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Italian culture minister plans to appoint single director to run Uffizi and Accademia

Plus: Christian Rattemeyer named director of SculptureCenter | Germany to return Nazi-looted Dutch painting to Uffizi | and Guggenheim workers vote to unionise

1 July 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Italian culture minister plans to appoint single director to run Uffizi and Accademia | The Italian culture minister, Alberto Bonisoli, announced last week his plans to merge the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia in Florence. The Accademia’s management will be joined with that of the Uffizi and a new director will oversee both, replacing the previous arrangement instituted by the Democratic Party by which each museum was run autonomously. The decision comes in the wake of a new decree, approved on 19 June by Italy’s populist coalition government, which has handed greater control of Italy’s state museums to the culture ministry in Rome. The Accademia will retain its curatorial independence. 

Christian Rattemeyer named director of SculptureCenter | Christian Rattemeyer has been named the new director of the SculptureCenter in Long Island City. Rattemeyer has been associate curator for drawings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York for the past 12 years. He replaces Mary Ceruti, who left the SculptureCenter to direct the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis earlier this year. 

Germany to return Nazi-stolen Dutch painting to Uffizi | Germany has agreed to return a still life painting from 1824 by the Dutch artist Jan van Huysum to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The work was stolen by Nazi troops in 1943 and kept by a single family, who claimed that it had been bought at a market and demanded €2m for it. The German government originally argued that it could not intervene on a crime older than the statute of limitations of 30 years, so it remains unclear how the dispute between authorities and the family has been resolved. 

Guggenheim workers vote to unionise | Workers at New York’s Guggenheim Museum voted to unionise under Local 30 on Thursday evening, with 57 out 77 voters approving the decision. The union Local 30 is part of the International Union of Operating Engineers and represents installers and maintenance workers at New York’s MoMA PS1 as well as 140 Guggenheim workers, among them art handlers, installers and those involved in construction, facilities and maintenance.

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