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Peter Doig wins bizarre authenticity court case

Plus: Heritage sites damaged in fatal Italian earthquake | Hearst Castle closed as Californian wildfires spread | Wadsworth Atheneum offers free admission to local residents

24 August 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Peter Doig wins bizarre authenticity court case | A Chicago court has ruled that a landscape painting at the heart of a long-running authenticity dispute is not the work of Peter Doig. The painter was sued in 2013 by retired prison officer Robert Fletcher, who claimed to have bought the painting from him in the 1970s, something Doig denies. The plaintiff argued that Doig’s subsequent disavowal of the work had destroyed its value, and was seeking its authentication along with $7.9 million in damages. For more details, see our previous coverage here.

Heritage sites damaged in fatal Italian earthquake | A 6.2-magnitude earthquake has hit central Italy, killing at least 73 people and destroying buildings in several historic towns. The country’s specialist art and antiquities police force, the Comando Carabinieri Tutela Patrimonio Culturale, are assessing the damage across the area, and the culture ministry has announced that a strategy to protect at-risk heritage sites will be decided on once emergency humanitarian relief efforts have been put in place. The region’s Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, which boasts frescoes by Cimabue, Giotto, Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini, has been declared safe.

Hearst Castle closed as Californian wildfires spread | Firefighters have been battling to protect the historic property and art collection at Hearst Castle, as the Chimney blaze continues to burn in the surrounding area. The estate was built between 1917 and 1946 for William Randolph Hearst, and is now preserved as a museum and California state park. According to the LA Times, the entire collection remains in situ, but the house has been closed and shuttered to protect it from smoke and soot.

Wadsworth Atheneum offers free admission to local residents | The Wadsworth Atheneum has done away with entry fees for Hartford residents. (Standard adult entry costs $15 and the museum is already free for under 18s). The change of policy, which comes into effect today, is part of a wider community engagement initiative, and will run until at least June 2017, at which point it will be considered for extension.

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