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National Trust to launch design competition for Clandon Park

Plus: Christo cancels major art project in protest at Trump | St Isaac’s Cathedral decision provokes outrage in Russia | Perth Museum and Art Gallery to get £10 million revamp | and Gonzalo Casals appointed director of Leslie-Lohman Museum

26 January 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

National Trust to launch design contest for Clandon Park | The National Trust has announced that it is to launch a global search for designs to renew and restore Clandon Park, the 18th-century Palladian house in Surrey that was gutted by fire in 2015. ‘This international design competition is the first to be held by the Trust for such a significant historic building, signalling our desire to attract the best design talent to work with us’, said project director Paul Cook. The two-stage competition will be managed by competition experts Malcolm Reading Consultants, who have previously overseen procurement contests for projects including the Museum of London redevelopment. Full details will be announced when the competition launches on 9 March.

Christo cancels major art project in protest at Trump | Christo has cancelled further work on a major project in protest at Donald Trump’s approach to the arts. Over the River was a project Christo began with his late wife, Jeanne-Claude, 25 years ago. The project envisaged covering 42 miles of the Arkansas River in silver fabric for a fortnight. ‘After pursuing Over The River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado, for 20 years and going through five years of legal arguments, I no longer wish to wait on the outcome,’ Christo said in a statement. ‘The decision speaks for itself,’ the artist, who has already spent $15 million of his own money on the project, told the New York Times. ‘My decision process was that, like many others, I never believed that Trump would be elected.’

St Isaac’s Cathedral decision provokes outrage in Russia | The Russian government’s decision to hand control of St Petersburg’s St Isaac’s Cathedral over to the Orthodox Church has ‘unleashed a storm of protest’, says The Art Newspaper. The cathedral was previously administered by museum officials, but a decision was taken earlier this month to return control to the Church after almost a century of state supervision. A public protest is planned for 28 January.

Perth Museum and Art Gallery to get £10 million revamp | Perth and Kinross Council has appointed BAM Construction to carry out a multi-million-pound redevelopment of the Perth Museum and Art Gallery. The revamp will involve the construction of a new storage facility on the edge of the city, as well as the refurbishment of the institution’s galleries. A timetable for the works has yet to be published, but it is understood that the museum will close to the public at some stage in 2018 or 2019. The project comes ahead of Perth’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021.

Gonzalo Casals appointed director of Leslie-Lohman Museum | New York’s Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art has named Gonzalo Casals as its next director. Casals, who was previously in charge of programming and community outreach for the city’s celebrated High Line park, succeeds Hunter O’Hanian, who moved to the College Art Association last July. ‘Now more than ever, culturally specific museums like Leslie-Lohman take on a renewed sense of relevancy’, Casals said in a statement.

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