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François Hollande Attacks ISIS’s Art Trafficking

18 November 2015

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

François Hollande Announces New Measures to Combat ISIS art-trafficking | France’s President François Hollande has unveiled an initiative aimed at derailing ISIS’s trafficking of artefacts and works of art, reports Le Point. Speaking at UNESCO’s 70th General Conference, Hollande declared that France was to introduce a ‘right to asylum’ for endangered works of art in the Middle East, in particular from Syria and Iraq. Whether the initiative will successfully deplete the group’s coffers remains to be seen: a study found last month that Syrian Government and US backed opposition forces are just as culpable of looting in the region as ISIS.

Kunsthalle Mannheim Discovers it may be in Possession of Works Looted by Nazis| Staff at Mannheim’s Kunsthalle Museum have discovered that 18 works in its collection may have been looted during the Nazi era, reports The ForwardThe museum is currently involved in tracking down possible heirs to the former owners of the works in question, which include sculptures and drawings by Max Slevogt and Edgar Degas.

Lowry Portrait Fetches £1.7 million | A 1950 portrait by LS Lowry has been bought for the record sum of £1.7 million at Sotheby’s London auction, reports the BBC. The painting, which was previously owned by collector Frank Cohen, depicts a father and his two sons. Other notable sales at Sotheby’s yesterday included a 1942 Barbara Hepworth drawing that went for £257,000.

Bundestag Grants €20 million to Haus der Kunst for Renovations | The German parliament has announced an enormous grant for Munich’s Haus der Kunst, reports ArtDaily. The new grant brings total funding for the huge renovations needed at the museum to a total of €78 million. The works are expected to begin at the end of 2017.

San Francisco Fine Arts Museum Places Whistleblower on Leave | Michele Gutierrez, the former chief financial officer of San Francisco’s Fine Arts Museum, has been placed on administrative leave, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Gutierrez caused the museum much embarrassment earlier this year, when she filed a complaint of financial misconduct on the part of its chief executive and board chair. It is unclear whether she will return to her position at the institution.

Museum of the City of New York Names New Director | The Museum of New York City has announced that Whitney W. Donhauser is to take over from Susan Henshaw Jones as Director when the latter retires at the end of the year. The New York Times reports that Donhauser has worked in museum management for over 20 years and has strong credentials as a fundraiser.

VIA Announces Recipients for New Grants | The VIA Art Fund has announced the recipients of its latest round of grants, which add up to a total of $190,000. The four projects recognised by the fund this time round are Jenny Holzer’s forthcoming semi-permanent installation at MASS, Noah Davis’s work at Underground Museum, Robin Rhode’s commission for Performa 15, and a new site-specific sculpture for New York’s Highline.

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