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Jacques Chirac (1932–2019)

Plus: Looted sarcophagus acquired by the Met returned to Egypt | and recommended reading

27 September 2019

Jacques Chirac (1932–2019)| The former French president Jacques Chirac has died, at the age of 86. During his two consecutive terms as president, between 1995–2007, he played a significant role in the promotion of world cultures in France; his advocacy contributed to the opening of the Pavillon des Sessions at the Louvre in 2000 – the first gallery in the museum’s history dedicated to works from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the indigenous cultures of the Americas. In 2006 he opened the Musée du Quai Branly, a museum to which his own name was added in 2016.

Looted sarcophagus acquired by the Met is returned to Egypt | A golden coffin dating to the second or first century BC has been returned to Egypt by the Metropolitan Museum of Art following the discovery earlier this year that it was a stolen artefact. An investigation had found that the object, which the Met had acquired in the conviction that it had been legally exported in 1971, had in fact been stolen from the Minya region in October 2011. New York district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr said that the museum ‘fully cooperated’ with the investigation but should have noticed ‘red flags’ during the acquisition process.

Recommended reading | In the New Republic, Rhonda Lieberman offers a strident critique of art institutions turning a blind eye to the sources of philanthropists’ wealth. In the Guardian, Jonathan Jones turns his hatchet to Grayson Perry (and not for the first time), describing Perry’s new exhibition at Victoria Miro Mayfair as ‘pathetic’. And for Artnet, Tim Schneider wonders what effect the floating of Frieze’s majority owner, Endeavor, on the New York Stock Exchange will mean for the art fairs in the future.

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