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Italian court bars use of Michelangelo images

27 November 2017

Court in Florence bans unauthorised use of images of Michelangelo’s David | A civil court in Florence has ruled that images of Michelangelo’s David cannot be used for commercial ends without the permission of the Galleria dell’Accademia, the institution that holds the work. The judgement was made after the Accademia brought a case against a tour operator, Visit Today, which had published images of the statue on its website. While it is not yet clear whether the ruling about ‘violation of copyright’ will apply to souvenirs and other reproductions of David, the Accademia’s director, Cecilie Hollberg, has proclaimed it as ‘a precedent and a model’ (Italian language article). The director of the Uffizi, Eike Schmidt, has said that the museum is preparing similar claims against ‘touting companies’ in Florence.

Australian donors withdraw funding from the Venice Biennale | Major donors to the Australian pavilion at the Venice Biennale, including Simon Mordant and Neil and Hamish Balnaves, have pulled their funding after the Australian Council for the Arts announced a new artist-selection model. Last October, the council declared that it would no longer appoint an external commissioner to choose an artist, a decision it claims to have made to follow new rules for national participants in the Biennale. Writing in the Art Newspaper, Mordant, a former commissioner and the lead fundraiser for the new Australian Pavilion in the Giardini, said that ‘the proposed restructure is not in Australia or the artists’ best interests.’

Recommended reading | The New York Times visits Rijeka in Croatia to investigate the controversial restoration of Tito’s rusting yacht. David Salle looks at Louise Bourgeois’s graphic work at MoMA and reads Robert Storr’s monograph on the artist in the New York Review of Books. And at the Paris Review Daily, the poets Eileen Myles and Jeremy Sigler discuss Larry Rivers’ nude portrait of Frank O’Hara at Tibor de Nagy.