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Czech national museum finds fake gemstones in collection

9 March 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Czech national museum finds multiple fakes in gem collection  | A number of the most prized gemstones housed in the Czech Republic’s National Museum in Prague have been exposed as fakes, reports the Times (£). Curators conducting an inventory of the collection of the museum, which is currently preparing to reopen after a six-year closure for renovations, have discovered that several highly-valued objects, including an item thought to be a 19-carat sapphire and a five-carat diamond, were in fact counterfeit and in some cases fabricated from plain glass. The museum has so far analysed 400 of its 5,000 stones, and will spend the next two years studying its collection of some 20 million objects.

Bordeaux contemporary art museum director faces dismissal | Maria Inés Rodriguez, director of Bordeaux’s musée d’art contemporain (CAPC), is facing dismissal from her role, according to French newspaper Libération (French-language article). It has been reported that Rodriguez was called to a town hall meeting earlier this week, where she faced criticism for her exhibition programme and handling of administrative matters. Rodriguez, who was first appointed to her current position in 2013, and last year renewed her contract for an additional three-year term, has so far declined to give a public statement on the situation.

French high court dismisses case against Guggenheim Foundation | The Cour de Cassation, France’s highest court, has dismissed an appeal by French descendants of Peggy Guggenheim, who in 2014 sued the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation claiming that it had failed to respect their late relative’s wishes in regard to the management of assets she had bequeathed to the American foundation. The plaintiffs argued that the foundation should not have removed works from Guggenheim’s collection from display in order to make space for a temporary exhibition in 2013. According to the Art Newspaper, the court found that Guggenheim’s descendants ‘did not establish’ that the exhibition and removal of works from display ‘damaged the reputation’ of the collection.

Lower Manhattan Council appoints Lili Chopra director of cultural programs, grants, and services | Lili Chopra has been appointed as executive director of Lower Manhattan’s cultural programs, grants, and services. Since 2006, Chopra has served as executive vice president and artistic director of the French Institute Alliance Française. She will take up her new post on 9 April.

Recommended reading | On the eve of his first New York show in three years, Jeff Koons speaks to the Guardian’s Jake Nevins about politics, ‘transcendence’ and whether or not he stills considers himself an ‘outsider’. Elsewhere, TEFAF chairman Nanne Dekking discusses art market transparency with the Art Newspapers Melanie Gerlis. Finaly, a new exhibition at the Whitney seeks to redeem the reputation of Grant Wood; in a review of the show for the New Yorker, Peter Schjeldahl assesses the American Gothic painter’s ‘programmatic sense of mission’ to portray rural America in ‘a manner adapted from Flemish Old Masters’.

Lead image: used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 4.0; original image cropped)