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V&A director Martin Roth resigns

Plus: UNESCO condemns destruction of 9th-century mosque in Yemen | Çanakkale Biennial in Turkey cancelled

5 September 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Martin Roth to leave V&A | The director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, Martin Roth, is to step down this autumn after five years in the role. Roth announced his decision this morning, saying: ‘It’s been an enormous privilege and tremendously exciting to lead this great museum, with its outstanding staff and collections, and I’m proud to have steered it to new successes and a period of growth and expansion, including new partnerships around the UK and internationally.’ The Sunday Times broke the news of Roth’s departure yesterday (4 September), suggesting that the German director was disillusioned with the UK following the EU referendum – an issue he discussed with Apollo earlier this summer.

Irina Bokova condemns destruction of 9th-century mosque in Yemen | UNESCO director general Irina Bokova has condemned the destruction of the 9th-century mosque of Prophet Shuaibi in Yemen last month. ‘I am deeply concerned about the continuing destruction of Yemen’s unique cultural heritage,’ Bokova said on Saturday. ‘This is a direct attack against the country’s historical sites, and on the people’s history and identity, that will affect the society over the very long term.’ Observers have confirmed the mosque’s destruction in an air strike on 25 August.

Çanakkale Biennial cancelled | The organisers of the Çanakkale Biennial have announced that this year’s edition has been cancelled due to the current political climate in Turkey. The biennial was supposed to open later this month, but after the failed coup attempt in July, organisers say that they have been forced to call it off due to what they describe as ‘developments within a political agenda that does not place art as a primary point of concern’. Though they previously expressed hope that the event would go ahead, it has proved impossible. ‘We have lost our ability and enthusiasm to carry out the biennale in line with our most vital values,’ the organisers said in their statement.

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