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Easter Islanders call for British Museum to return Moai statue

8 August 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Rapa Nui call for British Museum to return Maoi statue to Easter Island | The Rapa Nui people of Easter Island have called for the repatriation of an ancient Moai statue known as Hoa Hakananaia, currently in the collection of the British Museum in London. The indigenous authorities have asked for the support of the Chilean government, whose national treasures minister Felipe Ward described the repatriation request as ‘appropriate’, reports AFP. The statue is believed to have been stolen from the island and given as a gift to Queen Victoria in 1868 before she donated it to the British Museum the following year.

Nam June Paik Prize 2018 shortlist announced | Germany’s Kunststiftung NRW Foundation has announced the shortlist for this year’s Nam June Paik Award. Artists Andreas Angelidakis, Melanie Bonajo, Antoine Catala, Hanne Lippard and Sondra Perry have been selected, with the winner of the biennial €25,000 prize to be announced in November.

CEO of MCH Group resigns | Artnet News reports that René Kamm, CEO since 2003 of Art Basel’s parent company MCH Group, has stepped down. Kamm’s resignation directly followed the announcement that Swatch, a major exhibitor at MCH Group’s watch and jewellery trade fair Baselworld, had pulled out of its next edition. Ulrich Vischer, chairman of the Basel-based company’s board of directors, will serve as interim head until a successor is appointed.

Toby Kamps joins White Cube | Toby Kamps is leaving the University of Houston’s Blaffer Art Museum, where he was appointed director and senior curator in 2017, to become director of external projects at the White Cube in London. Prior to joining the Blaffer, Kamps held curatorial positions at the Menil Collection and Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; he has also since 2016 curated Frieze Art Fair’s Spotlight section.

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