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Jan Willem Sieburgh is named interim business director at Stedelijk

Plus: Queens University of Charlotte receives $10m for arts building renovation | Mugrabi collection artworks will be released from storage by court order | Reports emerge of sexual misconduct by Artforum publisher Knight Landesman | and German museums return human remains to Australia and Hawaii

25 October 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Jan Willem Sieburgh is named interim business director at Stedelijk | Following last week’s news that the Stedelijk’s director Beatrix Ruf had resigned over conflict of interest accusations, an interim business director has now been appointed to manage the Amsterdam institution until a new director is found. Jan Willem Sieburgh, currently interim director at the Wereldmuseum in Rotterdam and former business director of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, has been named for the temporary post, which he will assume at the beginning of next month.

Queens University of Charlotte receives $10m for arts building renovation | The Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina yesterday announced that it has received a $10m gift from the Gambrell Foundation, to go towards a $20m project transforming the university’s arts building into a new site for arts, culture and civic engagement. The space, which will include exhibition galleries and a performance theatre, will be named the Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for the Arts & Civic Engagement, in honour of the 98-year-old philanthropist.

Mugrabi collection artworks will be released from storage by court order | On Monday of this week David Mugrabi, a high-profile art collector and dealer, filed a complaint in the New York Supreme Court accusing New Jersey-based art storage facility Mana Contemporary of holding over $100m of the Mugrabi family’s artworks ‘hostage’ over an unpaid storage fee invoice. The family claims that the firm had agreed to store the 1,389 works free of charge in exchange for them recommending Mana to their clients. The Art Newspaper now reports that a deal has been negotiated in which Mana Contemporary will return five works in exchange for $1m today – or forfeit the entire collection.

Reports emerge of sexual misconduct by Artforum publisher Knight Landesman | Artnet has published a report detailing multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against Knight Landesman, co-publisher of Artforum. Artforum has published a statement confirming the facts in one case of a complaint made against Landesman by a former employee in 2016, four years after her departure from Artforum (the unnamed complainant has since filed for damages). The publication previously responded by ordering Landesman to attend therapy, and in its statement published yesterday defended its actions as ‘at no time…complicit or culpable’.

German museums return human remains to Australia and Hawaii | The Lower Saxony State Museum in Hanover has returned the remains of an indigenous Australian woman, which had been held in the museum’s collections since they were gifted by a German mine leaseholder in 1909, to the deceased woman’s descendents. Deutsche Welle reports that the transfer took place at a ceremony held in Hanover yesterday, one day after the state of Saxony returned the human bones of native Hawaiians, stolen from burial caves at the turn of the 20th century and sold to the Museum of Ethnology in Dresden, to representatives from their country of origin.

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