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French culture minister announces heritage lottery fund

Plus: Courtauld Gallery to close for two years for £50m refurbishment | The battle to save a 1950s mural in New York | Swiss gallery Karma International relocates in Zurich

24 November 2017

A heritage lottery fund for France | The French culture minister Françoise Nyssen has unveiled plans to launch a heritage lottery (‘loto du patrimoine’; French language article) that will generate funds to invest in heritage sites that are at risk. The special lottery draw and scratch card game are expected to generate up to €20 million, money that will be assigned to a range of projects including those aimed at protecting the 2,000 or French sites considered as threatened. The announcement comes alongside confirmation that public funding for French monuments will be increased by 5 per cent to €326 million per annum for the five-year term of the current government.

Courtauld Gallery to close for two years for £50m renovation The Courtauld Institute of Art will close its galleries for two years from next summer for a redevelopment project that will include opening up the Great Room, which hosted the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibitions until 1837. The revamp will also create a second-floor space for temporary exhibitions,  a new learning centre and better spaces for art handling, storage and conservation. Visitors numbers are expected to rise from the 188,000 recorded in 2016 to between 300,000 and 350,000 once the project is completed in 2020.

Battle to save a 1950’s mural depicting New York in the 1800s | A 110-foot long canvas, painted by Julien Binford in 1954 and depicting part of Manhattan during the late 19th-century, is likely to be lost if plans to demolish the bank building in which it is housed go ahead, reports the New York Times. City councilman Corey Johnson, who represents the neighbourhood, and the preservationist group Save Chelsea, are calling on property developer Gemini Rosemont to protect ‘A Memory of 14th Street and 6th Avenue’ which, although painted by a relatively unknown artist, is seen to represent a significant moment in America’s history.

Swiss gallery Karma International relocates in Zurich | The Swiss gallery Karma International is moving from its current location at Hönggerstrasse 75 in Zurich to Weststrasse 75. The new venue, designed by Caruso St John – the architects responsible for Tate Britain’s refurbishment in 2013 – will open on 13 December with an exhibition dedicated to Meret Oppenheim.

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