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Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini loses seat

Plus: Mondrian heirs claim ownership of four paintings in German museum | Eva Franch i Gilabert elected director of Architectural Association | French culture minister hints that Mona Lisa could be set for tour | and Trump nominates John Parrish Peede to chair NEH

6 March 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini loses seat in elections | Following the elections in Italy last weekend, it has been confirmed that culture minister Dario Franceschini has lost his parliamentary seat (Italian-language article). Franceschini, who has presided over the culture brief on behalf of the centre-left Italian People’s Party since 2014, came second with just over 29 per cent of the vote in his constituency to Maura Tomasi of the Eurosceptic Northern League, who won 39.7 per cent of the vote. Franceschini’s tenure in the position was marked by controversies over his attempts to modernise Italy’s culture sector, notably over his divisive move to appoint foreign professionals to senior leadership roles within the country’s museums.

Mondrian heirs claim ownership of four paintings in German museum | Descendants of Piet Mondrian have claimed that four paintings in the collection of Krefeld’s Kaiser Wilhelm Museum are legally the property of the artist’s family, reports the New York Times. The heirs say that Mondrian lent eight works to the museum prior to fleeing Europe in the late 1930s; the institution maintains that the pieces, four of which were sold in the early 1950s (and which Mondrian’s heirs are also claiming ownership of), were gifts from the artist.

Eva Franch i Gilabert elected director of Architectural Association | Spanish architect Eva Franch i Gilabert has been elected as the next director of the Architectural Association, reports the Architects’ Journal. Franch, currently chief curator and executive director at New York’s Storefront for Art and Architecture, reportedly won 67 per cent of the vote in a ballot of the AA’s students, staff and council members. Her appointment remains subject to contract negotiations and formal approval by the association’s council, but it is expected that she will take over from interim director Samantha Hardingham this summer.

French culture minister hints that Mona Lisa could be set for tour | French culture minister Françoise Nyssen has suggested that Leonardo’s Mona Lisa could leave the Louvre to embark on a tour of France. Speaking to Europe 1 (French-language article) last Thursday, Nyssen said that she was ‘seriously studying’ the possibility of the painting taking part in a touring exhibition aimed at combatting what she described as a ‘cultural segregation’ between Paris and other regions of France.

Trump nominates John Parrish Peede to chair NEH | President Donald Trump has nominated John Parrish Peede as the next chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Peede, whose brother Robert Peede is currently head of the president’s advance operations, has been serving as acting director of the NEH since May 2017, having been appointed as senior deputy chairman the previous month.

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