the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation. Gund, who is president emerita of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and chairman of MoMA PS1, founded the nonprofit Art for Justice Fund in 2017, which offers grants to artists and organisations who are working to reduce the number of prisoners in the U.S.. Gund will receive the award from Justice Ginsburg in Washington, D.C. this Friday.

Louvre to remain open throughout closing weekend of Leonardo show | The Louvre has announced that next weekend it will remain open for 24 hours a day, as its blockbuster Leonardo da Vinci exhibition comes to a close. Free tickets will be made available tomorrow for museum-goers to visit the display between the hours of 9pm and 8:30am from Friday 21 February to Sunday 23 February. Louvre officials hope the move will allow an additional 30,000 visitors to see the show, and have stated that it is their way of ‘thanking the public for their interest in the exhibition’.