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Peter Doig appears in court over disputed painting

9 August 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Peter Doig testifies in court case | Peter Doig has testified in what the New York Times describes as an ‘odd’ court case in Chicago, brought against the artist by a man who claims to own an unattributed painting by him. As previously reported here, former correction officer Robert Fletcher says that a work he bought in 1976 was painted by the artist while serving time in a detention centre in Canada. Doig denies that he painted the work, and says that he has never been incarcerated. Fletcher’s lawyers claim that Doig is ‘either confused or lying’, says the NYT. On his Art History News site, art historian Bendor Grosvenor describes the ‘bizarre’ case against Doig as a form of ‘legalised blackmail’.

Sotheby’s posts results for second quarter | Sotheby’s has announced promising second-quarter profits despite the uncertainty over wider art market trends, reports the FT (£). According to The Art Newspaper, the first six months of 2016 saw a 22 per cent increase in Hong Kong compared to last year, though overall sales volume is down by 31 per cent. Explaining the ‘paradox’ in which the wider art market finds itself, Sotheby’s president and CEO Tad Smith explained: ‘On the one hand, collectors are still buying top quality works of art in well-curated sales. On the other hand, consignors who have the luxury of discretion are showing a bit of reluctance to sell their work at this time.’

Cyprus police to investigate allegations of missing antiquities | Cyprus’s transport ministry has asked police to investigate Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos’s allegations that museum workers were trafficking antiquities. According to the Cyprus Mail, the mayor has been at loggerheads with staff at the island’s antiquities department since a number of tombs were discovered in the city centre, which is currently being renovated.

Stanton Williams and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands selected to design UCL campus projects in east London | University College London has selected Stanton Williams and Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands to design the initial projects for its planned campus in east London’s Queen Elizabeth Park, reports the Architects’ Journal. ‘This is a unique opportunity to create a distinctive place,’ said Stanton Williams director Gavin Henderson. ‘[It will be] a new kind of university quarter that captures the excitement and vitality that draws people to live, work and study in contemporary London.’