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Matt Hancock is appointed UK culture secretary

9 January 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Matt Hancock is appointed UK culture secretary | In a cabinet reshuffle yesterday, UK minister for digital Matt Hancock was promoted to Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Hancock joined the department as culture minister in 2016, before being moved to the newly created ‘digital’ post following the 2017 General Election. He replaces Karen Bradley, who has been transferred to the Northern Ireland office. For rolling updates on the ongoing reshuffle, including junior ministers within the culture department, see the Guardian’s coverage here.

Kynaston McShine (1935-2018) | The influential curator Kynaston McShine has died at the age of 82. McShine taught widely and held senior curatorial roles at the Jewish Museum and MoMA, where he organised several landmark exhibitions including ‘Information’ (1970), one of the first exhibitions in a major American museum to address Conceptual art. For a full obituary, see Andrew Russeth’s tribute at ArtNews.

Morgan Library & Museum receives $5m for conservation and restoration | New York’s Morgan Library & Museum has received a $5 million grant, it was announced yesterday, which will go towards restoration work on the exterior of its neoclassical building as well as the endowment of a directorial position in its conservation department, the Thaw Conservation Center. The funds were granted by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, Artforum reports.

US court orders release of Sotheby’s documents in Rybolovlev lawsuit | A court in New York has ruled that billionaire art collector Dmitry Rybolovlev can use confidential Sotheby’s documents in ongoing legal actions in Switzerland as well as a pending suit in London. According to the Art Newspaper, the order for the release of the auction house documents could allow Rybolovlev to launch a fresh case in UK courts against Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier, who is alleged to have defrauded Rybolovlev by up to $1 billion, and Sotheby’s, who are accused of partial complicity. It is not known what information the documents contain and all parties deny any wrongdoing.

Belfast MAC receives £275,000 emergency bailout | Following reports of significant financial difficulties and a £40,000 bailout in October, Belfast’s Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC) has been given £275,000 in additional emergency funding from the Department for Communities in Northern Ireland, thanks to a successful bid made to the country’s Arts Council. The centre will also receive £25,000 in extra funding from Belfast City Council (as well as an additional £50,000 for 2018–19) to help fill a funding gap in the current financial year.