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Jeff Koons and Centre Pompidou fined for ‘counterfeit’ work

Plus: Turkish artist jailed for depicting destruction of Kurdish city | Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn evacuated after bomb threat | Stephanie Rosenthal named CEO and director of Martin-Gropius-Bau | and recommended reading

10 March 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

French court orders Jeff Koons and Centre Pompidou to pay fine for ‘counterfeit’ work | Jeff Koons’ 1988 sculpture Naked has been deemed a ‘counterfeit’ work by a French district court, reports Le Monde (French language article). According to the court’s ruling, the work in question is a copy of its source material, a photograph by artist Jean-François Bauret, that does not differ significantly enough from the original. Koons’ company and the Centre Pompidou, which planned to – but ultimately did not – feature the sculpture in a 2014 retrospective of the artist’s work, to pay a fine of €46,000. The court argued that the sculpture does not prevent the models in Bauret’s work from being identified.

Turkish artist jailed for depicting destruction of Kurdish city | Artist Zehra Doğan has been sentenced to two years in jail for painting a work depicting destruction caused by Turkish security forces in the Kurdish majority city of Mardin, reports Artforum. Turkish authorities claim that Doğan, who painted the work while on assignment for a Kurdish news network, has connections to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. The court says that it handed Doğan the sentence for sharing an image of the work, which depicted ongoing military operations. ‘I was given two years and ten months only because I painted Turkish flags on destroyed buildings. However, they caused this. I only painted it,’ Doğan said on Twitter.

Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn evacuated after bomb threat | The Jewish Children’s Museum in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, was evacuated on Thursday morning after a bomb threat. ‘An email, saying that there were three pipe bombs in the museum that would go off some time today,’ museum director Devorah Halberstam told ABC News. The threat, which proved unfounded, is only the latest in a wave of similar occurrences at Jewish museums in Britain, Canada and the USA. In recent weeks, London’s Jewish Museum was evacuated after a bomb scare, as was the JCC in Los Gatos, California.

Stephanie Rosenthal named CEO and director of Martin-Gropius-Bau | Berlin’s Martin-Gropius-Bau has named art historian Stephanie Rosenthal as its next director and CEO. Rosenthal, who is currently chief curator at London’s Hayward Gallery, succeeds Gereon Sievernich in the role, which she will take up in February 2018.

Recommended reading | As reported yesterday, the painter Howard Hodgkin has died at the age of 84. In the London Evening Standard, Sir Nicholas Serota offers a tribute to his friend, and wonders why he was comparatively less celebrated than his contemporaries David Hockney and Bridget Riley. Meanwhile in the New York Review of Books, Martin Filler takes aim at New York’s new World Trade Center, describing the structure as a ‘vast flop’.

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