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The week in art news – Larry Gagosian plans for the future

Plus: German government introduces €200 Kulturpass scheme | American couple accused of smuggling in Guatemala | Divya Mehra wins Sobey Award in Canada

18 November 2022

Larry Gagosian has appointed an advisory board of directors. The move appears to be a hint that the 77-year-old mega-gallerist is considering his succession, although Gagosian said in an interview on Wednesday that he has no plans to retire. The group of 20 new directors is comprised of eight of the gallery’s most senior staff (including Gagosian himself), as well as high-profile collectors, a lawyer, an investment adviser and the artist Jenny Saville. Gagosian first met with the group in May, and they decided to publicly announce their formal role in the gallery’s leadership last week. Speculation about the future of the business has been rife in recent weeks; the gallerist firmly denied reports earlier this month that he was considering an offer from LVMH.

The German government has introduced a Kulturpass scheme, whereby all those turning 18 years old in the country will be offered a voucher for €200 to be spent on their choice of cultural activities. The German culture minister, Claudia Roth, described it as ‘the equivalent of a birthday present’. As well as introducing young people to culture, the scheme is intended to provide a shot in the arm for the culture sector in the wake of lockdowns during the pandemic, at an estimated cost to the German state of around €100m. Similar schemes have been introduced in France, Italy and Spain.

An American couple has been accused of smuggling pre-Hispanic artefacts, after being twice apprehended in the space of three days in Guatemala. Stephanie Allison Jolluck was stopped at Guatemala City airport on 10 November with two large Maya stone carvings in her luggage. Three days later, police discovered 166 artefacts when they stopped Jolluck in her car. Jolluck and her companion, Giorgio Salvador Rossilli, claimed that the pieces were reproductions; the Guatemalan culture ministry has since suggested that more than 90 per cent dated to the pre-Hispanic era. Then, the prosecutor’s office conducted a raid of Jolluck and Rossilli’s home, which turned up a further 1,222 archaeological artefacts, which have since been taken into government custody for analysis.

Divya Mehra has won the 2022 Sobey Art Award. The Winnipeg-based artist is known for innovative conceptual works that are inspired by the subject of surrounding the restitution; she was selected from a shortlist that includes Krystle Silverfox, Azza El Siddique, Stanley Février and Tyshan Wright at a ceremony at the National Gallery of Canada on Thursday night (17 November). The award comes with a prize of $100,000 CAN.

 

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