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Monaco court dismisses fraud charges against dealer Yves Bouvier

Plus: TEFAF awards €50,000 in conservation grants to LACMA and V&A | Maurizio Cattelan’s banana artwork sparks uprising from janitors in Miami | and recommended reading

13 December 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Monaco court dismisses fraud charges against Yves Bouvier | Monaco’s court of appeals has dismissed charges of fraud and money laundering brought against Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier by the Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev. The decision, made yesterday, argued that an investigation in 2015 of the charges was ‘conducted in a biased and unfair way’, including collusion between Monaco’s Criminal Investigation Division and Rybolovlev and his lawyers. Bouvier had been accused of marking-up the $2b worth of artworks that he sold to Rybolovlev. Rybolovlev’s team plan to appeal the decision and there are ongoing related legal cases in French, Swiss and Singaporean courts. 

TEFAF awards €50,000 in conservation grants to LACMA and V&A | TEFAF announced yesterday that it is awarding some €50,000 in conservation grants to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the V&A, through its Museum Restoration Fund. The grants will support the restoration of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kaufmann Office (1935–37), held by the V&A, and contribute to the conservation and analysis of LACMA’s early-18th century painted Pièta by Holguín, in partnership with the Getty Conservation Institute.

Maurizio Cattelan’s banana artwork sparks uprising from janitors in Miami | Maurizio Cattelan’s Comedian (2019), a banana taped to a wall which was taken off display at Art Basel Miami Beach on Saturday after attracting uncontrollable crowds, has sparked a protest against low wages among janitors in downtown Miami. In what has been referred to as ‘the platanito protest’, local janitors have joined a march with bananas taped to their chests in an effort to compare the artwork’s $120,000 price tag to their own undervalued labour. 

Recommended reading | Barbara Ehrenreich’s interpretation of cave art in the Guardian conceives of a Paleolithic world in which humans are the supporting cast to overruling megafauna. In the New York Times, Jason Farago makes the case for Maurizio Cattelan’s banana, casting the artist not as a prankster but as a master of more subtle ironies.

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