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National Portrait Gallery in London to close for three years during refurbishment

Plus: UK government invests £10m in Cultural Protection Fund | Gallerists Graham Southern and Harry Blain end partnership | and Royal West of England Academy announces funding boost

5 November 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

National Portrait Gallery in London to close for three years during refurbishment | The National Portrait Gallery in London has announced that it will close its doors to the public for nearly three years, from 29 June 2020 until spring 2023, ‘while essential building works take place’ as part of its planned £35.5m redevelopment scheme. During this period, works from the NPG collection will be shown across the UK through collaborations with partner institutions. The FDA, which represents senior staff at the museum, has issued a statement urging all of its employees to join a union during this period of ‘uncertainty, potential redundancies, and other complications for the museum’s staff’.

UK government invests £10m in Cultural Protection Fund | The British heritage minister, Helen Whately, has announced that the UK government will invest £10m to protect international heritage through its Cultural Heritage Fund. Since its creation in 2016, the fund has been used to protect international architectural sites, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, threatened by conflict. This additional investment will be used to focus on the risks posed by climate change and natural disasters.

Gallerists Graham Southern and Harry Blain end partnership | The Art Newspaper reports that Graham Southern and Harry Blain, the art dealers who cofounded the Blain Southern gallery in London in 2010, have dissolved their partnership, with Blain remaining in his role as director. The news comes shortly after Jake and Dinos Chapman announced their departure from the gallery’s roster; Sean Scully, who has been represented by Blain Southern since 2017, has claimed he is ‘in dispute’ with the gallery.

Royal West of England Academy announces funding boost | The Royal West of England Academy (RWA) has been handed a grant of £305,000 from Arts Council England’s Small Capital Grants programme. The funds will be put towards ‘Light and Inspiration’, a £3.5 million capital project to renovate parts of the Grade II*-listed building, which is the oldest art gallery in Bristol.

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