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David Hockney breaks visitor records at Tate Britain

Plus: Fourth-century frescoes discovered in Rome catacombs | Relatives of Bloody Sunday victims demand removal of soldiers’ names from museum | and Ai Weiwei restages pose as drowned refugee child at Israel Museum

31 May 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

David Hockney breaks records at Tate Britain | Tate Britain has revealed that its David Hockney retrospective, which closed last weekend, received almost half a million visitors, making it the most popular exhibition ever held at the Millbank venue. The exhibition welcomed a total of 478,082 visitors, amounting to more than 4,300 visitors every day over the course of its three month run. ‘The response to this retrospective – the first in 29 years – has been incredible,’ said Tate Britain director Alex Farquharson. ‘It is wonderful that so many people have had the chance to see it, and that they found the exhibition so exciting, thought-provoking and moving.’

Fourth-century frescoes discovered in Rome catacombs | Archaeologists using laser technology have removed layers of grime from Rome’s catacombs to reveal frescoes dating back some 1,600 years, reports the Times (£). The frescoes were discovered in the catacombs of St Domitilla, Rome’s largest and oldest network of burial chambers. Experts believe they commemorate rich bakers who lived in the fourth century AD, after Emperor Constantine ended the repression of Christians. ‘Notables like these bakers were the last to convert but when they did, they were the first to paint their tombs with images of their profession,’ said Barbara Mazzei, who led the archaeological team.

Relatives of Bloody Sunday victims demand removal of soldiers’ names from museum | Relatives of people killed in the 1972 ‘Bloody Sunday’ massacre have demanded that the names of murdered police officers and soldiers be removed from Derry’s Bogside Museum, reports the Belfast Telegraph. The museum is home to a screen that displays the names of all individuals killed in the conflict in and around Derry between 1969 and 1972. The museum, which is owned by the Bloody Sunday Trust, says it is ‘totally unrepentant’ about including the names of British soldiers and law officers.

Ai Weiwei restages pose as drowned refugee child at Israel Museum | Ai Weiwei has restaged his controversial work in which he poses as drowned Kurdish refugee Aylan Kurdi, apparently in response to Donald Trump’s visit to the Israel Museum, where the artist is exhibiting work. According to the Art Newspaper reports that Ai Weiwei says that the museum ‘covered’ several of his works before the President’s visit.

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