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Pergamon Museum to move exhibits into temporary ‘transition hall’

Plus: Appeal to buy hoard of Roman coins hits target | Diageo’s decision to sell off Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen criticised | Royal Ontario Museum offers apology for ‘racist’ exhibition | Restituted Constable to be sold at Christie's | and Aaron Seeto appointed director of Indonesia’s MACAM

10 November 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Pergamon Museum exhibits to move to temporary premises | Berlin museum authorities have announced that the Pergamon Museum is to move some exhibits to a temporary site due to unforeseen difficulties with its ongoing renovation project. According to Deutsche Welle, parts of the famous Pergamon Altar will be among the objects transferred to a so-called ‘transition hall’ near the city’s Museum Island. The temporary space will be privately financed by Stuttgart’s Wolff Group, which reportedly expects to recover costs through ticket revenue. The space is expected to open in 2018, while renovations to the museum itself are not expected to be completed until 2023 at the earliest.

Diageo’s decision to sell off Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen criticised | Sir Angus Grossart has described the decision of drinks giant Diageo to sell Sir Edwin Landseer’s Monarch of the Glen (1851) as a ‘slap in the face’, reports the Daily Herald. Diageo intends to auction the painting at Christie’s in December, and has justified the sale on the grounds that the work has ‘no direct link’ to the firm’s business. The painting is on long-term loan to the National Museum of Scotland, but if auctioned could be withdrawn from public view. Sir Angus, an instrumental figure behind the renovations at Glasgow’s Burrell Collection, has criticised Diageo, saying that the painting should be donated to a Scottish museum free of charge. ‘[The decision to sell] seems like a specious rationalisation of a procurement decision, rather than a considered group decision of the reputational and Scottish issues involved’, he wrote in a letter published in the Herald.

Appeal to buy hoard of Roman coins hits target | The Yorkshire Museum has announced that a fundraising appeal to acquire a hoard of Roman coins has reached its target of £44,000, reports the BBC. The hoard of more than 1,800 coins, which was discovered in the village of Wold Newton in 2014 by an amateur metal detectorist, was described by museum officials as a ‘once in a lifetime’ discovery. The money raised to buy the hoard will be split between the individual who discovered it and the owner of the land.

Royal Ontario Museum offers apology for ‘racist’ exhibition | Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum has acknowledged that an exhibition it mounted 27 years ago was ‘racist in content’ and offensive to African-Canadians, reports the Globe and Mail. On Wednesday evening, ROM deputy director of collections and research Mark Engstrom addressed a crowd of around 70 people to express remorse for ‘Into the Heart of Africa’, a show that provoked protests outside the institution when it opened in November 1989. The exhibition featured hundreds of African artefacts from the museum’s holdings, which were presented in a manner that ‘perpetuated an atmosphere of racism’ by failing to counter colonialist narratives about their history and provenance. ROM director Josh Basseches hailed the apology as a ‘milestone’ in the museum’s history.

Restituted Constable to be sold at Christie’s | A work by John Constable that was deaccessioned by Tate after it was identified as having been looted during the Nazi era is to be auctioned at Christie’s on 8 December, reports The Art Newspaper. The 1824 oil painting, entitled Beaching a Boat, Brighton, is being sold by Baron Ferenc Hatvany’s heirs, who successfully laid claim to it and took possession earlier this year. It is expected to sell for between £500,000–£800,000.

Aaron Seeto appointed director of Indonesia’s MACAM | Brisbane’s Aaron Seeto has been named as the new director of Jakarta’s Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara. Seeto, who is currently curatorial manager of Asian and Pacific art at the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art in Australia, will oversee the opening of the institution next March. He will succeed Thomas J. Berghuis in the role, which he will take up on 21 November.

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