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Helen Marten wins 2016 Turner Prize

Plus: Sotheby’s buys scientific research department to combat forgery | Mexican authorities seize fugitive politician’s art collection | and three of Assemble’s Toxteth houses sell for £90,000 each

6 December 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Helen Marten wins Turner Prize | Helen Marten has been awarded this year’s Turner Prize, overcoming stiff competition in what many critics judged to be the award’s strongest shortlist in years. Marten, 31, was lauded for her esoteric sculptural installations, for which she was also awarded the Hepworth Prize for sculpture last month. The Turner jury, which this year included Beatrix Ruf and Simon Wallis, praised the ‘poetic and enigmatic qualities’ of Marten’s work. While some were less than thrilled at her win, most commentators have been generally supportive. For our review of this year’s Turner Prize show, see here.

Sotheby’s starts scientific research department to combat forgery | Sotheby’s has acquired Orion Analytical, a specialist firm that uses cutting-edge technology to conduct research into provenance and investigate high-level forgery. The firm is to be incorporated into a newly created scientific research department, to be directed by Orion head James Martin. Martin, who has sporadically collaborated with the auction house for the past 20 years, has previously aided the FBI with research into forgery cases including the notorious Knoedler affair.

Mexican authorities seize fugitive politician’s art collection | Mexican police have raided a ranch belonging to disgraced politician Javier Duarte and seized at least part of his substantial art collection. Duarte, who is accused of stealing around 200m pesos of public money while serving as governor of Veracruz state, has been charged with organised crime and money laundering, and has been on the run from the authorities since being forced to step down. According to the BBC, police have recovered 17 paintings believed to be the work of artists including Leonora Carrington, Joan Miró and Fernando Botero.

Three of Assemble’s Toxteth houses sell for £90,000 each | Three houses renovated by the Turner Prize-winning Assemble collective in Liverpool’s Toxteth district have sold for £90,000 apiece, reports the BBC. Several caveats surround the resale of the properties, principally that they must be priced under the market value in order to ensure that they are affordable to members of the local community. ‘We don’t want them to become “Turner houses”, if you know what I mean,’ said Erika Rushton, chair of the residents’ group that worked with Assemble on the regeneration project: ‘Because we want local people to live in them forever’.

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