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French cultural figures condemn Jeff Koons’ planned Paris memorial

23 January 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

French cultural figures condemn Jeff Koons’ planned Paris memorial | French newspaper Libération yesterday published an open letter, signed by over twenty prominent cultural figures in France, calling for the city of Paris not to install a Jeff Koons sculpture, donated by the artist and intended as a memorial to the victims of recent terrorist attacks (French-language article). Koons gifted the 12-metre-high work, titled Bouquet of Tulips, to the city in November 2016, although the donation excluded the cost of producing and installing the work. Signatories of the letter, which describes the sculpture as opportunistic ‘product placement’ as well as criticising its proposed location and its estimated €3.5m cost, include artist Christian Boltanski, filmmaker Oliver Assayas, Montpellier Contemporain director Nicolas Bourriaud, and several politicians.

Berlin museums return 11 works to Jewish collector’s heirs | The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation has facilitated the restitution of eleven works once owned by Jewish collector Margarete Oppenheim and forcibly sold in Nazi Germany in 1936, it announced on Monday. The objects were found in the collections of Berlin’s Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) and Skulpturensammlung, who have since repurchased five of the pieces: two 16th-century Donau School paintings and three 18th-century Meissen and Frankenthal porcelains.

William B. Jordan (1940–2018) | American art historian and philanthropist William B. Jordan died on Monday at the age of 77, the Dallas Museum of Art has confirmed. Jordan, a specialist in Spanish still-life painting, was a former curator at the DMA, where he later became a trustee, as well as the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth. In 2016 he came to public attention for the discovery and subsequent donation to the Prado Museum of a previously unknown portrait by Diego Velázquez.

Zuza Golińska wins inaugural ArtePrize 2017 | Polish artist Zuza Golińska is the winner of the inaugural edition of ArtePrize, a new award for emerging artists presented by social sharing platform ArteVue in collaboration with the Delfina Foundation in London. As winner of the prize, Golińska will receive $15,000 as well as a three-month residency at Delfina. The other three nominees were Sahil Naik, from India; Australian artist Kiah Reading; and Lukas Zerbst, from Germany.

Jakarta maritime museum reopens | Jakarta’s maritime museum, which last week was forced to close after a fire broke out in several of its former colonial-era 17th-century buildings, has reopened to the public, the Jakarta Post reports. The buildings affected by the fire remain closed for restoration.