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Buckingham Palace to undergo £369million renovation

Plus: Helen Marten wins Hepworth Sculpture Prize | Unauthorised Anselm Kiefer exhibition to go ahead in Beijing | Seoul police make arrests relating to Lee Ufan forgery ring | and Perdita Hunt to step down as director of Watts Gallery Trust

18 November 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Buckingham Palace to undergo ‘essential’ refurbishment | Buckingham Palace is to undergo a £369 million refurbishment that may take up to 10 years to complete. Officials say that essential renovations on cables, pipes, and electrical wires must be carried out in a project intended to make the palace ‘fit for purpose’ for the next 50 years. The works will also improve visitor facilities and cut the building’s carbon footprint by an estimated 40 per cent. The renovations will be carried out in stages, so that the Royal Family will be able to remain in residence. ‘We take the responsibility that comes with receiving these public funds extremely seriously indeed’, said Tony Johnstone-Burt, Master of the Royal Household. ‘Equally,’ he continued, ‘we are convinced that, by making this investment in Buckingham Palace now, we can avert a much more costly and potentially catastrophic building failure in the years to come.’

Helen Marten wins Hepworth Sculpture Prize | Helen Marten has been named the winner of the inaugural Hepworth Sculpture Prize, seeing off strong competition from Phyllida Barlow, David Medalla, and Steven Claydon. Marten, 31, was praised by judges for her ‘fresh, exciting and new’ contribution to contemporary art, and Hepworth Wakefield director Simon Wallis director described her as ‘one of the strongest and most singular voices working in British art today’. In her acceptance speech Marten announced that she would be sharing the £30,000 money with the other three nominees. Marten is also on the shortlist for this year’s Turner Prize – can she repeat this win?

Unauthorised Anselm Kiefer exhibition to go ahead in Beijing | The Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing has said that its Anselm Kiefer exhibition will open tomorrow despite the artist’s call for it be cancelled. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Kiefer said that the exhibition was taking place without his involvement or consent. CAFA has responded by claiming that the show’s German organisers had repeatedly tried to contact the artist for his involvement, but had been rebuffed. The museum added that all works featured had been approved by individual and institutional collections, and the exhibition complied with all ‘relevant laws’.

Seoul police make arrests in connection to Lee Ufan forgery ring | Three more suspects have been arrested in connection with the production and distribution of fake Lee Ufan works, reports the Korea Times. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency says that it has arrested an artist known as ‘Park’ and a pair of dealers who are thought to be married and identified as ‘Kim’ and ‘Ku’. ‘Park’ allegedly sold works he had embellished with Ufan’s signature to the dealers for around 300 million won ($260,000), before they sold the paintings on to a gallery for approximately 2.9 billion won. Police say that ‘Park’ has admitted to forgery. The arrests follow a conviction made earlier this year, in which a dealer was indicted for selling counterfeit Ufan works.

Perdita Hunt to step down as director of Watts Gallery Trust | Perdita Hunt has announced that she is stepping down from her role at the Watts Gallery Trust to pursue other interests in culture and heritage. Hunt, who was appointed to the role in 2004, will leave the gallery in excellent shape when she departs next July. Under her watch, the gallery has conducted extensive restoration projects and acquisitions, and the institution now attracts around 65,000 people each year, 37,000 of whom are paying visitors. ‘It has been a great privilege to lead such a special institution as Watts Gallery Trust and I am proud of what we have achieved over the past decade,’ Hunt said.

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