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Manifesta 13 and other biennials postponed

Plus: Arts Council England’s Export Licensing Unit closes until further notice | Francis Alÿs wins the Rolf Schock Prize for visual arts | Arts Council England commissions new guidelines for restitution | Merry Norris (1940–2020)

23 March 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Manifesta 13 postponed | The 13th edition of Manifesta has been postponed until further notice due to coronavirus; the itinerant European biennial had been scheduled to open in Marseille on 7 June, for its first edition in France. A number of other biennials have also announced postponements, including the Dak’Art Biennale of Contemporary Art in Dakar – the largest contemporary art event on the African continent, which had been due to open in the Senegalese capital on 28 May – and the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art, scheduled to open on 14 May. The Sydney Biennale, which opened on 13 March, is closing from tomorrow (24 March); it has announced a collaboration with Google Arts & Culture to allow virtual access to the event.

Arts Council England’s Export Licensing Unit closes until further notice | Arts Council England’s Export Licensing Unit (ELU), the body in charge of approving the export out of the UK of cultural goods above a certain age and monetary value, has closed until further notice due to coronavirus. In a notice sent out on 20 March, ACE instructed exporters of cultural goods not to submit any applications for export licences until the ELU reopens.

Francis Alÿs wins the Rolf Schock Prize for visual arts | The Belgian artist and architect Francis Alÿs has been awarded the 2020 Rolf Schock Prize in visual arts. The prize, worth 400,000 Swedish krona, is awarded every two or three years by the Rolf Schock Foundation, which was established and endowed by a bequest from the Swedish artist and philosopher upon his death in 1986, and the committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Arts; it is presented along with three other prizes for mathematics, philosophy, and music, decided by the three Swedish academies in those disciplines. Previous laureates in the visual arts include Doris Salcedo (2017) and Marlene Dumas (2011).

Arts Council England commissions new guidelines for restitution | Arts Council England has asked the Institute of Art and Law to develop new guidance for UK museums to deal with restitution claims. The guidelines will be produced in association with the University of Leicester, and are expected to be published this autumn; according to The Art Newspaper, they do not signify a change in government policy on restitution of cultural artefacts.

Merry Norris (1940–2020) | The Los Angeles-based arts patron Merry Norris has died at the age of 80. Norris was president of the Cultural Affairs Commission in LA from 1984–90, during which time she oversaw such projects as the expansion of the Central Library; she was also a co-founder of the Museum of Contemporary Art, which opened in 1986.

Lead image: used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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