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Nicholas Serota to leave Tate in 2017

Plus: Araki photos censored in Mexico City | Egyptian artist ordered to modify ‘indecent’ public sculpture | and Josef Helfenstein appointed director of Kunstmuseum Basel

8 September 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Nicholas Serota to leave Tate | After nearly three decades as the head of Tate galleries, director Nicholas Serota has announced that he will stand down next year after accepting the role of chairman of the Arts Council. ‘I leave an institution that has the potential to reach broad audiences across the UK and abroad,’ said Serota, under whose watch the museum has expanded across London and St Ives, emerging as one of the world’s preeminent modern art galleries. Tate says it will begin the search for a new director ‘immediately’.

Araki photos censored in Mexico City | A bar in Mexico City has been forced to take down a display of nude photographs by provocative Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki, reports The Art Newspaper. The display, which was part of a larger exhibition organised by artist Abraham Cruzvillegas and the Kurimanzutto gallery, was deemed to be pornography by local authorities, who reportedly threatened to close the bar down if it did not comply with censorship demands. ‘Faced with the reality of closure […] the cantina was forced as a last resort, to censor the exhibition’, said a spokesman for Kurimanzutto.

Egyptian artist ordered to modify ‘indecent’ public sculpture | Egyptian sculptor Wagih Yani has been ordered to alter a statue he was commissioned to erect in the southern town of el-Belina. The statue, which depicts a soldier locked in embrace with a woman, has been branded indecent by the regional administration. According to the Independent, some residents believe it portrays a sexual assault. ‘If our objective is to treat citizens with respect, then we must not do anything to offend their feelings,’ said provincial governor Ayman Abdel-Monaim. ‘We all respect our army and country.’

Josef Helfenstein appointed director of Kunstmuseum Basel | Art historian Josef Helfenstein has been named director of Basel’s Kunstmuseum, which reopened earlier this year after extensive renovations. Helfenstein, who was previously based at the Menil Collection in Houston, succeeds the long serving director Bernhard Mendes Bürgi, who has retired after 15 years in the job.

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