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Julius Caesar Goes Dutch

14 December 2015

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Archaeologists Prove that Caesar Reached the Netherlands | He came, he saw, he conquered. Then we forgot all about it. But now, scholars at the Vrije University Amsterdam have succeeded in demonstrating that Julius Caesar and his army reached what is now the Netherlands in 55BC. While it was previously known that Caesar had battled Germanic tribes east of the Rhine, (he recorded this in The Gallic Wars) the exact location – now believed to be in the region of Kessel, Brabant – was not recorded.

Racist Mural Covered up in Kentucky | Following last week’s news that the Rijksmuseum intends to retitle works in its collection labelled with potentially offensive terms, a Depression-era mural at the University of Kentucky’s Memorial Hall is to be covered up after student complaints that it depicts racist scenes. The mural, which was painted by Ann Rice O’Hanlon in 1934, depicts tomahawk wielding Native Americans and slaves toiling in the fields. In an altogether more peculiar turn of events, a New York man is taking the Metropolitan Museum to court for displaying ‘racist’ art such as a Sebastiano Ricci painting that depicts Jesus with blonde hair.

Artist Murdered in Mumbai | Tragic news from Mumbai, where artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer, Haresh Bhambani, have been found murdered. The bodies were discovered by a lorry driver who reported having seen a leg protruding from a cardboard box. According to the Hindustan Times, suspects have already been arrested for the gruesome and cowardly killing: one of them, Sadhu Rajbhar, has reportedly confessed to the crime.

Ed Ruscha Donates Prints to the Tate | Ed Ruscha has pledged to donate a collection of prints plus one impression of every new print he makes in his lifetime to the Tate gallery. The works will be exhibited in museums and public institutions around the country. Tate director Nicholas Serota describes Ruscha’s gift as ‘a rare and generous commitment, not to mention a wonderful Christmas present to the whole nation’. Thanks, Ed.

Yet Another Theory on the Mona Lisa | After last week’s plethora of alternative theories surrounding Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, here comes another one, this time from Russia. According to art sleuth Silvano Vinceti, a version of the iconic portrait in a private collection in St Petersburg may well be the real deal. However, given Mr Vinceti’s past form, perhaps it’s best to take his view with a pinch of salt.