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Jeff Koons unveils controversial tulip sculpture in Paris

Plus: Sotheby’s has ceased publicly trading after its sale to BidFair USA | Tate Modern makes renaming of main building after activist permanent | and recommended reading

4 October 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world 

Jeff Koons’ tulip sculpture finally unveiled in Paris | Jeff Koons unveiled ‘Bouquet of Tulips’, his tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, at a ceremony today in the gardens of the Petit-Palais. The 41-foot-high metal sculpture was first announced in November 2016, with its installation planned for the plaza of the Palais de Tokyo and scheduled for 2017. This was first postponed due to structural issues, and in January 2018 French politicians and cultural figures signed a letter criticising the plans. City Hall official Christophe Girard invited Koons to install the work at its new home late last year, and the artist has dedicated the work to the ongoing friendship between the United States and France. Read Luke White’s case against the sculpture in this Apollo article.

Sotheby’s has ceased publicly trading after its sale to BidFair USA | The sale of Sotheby’s to French-Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi’s company BidFair USA has now been finalised. Taking Sotheby’s off the New York Stock Exchange after 31 years of publicly trading, the deal was first announced in June. It offers $57 in cash for each share to existing shareholders, which has resulted in a total payout of $2.58bn.

Tate Modern makes renaming of main building after activist permanent | Tate Modern has decided to make permanent the renaming of its main building by Cuban artist Tania Brugera as part of her 2018 Turbine Hall commission. The building was originally intended to be named after activist Natalie Bell for only one year, but now her name remains on the building in what is the first ever Turbine Hall commission to both acquired and kept in situ.

Recommended reading | Robin Pogrebin, Elizabeth A. Harris and Graham Bowley consider what protests like those at the Whitney Museum, which drove out the museum board’s vice chairman Warren B. Kanders, might have on private funding of public institutions in the New York Times. Writing in the Art NewspaperLondon ICA director Stefan Kalmár argues that it is time for museum directors to start making more ethical decisions. 

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