Art News Daily

France to lend Benin €20 million for museum to house looted artefacts

Plus: Kurdish artist Zehra Doğan detained in Berlin following protest-performance | Charles Dickens Museum buys back portrait lost for 133 years | and recommended reading

19 July 2019

France to lend Benin €20million museum to house looted artefacts | Benin will use a $20 million loan from the government of France to open a new museum in the town of Abomey that will house 26 artefacts taken from the country by French colonists in the late 19th century. The museum is slated to open in 2021. Alain Godonou, director of Museums of Benin, said the nation wants to ‘reclaim its property rights’ to the works, and added: ‘We want the works to move around, that is our philosophy. In the end they are part of world heritage.’

Kurdish artist Zehra Doğan detained in Berlin after protest-performance | Artist and activist Zehra Doğan, who was recently incarcerated by the Turkish government for creating and sharing a painting critical of that nation’s security forces, was briefly detained in Berlin on Sunday after a protest at the city’s Pergamon Museum. Doğan and three other artists were protesting the construction of Ilisu Dam, which will destroy Hasankeyf, an ancient Mesopotamian city in southeastern Turkey. All four artists were released later that evening.

Charles Dickens Museum buys portrait lost for 133 years | The Charles Dickens Museum in London has raised £180,000 to buy a Margaret Gillies portrait of the author when he was 33, reported lost in 1886. The portrait resurfaced two years ago in South Africa, in a cardboard box of trinkets (including a metal lobster and a recorder) that was auctioned off for the equivalent of £27. The buyer contacted art dealer Philip Mould, who brought the portrait back to London and helped to confirm its provenance.

Recommended reading | In the New York Times Magazine, artists Martha Rosler, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Torey Thornton, and director of the collection of the Whitney Museum, David Breslin, and Jewish Museum curator Kelly Taxter nominate 25 defining works of contemporary art.