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Stolen Guercino painting resurfaces in Casablanca

Plus: Cologne foundation insists it represents August Sander’s estate | Jannis Kounellis (1936–2017) | and Michigan art dealer handed three-year sentence for selling fake paintings

17 February 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Stolen Guercino painting resurfaces in Casablanca | A painting by Guercino that was stolen from the church of San Vincenzo in Modena in 2014 has been traced to Casablanca, Morocco, by Italy’s art crime police squad. According to the police, three men have been arrested in connection with the theft of Madonna with the Saints John the Evangelist and Gregory the Wonderworker (1639) reportedly having tried to fence the painting to a Moroccan businessman, who then alerted the authorities. Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini says that negotiations are under way to repatriate the painting ‘as soon as possible’.

Cologne foundation challenges Hauser + Wirth’s representation of August Sander | Cologne-based foundation SK Stiftung Kultur has issued a statement to say that it bought the estate and archive of August Sander in 1992. This is in response to the announcement from Hauser + Wirth earlier this week, that the Swiss gallery would be representing the photographer’s estate in collaboration with his great grandson, Julian Sander of Galerie Julian Sander, Cologne.

Jannis Kounellis (1936–2017) | The Greek-Italian artist Jannis Kounellis has died in Rome at the age of 80. Born in Piraeus, when he was 20 Kounellis left Greece for Rome to study art, and held his first exhibition in 1960. Kounellis used humble materials and became a leading light of the Arte Povera movement. Kounellis has been the subject of many museum retrospectives, most recently at Athens’s Museum of Cycladic Art.

Michigan art dealer sentenced for selling fakes | Eric Spoutz, a Michigan-based art dealer accused of involvement in a scheme to sell fake paintings, has been sentenced to 41 months in jail by a New York court. Spoutz was found guilty of being involved in a scheme to sell fake works by artists such as Willem de Kooning and Joan Mitchell. He has also been ordered to pay back the $1.45 million he made from the scheme and pay $154,100 in restitution.

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