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Fire destroys Delhi’s Natural History Museum

26 April 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Fire ravages Delhi’s Natural History Museum | In the early hours of this morning, a fire broke out in New Delhi’s National Museum of Natural History and ripped through the building. Thankfully, there were no fatalities (two firefighters were injured while tackling the blaze, but both have been released from hospital), but it is feared that the museum may have lost its entire collection. The institution, which was opened in 1978 in an effort to promote environmental awareness, was preparing to move to new facilities after a government report expressed concerns over the building’s maintenance.

Reports of gallery closures at MoMA scotched | Last week there was much speculation in the press over the fate of the architecture and design galleries at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. In response, Martino Stierli, the Philip Johnson chief curator of architecture and design at the museum, has written to a number of publications to dismiss the rumours as ‘absolutely not true.’ The letter, reproduced in Dezeen, affirms that the ‘abolishing of architecture and design-designated galleries is not and has never been an issue under consideration.’

Lisson and Gagosian galleries send work to Tehran | Now that economic sanctions against Iran have been lifted, art galleries are extending feelers to Tehran, suggests The Art Newspaper. The Lisson and Gagosian galleries have consented to lend works by artists Shirazeh Houshiary and Y. Z. Kami to the city’s Ab-Anbar gallery, which is staging a group show by artists from Iran and the Iranian diaspora. Greg Hilty, curatorial director of Lisson, described the loan as an ‘exciting opportunity…to engage with the burgeoning contemporary art scene in Iran.’

Recommended reading | In Le Figaro, Marie-Amélie Blin investigates the remains of a defensive wall that Philippe II built around Paris in the 13th century. (French language article.) The ruins of a tower that formed part of the fortifications were dug up recently by construction workers building a new auditorium for the Institut de France. Should the building project continue? Meanwhile in The Architects’ Journal, Colin Marrs investigates London mayor Boris Johnson’s record as he prepares to leave office. And in the Guardian, Jonathan Jones has responded favourably to a series of posters designed by Wolfgang Tillmans encouraging the British people to vote to stay in the European Union.