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Mayor of London withdraws support for Garden Bridge

Plus: Iraqi forces capture ancient city of Hatra from ISIS | Works of art worth €27m stolen in northern Italy | Shortlist revealed for the Art Fund’s Museum of the Year award | and recommended reading

28 April 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Mayor of London drops guarantees for Garden Bridge | Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has announced that he will not endorse financial guarantees crucial to the construction of the proposed ‘Garden Bridge’ over the Thames. The Guardian reports that Khan has sent a letter to the charity explaining that he had come to the decision due to the shortfall in promised private funding, which was identified in a recent report by Dame Margaret Hodge.

Iraqi forces capture ancient city of Hatra from ISIS | Iraqi soldiers have recaptured the site of Hatra, an ancient city thought to have been established in the 3rd or 2nd century BC. Troops belonging to the Hashed-al Shaabi group retook the site earlier this week after intense fighting. The scale of the damage to Hatra’s ruins by ISIS fighters is as yet unclear.

Works of art worth €27m stolen in northern Italy | Police in Italy are looking for two men who stole of works of art worth some €27m.  The thieves made off with the works in the city of Monza after posing as legitimate buyers. According to ArtNet News, the stolen works have not been specified – but a Carabinieri database of stolen art suggests that they may have been paintings by Renoir and Rembrandt.

Shortlist revealed for the Art Fund’s Museum of the Year award | The shortlist for 2017’s Museum of the Year award has now been published. This year’s contenders are the Tate Modern and Sir John Soane’s Museum in London, the recently opened National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art, the Hepworth Wakefield, and the Lapworth Museum of Geology. The winner of the £100,000 prize will be announced on 5 July.

Recommended reading | In Artforum, Hal Foster offers a brief history of ‘framings of the real’, from Roland Barthes to Breitbart news. In the LRB, Nicholas Penny visits Tate Britain’s exhibition of Pre-Raphaelite works on paper and encounters ‘several little known masterpieces’. Meanwhile in the New Yorker, Negar Azimi speaks to Iranian-American artist Tala Madani about her ‘droll and punishingly serious’ work. ‘If we all engaged with our own animal instincts more, we’d be better off,’ she says.

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