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Henry Moore’s ‘Old Flo’ to return to East London

Plus: Report into private museums submitted to IRS | Shortlist announced for Sobey Award | Mellon Foundation grants V&A research institute £1.75 million | David Roche’s collection to go on show in Adelaide | and recommended reading

2 June 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Court rules that Henry Moore’s Old Flo belongs in East London | The  legal battle over the fate of Henry Moore’s sculpture Old Flo has finally been settled, with the Court of Appeal deciding to uphold a previous decision to return the work from Yorkshire Sculpture Park to its original home in Tower Hamlets, East London. The sculpture was purchased by the now defunct London County Council in 1962, and installed on a housing estate in Tower Hamlets. When the estate was demolished in 1997, it was transferred to YSP. An ownership challenge from another London council and an attempt to auction the work by former Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman were eventually thwarted, and Old Flo is now set to return to her old neighbourhood. The borough is now searching for a location in which to install the sculpture, where it will not be stolen and melted down. ‘This sculpture belongs to the people of East London,’ said incumbent Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs. ‘So we have a duty to look after it somewhere that’s safe.’

Report into private museums submitted to IRS | The Senate Finance Committee has sent a summary of the findings of its report into private museums to the Internal Revenue Service, reports The Art Newspaper. Although the committee has found that many of the 11 private institutions surveyed are doing ‘good work’, Republican senator Orrin Hatch – the committee chairman – says he is ‘concerned that this area of our tax code is ripe for exploitation’. On the strength of the report’s findings, according to TAN’s article, the IRS is likely to assess the tax returns of private institutions with closer scrutiny, and may even audit a few of them in order to review their tax-exempt status.

Shortlist announced for Sobey Award | The Sobey Art Foundation and the National Gallery of Canada have named the five candidates for the shortlist of this year’s Sobey Award – Canada’s answer to the Turner Prize. The artists in the running for the prestigious award are Jeremy Shaw, Brenda Draney, Charles Stankievech, Hajra Waheed and William Robinson. Each nominee will be granted $7,000, with the eventual winner taking away more than $38,000.

Mellon Foundation grants V&A research institute £1.75 million | The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has granted a donation of £1.75 million to the V&A’s newly created Research Institute (VARI). The money will support a five year programme of activities, making the museum’s collection and expertise more visible to the public. ‘The V&A was the first museum in the world to establish a dedicated department for research, more than thirty years ago,’ said V&A director Martin Roth. ‘With the establishment of V&A East in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and the development of new storage and study facilities being planned, this is an incredible opportunity to help reinvent the collections for the digital, democratic age. The new Research Institute will help the Museum to make the most of these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.’

David Roche’s collection to go on show in Adelaide | The collection of the late David Roche is to go on show in Adelaide in a museum containing some 3,000 decorative arts objects. The David Roche Foundation House Museum will encompass Fermoy House, the collector’s former home, as well as a purpose built new wing. The museum will be open to the public tomorrow (3 June).

Recommended reading | For anyone wondering where the future lies for Tate director Nicholas Serota, his recent interview with The Art Newspaper should provide some answers. The Tate’s new ‘Switch House’ and other initiatives need time to ‘bed in’, he said, and no ‘imminent change’ was planned. Elsewhere, the Guardians Olly Wainwright has spoken to Jonathan Meades about his forthcoming TV study of architecture in Fascist Italy: it is ‘boastfully retrospective’, he said. Meanwhile in the French press, Le Figaro (French language article) reports on a problem that is foxing archaeologists, and poses the question: could Tutankhamun’s dagger have been forged by extraterrestrials?

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