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Fire at construction site of Humboldt Forum in Berlin

8 April 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world 

Fire at construction site of Humboldt Forum in Berlin | This morning firefighters were called to the construction site of the Humboldt Forum in Berlin, which is set to open in September, to extinguish a blaze caused by the explosion of a propane gas canister, according to the city’s fire service. Two tar cookers reportedly caught alight, creating a large amount of smoke, although it is reported that the fire was brought under control in 20 minutes without any damage caused to the building. One person was injured and is being treated in hospital.

Government turns down council bid for Reading Prison | Reading Borough Council’s bid to buy Reading Prison, the Grade II-listed site where Oscar Wilde was once jailed, has been rejected by the Ministry of Justice, which put the property up for sale last year. The council has previously indicated its interest in converting the building into a theatre or arts centre, a scheme backed by figures including Stephen Fry and Julian Barnes. The Ministry of Justice has declined to comment on its decision.

Helène Aylon (1931–2020) | The American artist Helène Aylon has died at the age of 89 of coronavirus-related causes. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Aylon later moved to San Francisco, where she embarked on a career as an abstract painter. In the 1980s, she returned to New York, and shifted her focus to performances, installations and other works exploring environmental and feminist themes, as well as her own experiences of Jewish traditions and theology.