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Court of Appeal rejects call to save historic Liverpool district

2 August 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Court of Appeal rejects appeal to conserve Liverpool’s Lime Street | The Court of Appeal has ended a reprieve period granted to the Futurist Cinema and surrounding buildings on Liverpool’s Lime Street, leaving the path open for development on the site. The appeal had been brought by SAVE Britain’s Heritage, which opposes plans to demolish a row of historic buildings to make way for a hotel, student accommodation and retail units. SAVE has also drawn up plans for a large-scale refurbishment of the buildings as an alternative to the ‘harmful’ development plans. The ruling comes after a recent UNESCO warning that central Liverpool’s status as a World Heritage Site was threatened by such developments. SAVE has stated its intention to appeal to the Supreme Court, but the Liverpool Echo reports that demolition of the Futurist Cinema will begin this evening and is likely to have been completed by Thursday night.

China launches campaign to protect Great Wall from thieves | China’s Administration of Cultural Heritage has launched a campaign to prevent vandalism and theft at the Great Wall. The structure, parts of which may date back as far as the 3rd century BC, has in recent years been menaced by degradations caused by the theft of stones from its surface, which are often used as materials for makeshift construction work or sold to tourists as souvenirs.

Hyde Collection receives $11 million donation | The Hyde Collection, a small art museum in Glens Falls, upstate New York, has received a gift of works of art and cash worth $11 million. The gift, bestowed on the museum by architect Werner Feibes, comprises 105 works plus $1 million in cash. The Hyde will use the money to build a new gallery named in honour of Fiebes and his late husband James Schmitt, with whom he built the collection.

‘Highly toxic’ paints discovered at Pitzhanger Manor | Researchers working on the £11 million project to restore Sir John Soane’s Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing, west London, have discovered that the architect decorated his home using realgar, a paint colour known for its high levels of toxicity, according to a report in the Guardian. ‘When the tests confirmed it was realgar, a very unusual colour, […] and that it contained a high percentage of arsenic, there was certainly some consternation,’ said Pitzhanger Manor director Clare Gough. ‘Fortunately, it is now inert, and in good condition, so we don’t have to do anything with it except leave it well alone.’