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Kirklees Council scraps proposed Francis Bacon sale

Plus: Heritage workers attacked in Iran | Johnny Van Haeften opens gallery in his London home | and Amon Carter Museum of American Art receives $20 million gift

5 January 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Kirklees Council backs down on proposed Bacon sale | Kirklees council leader David Sheard has backed down on his suggestion that the local authority sell a Francis Bacon painting described as the ‘most significant exhibit’ in its collection. Late last year, Sheard asked local residents for their thoughts on selling the work in order to plug significant gaps in the council budget. Sheard’s proposal was met with both negative and positive responses, but following an intervention by the Contemporary Art Society, which donated the work to the council in 1952, the authority has confirmed that it is not entitled to sell the painting. ‘Kirklees Council cannot sell the work. If we tried, it would be taken away from us and given to another institution’, the council said in a statement.

Heritage workers attacked in Iran | Two archaeological site experts and an employee of the Iranian Heritage Bureau have been attacked while investigating a site of suspected looting, reports Iran’s Azad News Agency (Persian language article, via Artnet News). The attack, which took place in Baneh county, Kurdistan province, reportedly left two members of the group with critical injuries, while a third underwent surgery at a local hospital. The region, close to the border with war-torn Iraq, has become something of a haven for smuggling and trafficking in stolen artefacts.

Johnny Van Haeften opens gallery in his London home | Dutch and Flemish Old Master dealer Johnny Van Haeften has relocated his eponymous gallery to his own home in southwest London following a dispute over the lease to his former premises in Mayfair. According to The Art Newspaper, Van Haeften considered legal action against his former landlord, but decided that ‘life [was] too short’. Van Haeften says that his new, downsized gallery will provide a mixture of advising, brokering and consulting, as well as dealing.

Amon Carter Museum of American Art receives $20 million gift | Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum of American Art has received a ‘landmark’ gift of $20 million from the Walton Family Foundation, the institution has announced. The money, which will be released gradually over five years, will go towards an endowment to support exhibitions and programming. ‘This amazing endowment allows us to expand our offerings beyond what our current operating budget provides’, said executive director Andrew J. Walker.

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