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Italian museum reforms at risk after court ruling

26 May 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Court ruling undermines Italy’s museum reforms | Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini’s efforts to modernise his country’s museum sector by bringing in new directors have been dealt a blow following a regional court’s decision to render five appointments null and void. The Regional Administrative Court of Lazio ruled that the selection process at museums in Naples, Taranto, Reggio Calabria, Mantua and Modena had not been sufficiently transparent. Franceschini has expressed dismay at the ruling, and says that the goverhment will appeal the decision.

Jeff Koons criticised for copying Ukrainian ornament | Jeff Koons’s monumental sculpture, Seated Ballerina, currently installed outside the Rockefeller Center in New York, has raised eyebrows for its similarity to a porcelain figure by Ukrainian artist Oksana Zhnikrup, who died in 1993. A spokesperson from Koons’s studio has said that the artist has a license to use the work, but critics on social media have voiced concern that his source material is not properly acknowledged.

Recommended reading | In the London Review of Books (£), Adam Mars-Jones reviews Grayson Perry’s The Descent of Man, finding that it lacks the ‘vivid presence’ of his broadcasting. Meanwhile, the Art Newspaper’s Martin Bailey has revisited the moment in the 1970s when the Royal Academy considered selling Michelangelo’s Taddei Tondo, the only marble sculpture by the artist in Britain. In New York, meanwhile, a new arts centre, ‘the Shed’, is springing up in the Hudson’s Yard development on the Upper West Side. But what will it contain? Nobody knows, says Eileen Kinsella