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ISIS blows up Temple of Nabu in Nimrud

Plus: Possible ancient structure identified in Petra | Korean gallerist indicted for forging works by Lee Ufan | Parisian antiques specialists under investigation for trafficking | Alex Rotter reveals move to Christie’s | Old Dominion University receives $35 million grant to build art museum

10 June 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

ISIS destroys temple of Nabu at Nimrud | ISIS militants have released footage of the attempted demolition of an ancient temple in Nimrud, Iraq. The video of the destruction of the entranceway to the Temple of Nabu was accompanied by further evidence of damage to the gates of Nineveh and a threat to attack the Egyptian pyramids at Giza. For more detail, see Maggie Gray’s report here.

Possible ancient structure identified in Petra | Using satellite images, two archaeologists believe they may have identified a hitherto unknown ancient structure ‘hiding in plain site’ near Petra in Jordan (French language article.) According to the BBC, the site is roughly the size of an Olympic swimming pool, with a rectangular plan. Pottery fragments found near the surface suggest it was built when the local Nabataean civilisation was at its height in the 2nd century BC, and it is thought to have had a ceremonial use.

Korean gallerist indicted for forging works by Lee Ufan | A Korean gallerist has been indicted for the forgery and sale of three fakes purporting to be the work of Lee Ufan. The gallerist, referred to only as ‘Hyeon’, allegedly approached an artist to copy and imitate works from Ufan’s From Point and From Line series, and sold them for the combined sum of $1.1 million. As many as 50 other fakes may have been made.

Parisian antiques specialists under investigation for trafficking | Two eminent Parisian antiques specialists, Bill Pallot and Laurent Kraemer, have been arrested on suspicion of selling fake period furniture to the Palace of Versailles, reports Le Monde (French language article.) Fellow antiques dealer Charles Hooreman reportedly voiced concern in 2012 over the authenticity of two chairs in a group of four sold to the Palace as the work of 18th-century chair-maker Louis Delanois. The pair were detained on Tuesday evening and taken into custody at Nanterre police station. Kraemer, who owns of one of Paris’s oldest galleries, has dismissed the claims, as has Pallot.

Alex Rotter reveals move to Christie’s | Former Sotheby’s specialist Alex Rotter has confirmed that he is planning a move to Christie’s. The former co-head of contemporary art worldwide at Sotheby’s confirmed his departure from the auction house in February, but until now has kept silent as to his future plans. ‘Christie’s over the last 10 years has been the Yankees,’ Rotter told the New York Times’s Robin Pogrebin. ‘I might as well go to the best team and make them even better, hopefully, with me coming there.’

Old Dominion University receives $35 million grant to build art museum | Philanthropists Richard and Carolyn Barry have made a $35 million donation to the Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. The grant, which will be used to build a 24,000 sq ft art museum, is the largest donation in the school’s history.

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