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Director of Mori Art Museum to retire

Plus: Séverine Lepape named director of the Cluny Museum | and Guatemala and Mexico protest pre-Columbian sale in Paris

19 September 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Director of Mori Art Museum to retire | The Mori Art Museum in Tokyo has announced that its director Fumio Nanjo, who has held the post since 2006, will retire at the end of this year. Major exhibitions held at the museum under his leadership include ‘Japan in Architecture: Genealogies of Its Transformation’ (2018). He will be succeeded on 1 January 2020 by Mami Kataoka, who has served as chief curator since the opening of the museum in 2003; Kataoka was also the artistic director of the Sydney Biennale in 2018.

Séverine Lepape named director of the Cluny Museum | The Cluny Museum in Paris has named Séverine Lepape as its new director. Lepape, formerly the curator of Edmond de Rothschild’s collection of prints at the Louvre, will oversee the full reopening of France’s National Museum of the Middle Ages in spring 2021.

Guatemala and Mexico protest against pre-Columbian sale in Paris | A sale of pre-Columbian artworks took place at Hotel Drouot in Paris yesterday (18 September), despite protests from the governments of Guatemala and Mexico that such auctions ‘encourage looting and trafficking’. One of the lots in the sale was withdrawn last week, after Guatemala demanded its restitution on the basis that it is believed to have been smuggled out of the country in the 1960s; Mexico later claimed that a further 95 works in the sale had been looted. No legal action was taken to prevent the sale, while auctioneer Alexandre Millon has described the actions of the two countries as ‘opportunistic cultural nationalism’.

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