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Griselda Pollock is first art historian to win Holberg Prize

Plus: Easter Island mayor calls for traffic restrictions after truck hits sacred statue | Italy rejects arrest warrant for prime suspect in Old Master forgery scandal | Henry Cobb (1926–2020) | and US museums restrict staff travel to countries deemed high-risk for coronavirus

6 March 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Griselda Pollock is first art historian to win Holberg Prize | Griselda Pollock is the first art historian to win the Holberg Prize, which recognises major contributions to the arts, humanities, law and social sciences. Founded by the Norwegian government in 2004, the award comes with a prize of 6m kroner (nearly £500,000). Pollock’s scholarship has largely focused on uncovering the history of women artists. She is a professor of art history at the University of Leeds. 

Easter Island mayor calls for traffic restrictions after truck hits sacred statue | The mayor of Easter Island is calling for new traffic restrictions after a man drove his truck into one of the island’s moai, sacred stone statues that indigenous communities believe carry ancestral spirits. The driver, whose brakes apparently failed, has been charged with damaging a national monument. Pedro Edmunds Paoa, the island’s mayor, told the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio that he believes the incident was the result of tourism and a rapid rise in the island’s population over the past decade, a situation that he believes could be managed with better control of traffic.

Italy rejects arrest warrant for prime suspect in Old Master forgery scandal | The Court of Appeals in Milan has rejected an arrest warrant for Giuliano Ruffini, a dealer who is the prime suspect in an ongoing investigation carried out by the Paris judge Aude Burési into the selling of fake Old Masters, including Cranach, Frans Hals and the Bruegels. Ruffini’s defence lawyers say another case brought against him by Italy’s tax authorities must be resolved before he can be expelled from the country. An arrest warrant for Lino Frongia, accused of forging an El Greco in the same case, was dismissed by a court in Bologna last week

Henry Cobb (1926-2020) | The American architect Henry Cobb died on 2 March aged 93. In 1955, Cobb co-founded the New York firm I.M. Pei & Associates, which was later renamed Pei Cobb Freed & Partners in 1989. Some of their best known works include the Louvre’s 1989 expansion, the Luce Memorial Chapel and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Centre in New York. Born in Boston in 1926, Cobb was a postgraduate at the Harvard School of Design and would go on to chair Harvard’s Department of Architecture from 1980–85.

US museums restrict staff travel to countries deemed high-risk for coronavirus | Several US museums are stopping business trips for their staff to countries that are deemed high-risk for the spread of coronavirus, as well as suspending any nonessential travel. Museums that have so far places restrictions on travel include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Lead image: used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 4.0)