Apollo Magazine

Museums close internationally and more fairs are cancelled

Art news daily: 12 March

A notice announcing the closure of the Albertina in Vienna on 11 March 2020.

A notice announcing the closure of the Albertina in Vienna on 11 March 2020. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Museums close internationally and more fairs are cancelled | In response to the spread of Covid-19, the LA Art Book Fair has been cancelled and the inaugural edition of Paris Photo New York, scheduled for 2–5 April, has been postponed with new dates yet to be announced. The majority of auctions organised by six auction houses to coincide with Asia Week New York have been rescheduled from March to June, although other gallery events will continue as planned. In Europe, Austria has shut its federal public museums, delaying the opening of the new Albertina Modern in Vienna, while the Prado, Museo Reina Sofia and Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza have all closed indefinitely in Madrid. Other European countries which have recommended or ordered that museums and tourists sites close include Germany, Poland, Ireland and the Netherlands. Trump’s travel ban on European countries, which takes effect tomorrow, has left US dealers at TEFAF Maastricht, where an exhibitor tested positive for the coronavirus, scrambling to leave. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where two employees are awaiting test results, is closing all three of its locations in New York. Meanwhile, the culture minister in Germany, Monika Grütters, has pledged to offer financial support to cultural institutions that are affected by closure or decreased attendance figures.

UK budget increases spending for DCMS and funding for regional culture | Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has delivered his budget for 2020, which includes a rise in spending for the department for Digital, Media Culture and Sport (DCMS) from £1.6bn to £1.7bn. The budget also pledges a fund of £250m, announced in the Conservative manifesto in November, towards supporting local museums and libraries, and a further £90m Cultural Development Fund aiming to support regeneration in regions outside of London. £27m has been allocated to the maintenance of national museums, while the Natural History Museum will over the next six years receive an additional £180m to fund a new research centre, housing 40 per cent of the museum’s collection as well as laboratories for conservation and further study, at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus. 

Gonzalo Casals named commissioner of New York’s Department of Cultural Affairs | Gonzalo Casals has been named the next commissioner for New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Casals has been executive director of the Leslie-Lohman Museum since 2017, having previously served as deputy and interim director at El Museo del Barrio. Replacing Tom Finkelpearl, who resigned in October 2019, Casals assumes the role on 13 April.

Lead image: used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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