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Musée d’Orsay receives €20m gift to kickstart major expansion project

Plus: Venice architecture biennale postponed due to spread of coronavirus | British Museum acquires Bronze Age pendant found in Shropshire | and Mophradat announces artists for Consortium Commissions 2020

5 March 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Musée d’Orsay announces major expansion after €20m gift from anonymous donor | A gift of €20 million from an anonymous American donor will help to finance a major transformation project at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Titled ‘Orsay Wide Open’, the scheme will see the museum’s exhibition spaces expanded, with 13,000 square feet of current office space repurposed for new galleries, in addition to the creation of an education and research centre. The donation, which was received through the non-profit group American Friends of the Musée d’Orsay, will fund the project alongside the museum’s own and private funds. The project is expected to be completed by 2026.

Venice architecture biennale shortened due to spread of coronavirus | The launch of the Venice architecture biennale has been postponed from 23 May to 29 August due to the spread of Covid-19 in Italy. The closing date of the 17th edition of the biennial, curated this year by the architect Hashim Sarkis and titled ‘How will we live together?’, remains 29 November.

British Museum acquires Bronze Age pendant found in Shropshire | A 3,000-year-old gold pendant, or bulla, has been bought by the British Museum in London for £250,000. Discovered by a metal detectorist in Shropshire in 2018, the pendant is decorated with geometric motifs, including what on one side appears to be a stylised solar design. Neil Wilkin, the museum’s Bronze Age curator, said: ‘To me it is the most important object from this period, the first age of metal, that has come up in about 100 years.’ The pendant will be shown at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery from November, before being moved to the British Museum for display in 2021.

Mophradat announces artists for Consortium Commissions 2020 | Mophradat, a non-profit organisation supporting artists from the Arab world, has revealed the eight artists selected for the second edition of its Consortium Commissions series. The Lebanese artist Haig Aivazian, the Algiers-based artist Lydia Ourahmane, and the artist and film-maker Inas Halabi, from Jerusalem, are among those selected to produce new work across nine European locations, including the Showroom in London, Lisbon’s Alkantara and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin.

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