Apollo Magazine

Future uncertain for George Lucas’s Chicago museum plans

Plus: Poland’s memory wars over Second World War museum | Marseille to host Manifesta 2020 | recommended reading

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

George Lucas’s plans for a Chicago museum falter | Despite the best efforts of the mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, film director George Lucas’s scheme to open a museum of narrative art on a 17-acre plot in the city centre appears to be unravelling. Earlier this week, Lucas’s wife Mellody Hobson announced that other cities were being considered as sites for the museum. In 2014, non-profit conservation group Friends of the Parks filed a federal lawsuit to stop the museum being built on public land. In February a judge denied the City of Chicago’s move to dismiss the lawsuit and now, in a ‘last-ditch’ effort to save the project, lawyers representing the city of Chicago have filed a petition for a writ to overturn that decision.

Poland’s memory wars over Second World War museum | Nearly 200 academics, historians, and cultural commentators have written to the Polish government to protest against the ruling Law and Justice party’s plans to interfere with work on a new museum of the Second World War. The institution was due to open in Gdansk in November, with a global focus on the conflict. The historian Timothy Snyder has described it as ‘perhaps the most ambitious museum devoted to World War Two in any country’. The Law and Justice party wants the museum to focus instead on the Polish experience of the war and for it to merge with another (as yet unbuilt) institution dedicated to the 1939 Battle of Westerplatte. One opponent has described the move as a ‘mindless act of vandalism’.

Marseille to host Manifesta 2020 | Officials in Marseille have confirmed that the Mediterranean port is to host the 13th edition of contemporary art biennale Manifesta. The event, which will take place in four years’ time, will be the first time the festival has taken place in France. According to The Art Newspaper, the city will provide up to a third of the project’s funding.

Recommended reading | The Guardian’s Jason Farago has visited Frieze this week and, on balance, he likes what he sees – not least Maurizio Cattelan’s ass. On the Independent website, Veronica Lee defends the value of public art, praising Pierre Vivant’s Traffic Light Tree in London and Gordon Young’s Comedy Carpet in Blackpool. However, she isn’t so keen on Anish Kapoor’s ‘hideous’ ArcelorMittal Orbit tower. In the LA Times, David Ng recounts the story of how a long-lost painting by Rembrandt ended up in the Getty Museum, while Balkan Insight’s Raphael Toe reports on Bosnia’s efforts to combat the roaring trade in art trafficking.

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