Apollo Magazine

Former Stedelijk director Beatrix Ruf cleared of wrongdoing

Plus: Five men arrested for theft of Renoir and Rubens paintings worth £23m | Chinese vase found in a shoebox sells for £14m | and three candidates confirmed in battle for RIBA presidency

Photo: © Robin de Puy

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Former Stedelijk director Beatrix Ruf cleared of wrongdoing | Former director of the Stedelijk Museum, Beatrix Ruf, has been cleared of any wrongdoing by independent investigators commissioned by the Municipality of Amsterdam to conduct a seven month-long review of Ruf’s case. The investigators released their 120-page report on 12 June. Ruf, who resigned in October 2017 amid allegations that Currentmatters, her art-advisory consultancy, posed a conflict of interest with the museum, has responded with a statement saying that ‘contrary to stories in the press, the independent investigators concluded I always acted with integrity; all side activities were approved’. In an open letter released on the evening of 12 June, it was announced that three members of Stedelijk’s supervisory board will be stepping down with immediate effect. The members are Madeleine de Cock Buning, Jos van Rooijen and Rita Kersting.

Five men arrested for theft of Renoir and Rubens paintings worth £23 million | Five men, a Croatian and four Italians, who have been accused of stealing two paintings by Renoir and Rubens with an estimated worth of £23 million in Monza, Italy in April 2017, have been arrested by Italy’s Carabinieri, reports The Times (£). The men are alleged to have posed as wealthy art collectors to trick two gallery owners. Three of the men are now in prison while two, a father and son, remain at home. The paintings in question have yet to be recovered.

Chinese vase found in a shoebox sells for £14 million | An 18th-century Chinese vase that was found in perfect condition after decades spent in a shoebox in France was sold for £14.2 million at Sotheby’s in Paris on Tuesday. The final price was 20 times the estimated guide price of €500,000–€700,000 and now holds the record for the highest price for any single item sold at Sotheby’s in France. Olivier Valmier, an expert in Asian art, has stated that the porcelain vase, made for an emperor of the Qing dynasty, ‘is a major work of art’.

Three candidates confirmed in battle for RIBA presidency | RIBA has announced three candidates standing for president in their 2018 council elections. The candidates are Alan Jones from Northern Ireland, London-based RIBA councillor Elsie Owusu and Philip David Allsopp who works in Arizona. The successful candidate will begin their presidency on 1 September 2019 with a two-year term.