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Getty Trust founding president Harold M. Williams dies

Plus: US authorities seize ancient Greek vase at the Met | Twelve recipients of Getty’s architectural conservation grant announced | Stolen equipment closes Koki Tanaka installation at Skulptur Projekte Münster | and archaeologists unearth ancient statue at Cambodian temple

1 August 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Getty Trust founding president Harold M. Williams dies | Harold M. Williams, founding president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, has died aged 89. Williams, who served in his position from 1981 to 1998, was responsible for envisioning and building the Getty Center in Los Angeles, expanding the Getty into a multi-location, interdisciplinary institution dedicated to scholarship, conservation and education as well as the presentation of art. He retired from his role soon after the Richard Meier-designed centre opened in 1997, and in 2013 was honoured for his contributions, along with his wife Nancy, as the recipient of the inaugural J. Paul Getty Medal.

US authorities seize ancient Greek vase at the Met | An ancient vase from the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, dating to around 360 BC, has been seized by US prosecutors, who suspect the object was looted by grave robbers in Italy in the 1970s. The vase – known as a bell krater and attributed to the great Greek vase painter Python – was purchased by the Met at a Sotheby’s auction in 1989. The New York Times reports that a warrant was issued last Monday by investigators, on the basis of evidence supplied by forensic archaeologist Christos Tsirogiannis, and that the museum hand-delivered the vessel to the prosecutor’s office the following day.

Twelve recipients of Getty’s architectural conservation grant announced | The recipients of this year’s Keeping it Modern grants for architectural conservation and preservation, administered by the Getty Foundation, have been announced. $1.66 million has been granted to a dozen 20th-century buildings that have been deemed historically and aesthetically significant. Among them are the iconic Bauhaus building designed by Walter Gropius in Dessau, as well as Le Corbusier’s Government Museum and Art Gallery in Chandigarh, and Coventry Cathedral.

Stolen equipment closes Koki Tanaka installation at Skulptur Projekte Münster | Much of the technical equipment comprising a video installation by Koki Tanaka, on display at Skulptur Projekte Münster, has been stolen (German language article). According to organisers of the decennial public sculpture project, the theft took place sometime last night. The project by the Japanese artist, titled ‘Provisional Studies: Workshop #7 How to Live Together and Sharing the Unknown’, will be closed until the stolen equipment is replaced. This is the third major act of theft or vandalism to have occurred during this year’s edition of the project, following earlier incidents affecting work by Nicole Eisenman and Ei Arakawa.

Archaeologists unearth ancient statue at Cambodian temple | A two-metre high sandstone statue of a human figure, believed to date to the late 12th century, has been found buried underground at the site of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple complex. The complex, built during the Khmer empire, is a popular Southeast Asian tourist destination, and many of its most valuable items have been looted – which, according to experts, makes this discovery particularly important, the BBC reports.

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