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Germany Compromises over Bill that Enraged Baselitz

16 September 2015

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

German Culture Ministry Compromises on Cultural Property Bill | Monika Grütters, Germany’s Culture Minister, has ‘toned down’ a controversial bill designed to keep the country’s cultural heritage within its borders, reports The Art Newspaper. The bill, which prompted artists including Georg Baselitz and Gerhard Richter to reclaim works they had loaned to public museums, would make it illegal to sell works over a certain value and age outside of Germany without an export license. The bill is now destined for a second round of consultation – will it be enough to placate Baselitz and co?

Russia Opens Criminal Enquiry for Contemporary Art Vandalism | Moscow Police have opened an enquiry against two ultra-conservative orthodox activists who vandalised a contemporary art exhibition in the Russian capital in August. The two vandals, who caused an estimated ₨ 1 million worth of damage, were originally fined just ₨ 1,000 ($14) on a charge of ‘petty hooliganism’. The police were ‘reluctant’ to go further, reports the Journal des Arts but it appears that sustained protest has provoked a change of heart.

Victorian Society Lists UK’s ‘Top 10 Endangered Buildings’ | The Victorian Society, an organisation seeking to protect Britain’s 19th-century heritage, has named its top 10 endangered buildings of 2015, as voted by the public. The annual list includes Kinmel Hall in Conwy, Ladywell Baths in London and Madeira Terrace in Brighton. Whether making the list will save them is, sadly, a moot point.

‘Ultimate Piece’ of Charles Darwin Memorabilia Comes up for Auction | A letter written by Charles Darwin in 1880 in which the evolutionary scientist states that he does ‘not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation’ is to come up for auction at Bonham’s New York next week. Out-of-pocket atheists need not apply; it is expected to fetch up to $90,000.

Ai Weiwei and Anish Kapoor Plan ‘Awareness Walk’ | Ai Weiwei and Anish Kapoor are to lead a public walk from the Royal Academy in Central London to Stratford in the city’s east end in order to raise awareness of the refugee crisis, reports the Independent. The artists hope that the seven-mile walk, which will begin at 10am tomorrow, will be repeated in cities around the world.

Jerwood Drawing Prize Winners Announced | London’s Jerwood Foundation has named the winners of its annual drawing prize. The first prize of £8,000 was awarded to Tom Harrison. Runners-up were Elisa Alaluusua, Bryan Eccleshall and Lois Langmead.

V&A Announces New Appointment | London’s Victoria & Albert Museum has named Antonia Boström as its new Keeper of Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics & Glass. Boström, who is currently Director of Curatorial Affairs at Kansas’s Nelson-Atkins Museum, will start at the V&A in January.