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Fire brought under control at Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt

Plus: Boston's Museum of Fine Arts receives grant from Netherlands for new centre | Italian lawsuit over $800m estate threatens NYU collection | and recommended reading

30 July 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Fire brought under control at Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt | A fire broke out yesterday at the Frankfurt Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK). A statement released by the museum confirms that the blaze, which was tackled by around 70 firefighters throughout the day, did not cause any personal injuries or damage to artworks, the majority of which were in storage as the Hans Hollein-designed museum building is currently closed for restoration. The cause of the fire is unconfirmed.

MFA Boston receives Dutch grant for new Netherlandish art centre | The Dutch government has awarded $200,000 to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which will go towards a new centre for Netherlandish art at the museum, the Art Newspaper reports. The centre, which is expected to open next year, will run exhibition and education programmes among other activities. It was founded by two Boston-based couples, Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matthew Weatherbie, who have collectively donated 114 Dutch and Flemish paintings to the museum.

Italian lawsuit over $800m estate threatens NYU collection | A civil court in Florence has ruled that Dialta Orlandi is the biological granddaughter of the British collector Arthur Acton, whose son Harold Acton left the majority of his estate – including an extensive art collection and the Renaissance Villa La Pietra, collectively worth an estimated £800m – to New York University (NYU). An NYU spokesman said the university was reviewing whether to contest the court’s decision, which he noted ‘relates to paternity and has no bearing on the inheritance claims, which remain before the court’. The case will now go before the Supreme Court in Italy.

Recommended reading | The Guardian reports on the colourful seesaws slicing through the US–Mexico border, which in the words of their creator, architecture professor Ronald Rael, offer ‘a literal fulcrum’ between the two countries. The New York Times (£) examines the ‘diversity problem’ of the city’s cultural institutions, in which ethnic minorities are significantly underrepresented, according to a report commissioned by the mayor and released this week.

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