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Moscow’s architectural heritage threatened by development plan

15 May 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Constructivist architecture under threat in Moscow | The inclusion of several early Constructivist housing blocks on a list of 4,500 apartment buildings proposed for demolition in Moscow has alarmed preservationists, reports the Art Newspaper. The city’s plan to relocate up to 1.6 million residents and redevelop the sites sparked a demonstration on Sunday, and has been described by critics as a property grab. According to the Moscow Times, mayor Sergei Sobyanin has justified the proposals on the grounds that the targeted buildings – most of them pre-fabricated blocks from the 1950s and ’60s known as Khrushchevki – are ‘uncomfortable, largely dilapidated housing’.

Anne Imhof awarded Golden Lion at Venice | In addition to winning the 2017 Absolut Art award last week, Anne Imhof has been awarded the Venice Biennale’s top prize for Faust, her exhibition at the German pavilion. Franz Erhard Walther won the Golden Lion for best artist in the biennale’s central show, with Hassan Khan taking silver for his sound installation. Other special mentions went to Cinthia Marcelle’s show at the Brazilian pavilion, and Charles Atlas and Petrit Halilaj.

Luis A. Croquer appointed director of Rose Art Museum | Luis A. Croquer has been named as the new director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University near Boston. Croquer, who is currently deputy director of exhibitions, collections and programmes at the University of Washington’s Henry Art Gallery, will take up the post in July. He replaces Christopher Bedford, who is leaving to take the reins at the Baltimore Museum of Art.

ELEMENTAL wins commission to design Qatar’s Art Mill project | Qatar Museums has announced that Chilean architectural practice ELEMENTAL has won the competition to convert Doha’s flour mills into a major new cultural complex. ELEMENTAL saw off strong competition from practices including Renzo Piano Building Workshop and the UK’s Adam Khan Architects, which was named runner-up. The jury praised the winning proposal as ‘a serene artwork’.

Recommended reading | In an opinion column for the Guardian, Bob and Roberta Smith warns that Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union may lead to severe cuts to the arts, and even a ‘dissolution of our museums and galleries comparable in its devastation to that visited on England in the 1530s’. Elsewhere, Le Mondes Roxana Azimi discovers how international museums are clubbing together to make acquisitions in the face of rising art market prices (French language article). And in response to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s proposal to levy a mandatory entrance charge, the New York Times asks whether such action would deter potential visitors. The verdict? Probably not.