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National Gallery reaches £22m target to buy Orazio Gentileschi painting

Plus: archaeologists discover two 3,500-year-old ancient Greek tombs | Aliph announces $10m in grants for 20 heritage conservation projects | and Art Basel Hong Kong offers discounts and flexibility to participating dealers as the city’s protests continue

18 December 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

National Gallery reaches £22m target to buy Orazio Gentileschi painting | The National Gallery in London announced today that it has raised the remaining £2m necessary to buy Orazio Gentileschi’s The Finding of Moses (early 1630s), after launching a public appeal in November. The work, which has been displayed on a loan basis at the gallery for almost 20 years, was painted by the Italian Old Master during the 12 years he lived in London as a court painter to Charles I and originally hung in the Queen’s House in Greenwich. The total cost of the painting was £22m, £19.5m after tax advantages, and other crucial donations came from the American Friends of the National Gallery (£8.5m), the National Gallery Trust (£5m), the National Heritage Memorial Fund (£2.5m), and Art Fund (£1m), among other sources. 

Archaeologists discover two 3,500-year-old ancient Greek tombs | American archaeologists from the University of Cincinnati have discovered two 3,500 year old royal tombs outside the ancient Greek city of Pylos. The large tombs are dome-shaped and it is believed that their floors were lined with gold. A hoard of gold and silver jewellery and a sword were also found, with the engraving of Egyptian goddess Hathor on one pendant suggesting that Pylos was trading with Egypt at the time. 

Aliph announces $10m in grants for 20 heritage conservation projects | The International Alliance for the Protection of Heritage in Conflict Areas (Aliph), a Geneva-based foundation, announced yesterday that it would give $10m in grants to 20 heritage conservation projects. These will include $830,900 towards the restoration of Iraq’s Mosul Museum, $850,000 for the preservation of historic Palestinian buildings in the Gaza Strip, and $1.9m to conserve cultural archives in Sudan. A full list can be found via The Art Newspaper.

Art Basel Hong Kong offers discounts and flexibility to participating dealers as the city’s protests continue | Art Basel Hong Kong is offering flexibility and discounts to the dealers participating in the fair in March, which is currently still going ahead as planned despite ongoing protests in the city. In an email on Monday, Art Basel notified dealers that the withdrawal free had been reduced from 100 per cent to 75 per cent of each booth’s cost, and that they would receive 75 per cent as a refund if the fair is cancelled. Other incentives not to drop out included reducing the size of booths and new deals on facilities like floors and lighting.

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