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Martine Gosselink appointed general director of the Mauritshuis

Plus: Opening of He Art Museum in China postponed due to coronavirus | Polish government urged to approve reappointment of Jewish history museum director | Gagosian and Steven Tananbaum settle lawsuit| 500-year-old rock art discovered after being damaged by Australian bushfires | and San Francisco tattoo artist sues Disney over alleged copyright infringement

3 February 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Martine Gosselink appointed general director of the Mauritshuis | The Mauritshuis museum in The Hague has announced that Martine Gosselink will be its next general director. Gosselink will leave her post as the head of history at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, where she has led the museum’s historical programming and has been responsible for exhibitions including ‘Good Hope’ (2017), ‘80 Years’ War’ (2018), and ‘Slavery’ (2020). She succeeds Emilie Gordenker, who became director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam at the beginning of February.

Opening of He Art Museum in China postponed owing to coronavirus outbreak | The He Art Museum (HEM) in the Shunde district of Foshan in Guangdong Province of China has delayed the opening of its launch due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Having been scheduled to open on 21 March, the museum, which is privately funded by Midea electronics founder He Jianfeng, made the decision to postpone the opening due to the measures implemented by the Chinese government and World Health Organisation to contain the virus. The inaugural ‘X Museum Triennial’ in Beijing has also been postponed, while several museums and leisure facilities in Hong Kong have closed for an indefinite length of time.

Polish government urged to approve reappointment of Jewish history museum director | Two co-founders of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews have urged the Polish government to accept the reappointment of the museum’s former director. Dariusz Stola was appointed to serve a second five-year term in May 2019, but has so far been refused permission to take up the post by the culture minister, Piotr Glinski, who has accused Stola of holding a political bias against the right-wing government. The city of Warsaw and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland called for government action over Stola’s reappointment last Thursday (30 January).

Gagosian and Steven Tananbaum settle lawsuit | The American hedge fund manager and art collector Steven Tananbaum has settled a lawsuit with Gagosian gallery over the alleged ‘non-delivery’ of sculptures by Jeff Koons. In a suit brought against the gallery and Koons’s studio in 2018, Tananbaum claimed to have paid $13m for works by the American sculptor over the course of several years, but became concerned as to when he would receive the pieces; he alleged that both the artist and his gallery continuously pushed back the date for their delivery. The terms of Tananbaum and Gagosian’s settlement have not been disclosed.

500-year-old rock art discovered after being damaged by Australian bushfires | New paintings have been discovered at a rock art site in northern New South Wales, after having been severely damaged by bushfire. The paintings, which are believed to be at least 500 years old, were found on a private property to the west of Armidale. Although the site was previously known, it had yet to be fully documented; experts believe that the rock was sheared by exposure to a rapid temperature change during the fires, irrevocably damaging the paintings, and there are fears that many thousands of other sites may have suffered a similar fate.

San Francisco tattoo artist sues Disney over copyright infringement | Sweet Cecily Daniher, a tattoo artist who lives and works in the Bay Area of San Francisco, has issued a lawsuit against Disney, Pixar and Kori Rae, the producer of upcoming release Onward, for alleged copyright infringement over the inclusion in the film of a van that resembles one of her artworks. Daniher had previously rented the van she calls her ‘Vanicorn’, on which a silver unicorn is painted, to the film studio for an event, and afterwards discovered a likeness between the design of her own van and an animated van seen in promotional material for the film.