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Fitzwilliam acquisition saves Queen Victoria bust for the nation

Plus: Seventeenth-century claymore stolen from Hebridean museum | New work by Flemish Baroque artist Michaelina Wautier discovered | Anish Kapoor files lawsuit against NRA | and Bronx Museum of the Arts appoints new Executive Director

20 June 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Fitzwilliam acquisition saves Queen Victoria bust for the nation | A white marble portrait bust of Queen Victoria has been acquired by the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge for over £1m, preventing the export of the work to a museum in New York, the Guardian reports. The bust was sold to an undisclosed American museum last year, but the UK government delayed the provision of an export license to allow an opportunity for UK institutions to match the price. The bust, carved by Sir Alfred Gilbert between 1887–89, depicts the monarch in a realist style at the age of 70. It is the only surviving marble piece by Gilbert in a UK institution.

Seventeenth-century claymore stolen from Hebridean museum | A 400-year-old claymore sword has been stolen from a museum of Gaelic culture and heritage on Canna, an island in the Scottish Inner Hebrides with a population of 18. According to The Press and Journal (Aberdeen), police from Mallaig on the Scottish mainland have travelled to the island to investigate the theft, said to have taken place between 6–9 June. The 400-year-old, 7ft broadsword, decorated with a stamped fleur de lys, is an important part of the collection at Canna House, which is managed by the National Trust for Scotland.

New work by Flemish Baroque artist Michaelina Wautier discovered | A previously unknown work by the Flemish Baroque artist Michaelina Wautier has been discovered at an auction in Cologne, the Art Newspaper reports. The work had previously been attributed to Jacob Van Oost; however, staff at the auction house were uncertain about the attribution and contacted Wautier expert Katlijne Van der Stighelen, who reattributed the work. Van der Stighelen is the curator of Wautier’s first ever major institutional exhibition, which opened just over two weeks ago at the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp.

Anish Kapoor files lawsuit against NRA | The British artist Anish Kapoor has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the National Rifle Association over the American gun lobby’s use of an image of his sculpture Cloud Gate (2004) in a promotional video, according to the Art Newspaper. Kapoor had previously published an open letter condemning last year’s video, entitled The Violence of Lies, which features a black-and-white image of the sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park. Kapoor has demanded that the image be removed from the video, and seeks $150,000 in damages for each instance of infringement.

Bronx Museum of the Arts appoints new Executive Director | Deborah Cullen-Morales has been appointed the Executive Director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts. Cullen-Morales, who will take up the role at the Bronx next month, is the current director and chief curator of the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University.

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