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Art News Daily

Museums across France close or restrict access due to national strikes

Plus: German art collective issue apology for controversial Berlin monument | UN rebukes threats against former Kyrgyz museum director | Dresden police receive more than 500 tip-off calls about Green Vault heist | Smithsonian museums rebrand as National Museum of Asian art

5 December 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

French museums close or restrict access due to national strikes | Museums across France have either closed their doors or restricted their access today, due to the nationwide protests against President Macron’s proposed retirement reforms. In Paris, the Palais de Tokyo and the Musée Guimet are closed, the Pompidou only has access to its temporary exhibitions, and the Louvre is partially closed. Outside of Paris, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon is closed. The Art Newspaper has more details on the institutions affected.

German art collective issue apology for controversial Berlin monument | The Zentrum für Politische Schönheit (Centre for Political Beauty) has issued an apology after drawing criticism for using the ashes of Holocaust victims in a monument erected outside the Kroll Opera House in Berlin earlier this week. The German art collective have decided to cover the column which they say contains these ashes from public view, ‘to remove the impression we are putting them on show’, and will end a crowdfunding campaign seeking to make the monument permanent.

UN rebukes threats against former Kyrgyz museum director | Officials from the United Nations office in the Kyrgyz Republic have expressed concern regarding ‘alarming incidents of intolerance, hate speech and calls to violence’ which have led to the resignation Mira Djangaracheva, former director of the Gapart Aitiev Kyrgyz National Museum of Fine Arts, who was responsible for organising the museum’s first Feminnale of Contemporary Art. The exhibition, which is currently still on display and is dedicated to 17 women, predominantly from Central Asia, who lost their lives in the 2016 Moscow warehouse fire, featured a naked performance piece – now withdrawn – by Julie Savery.

Dresden police receive more than 500 tip-off calls after Green Vault heist | Police in Dresden have received at least 516 tip-off calls offering information about the raid of the Green Vault at the former royal palace on Monday 25 November. The calls were made amid nationwide raids by German police, who have offered a €500 million reward for those with information regarding the burglary. Thieves took three sets of 18th-century jewellery from the museum after causing a power cut.

Smithsonian museums rebrand as National Museum of Asian art | The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. are rebranding as the National Museum of Asian art. The museums have said, the Washington Post reports, that the new name is not to do with the controversy over connections between members of the Sackler family and the opioid crisis in the US and beyond. ‘It’s a shift toward a unified brand and not away from the gallery names,’ deputy director Lori Duggan Gold has said.