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National Portrait Gallery gets planning permission for redevelopment 

Plus: German court fines man for stealing discarded Gerhard Richter sketches | Counterfeit Rodin dealers sentenced after 18-year legal battle | and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi to be completed around 2022

25 April 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

National Portrait Gallery gets planning permission for redevelopment | The National Portrait Gallery in London has been granted planning permission by Westminster City Council to launch the largest redevelopment project in its 163-year history. The refurbishment, which has been designed by Jamie Fobert Architects in partnership with Purcell, will focus on creating a new visitor entrance and public forecourt, will improve the gallery’s accessibility, and will restore some historic features. With its fundraising target of £35.5 million almost met (the amount raised currently stands at £31.5 million), it is likely that work will commence in the summer of 2020.

German court fines man for stealing discarded Gerhard Richter sketches | A 49-year-old man from Cologne has been fined €3,150 for stealing four sketches by Gerhard Richter from the German artist’s recycling bin in 2016, before he attempted to sell them at an auction house in Munich. Although they were rejected by the auction house for lacking certificates of authenticity, the court estimated the value of the works at around €60,000. Representatives from Richter’s studio said he was not interested in seeing the thief punished, but wished for the works to be destroyed, ‘as originally intended’.

Counterfeit Rodin dealers sentenced after 18-year legal battle | Gary Snell, an American businessman and art dealer, was last week handed a one-year suspended prison sentence by a Paris court, for his part in producing around 1,700 unauthorised casts of sculptures by Auguste Rodin, selling them for an average of €40,000 each. Snell’s associate Robert Crouzet has received a four-month suspended sentence; both men must also pay €500,000 in damages to the Musée Rodin, which owns the rights to Rodin’s work and which first brought charges against Snell in 2001.

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi to be completed around 2022 | After a stream of significant delays, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is set to open its doors to the public in three or four years, Richard Armstrong, the Guggenheim Museum’s director, told Euronews. The museum, which has been designed by Frank Gehry and is set to become the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s largest space, was originally due to open in 2012 and, subsequently, in 2017. In the interview, Armstrong confirmed that ‘we are on track, we are on budget and we are looking forward to the commencement of the building construction soon’.

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