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Recent earthquakes are putting the Colosseum under strain

Plus: Former Picasso employee changes story in court case | Clark Art Institute receives Allan Sekula’s library | and Denmark to build new Hans Christian Andersen museum

1 November 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Recent earthquakes are putting the Colosseum under strain | The earthquakes that have occurred in central Italy in the three months are affecting Rome’s Colosseum, officials warned yesterday. Francesco Prosperetti, the special superintendent for the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, says that site inspections reveal that material had been displaced and that cracks in the structure are proliferating. Elsewhere, cracks have been reported on the façade of the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls, one of Rome’s principal churches. In related news, France 24 carries a report about the wider damage to heritage sites caused by last week’s earthquakes. Structures now known to have been destroyed or damaged include the Abbey of Sant’Eutizio in Umbria and the belltower of the Santa Maria in Via sanctuary in the medieval university town of Camerino.

Former Picasso employee changes his defence in court case | Pierre Le Guennec, a man last year convicted of possessing 300 stolen works by Picasso, has admitted to lying in the original hearing at a court in Aix-en-Provence, southern France. Le Guennec, who worked as an electrician for the artist in the 1970s, had said that Picasso gave him the works during his lifetime. Yesterday he altered this version of events (French language article, £), and claimed that Jacqueline Picasso, the artist’s widow had entrusted him with more than a dozen rubbish bags containing 271 drawings to prevent them being inventoried for his heirs. Lawyers for Claude Picasso denounced Le Guennec’s claims as a ‘staggering lie’.

Clark Art Institute receives Allan Sekula’s library | Sally Stein, the widow of artist Allan Sekula, has donated his 15, 000-volume library to the Clark Institute of Art. The gift will be housed in the museum’s Manton Research Center, where a selection of works will be displayed. ‘It is a rare and distinct privilege to receive the library of an artist and thinker that is so rich and varied,’ said Clark director Olivier Meslay.

Denmark to build new Hans Christian Andersen museum | Local authorities in Denmark have announced that a new museum dedicated to the life and work of Hans Christian Andersen will be built in the town of Odense, his birthplace. The museum will be designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates, and will cover an area of around 5,600 sq m. The new institution will complement an existing museum dedicated to the writer elsewhere in the town.

 

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