Our daily round-up of news from the art world
Easter Island mayor suggests Moai statue should stay in Britain | Reuters reports that Pedro Edmunds Paoa, mayor of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), has suggested yesterday that the ancient Polynesian statue known as Hoa Hakananai’a might be better off staying at the British Museum. The case for restitution of the statue, which was taken from the island by a British ship captain and given as a gift to Queen Victoria 150 years ago, was made by Chilean officials and Rapa Nui dignitaries during an appeal in London last month. Paoa, however, argues that similar statues currently on the island are ‘buried, ignored and discarded’ and left exposed to the natural elements. He proposes that the British Museum instead facilitate the conservation of cultural heritage currently in Rapa Nui.
Robin Nicholson named director of Telfair Museums | Robin Nicholson, current director of the Frick Pittsburgh, has been named the new executive director and CEO of the Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia. He replaces Lisa Grove, who departed for a role as deputy director of the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, which is set to open in 2020. Nicholson will join the Telfair in March 2019.
Update on recovery of objects from National Museum of Brazil | Researchers at the National Museum in Brazil yesterday announced that 1,500 items have so far been recovered from the ashes of the devastating fire that took place at the museum in September. The blaze gutted the building, and much of the collection of some 20 million pieces has been lost. Key objects recovered so far include a pre-Columbian funeral urn, indigenous Brazilian arrows and a Peruvian vase. Fragments of the skull and femur of ‘Luzia’, a 11,500-year-old female skeleton, also survive. It was also announced yesterday that the German government has donated $205,385 towards the necessary conservation equipment.
Tania Bruguera cancels appearance at Kochi-Muziris Biennale | The artist Tania Bruguera, who was last week released from Cuban jail after being detained for planning to protest against a proposed cultural censorship law, Decree 349, has announced her intentions to remain in the country and continue fighting the government’s plans. In an open letter Bruguera states that she has therefore cancelled her scheduled appearance at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, which opens next week.