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Nicky Morgan to remain as UK culture secretary

Plus: French culture minister promises to return 26 artefacts to Benin by 2021 | and shortlist announced for Margaret Tait Award

17 December 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Nicky Morgan to remain as UK culture secretary | Nicky Morgan will remain in Boris Johnson’s post-election cabinet as the UK’s Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, it was announced yesterday. Morgan, who left the House of Commons when she stepped down as MP for Loughborough in October, will receive a life peerage so that she can continue in the role of culture secretary as a member of the House of Lords. The Conservative politician was originally appointed to the role when the prime minister took office in July, having previously served as education secretary until 2016 and as elected chair of the Treasury Select Committee from 2017.

French culture minister promises to return 26 artefacts to Benin by 2021 | Twenty-six artefacts will be repatriated from France to Benin by 2021, the French culture minister Franck Riester said in a meeting held in Cotonou yesterday with Benin’s president, Patrice Talon. The restitution of the works, which were looted in 1892, was first promised by Macron in 2018 as a symbol of a larger programme of repatriation efforts. A request for their return in 2016 was refused by the previous French government on the grounds of a law from 1566 that prohibits the permanent restitution of artefacts in museum collections; this law may be an obstacle to the current government’s plans.

Shortlist announced for Margaret Tait award | LUX Scotland announced the shortlist for the 2020/21 edition of the Margaret Tait Award yesterday. The prize recognises artists in Scotland working with moving images, and the judges have selected Emilia Beatriz, Sulaïman Majali, Kimberley O’Neill and Hardeep Pandhal from an open call. The winner, who will be announced on 2 March, will be selected on the basis of their proposal for a £15,000 commission, which will premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival in 2021.