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Polynesian sculpture 200 years older than previously thought

15 August 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Polynesian figure is older than previously thought | The figure of A’a, a carved sandalwood figure in the collection of the British Museum, is now thought to be up to 250 years older than previous estimates, which dated it to the late 18th or early 19th century. The Art Newspaper reports that two samples of wood have been carbon-dated as part of the research for a recent exhibition at the BM, and it seems likely that they come from a tree felled after 1505. This makes the figure of the god the oldest known Polynesian sculpture. For more on A’a, see Nicholas Thomas’s piece on Fijian art in our July/August issue.

Campaign launched to save east London artists’ studios | More than 2,500 people have signed a petition to halt a planned development at Vittoria Wharf warehouse in east London’s Hackney Wick, following a dispute between local residents and the London Legacy Development Corporation. The warehouse, which has long been home to dozens of artists’ studios, was in part subject to a compulsory purchase order by the LLDC before the 2012 Olympic Games. Plans to demolish the warehouse to build a footbridge have sparked outcry from the area’s artistic community, who warn that the development will displace many of the people that work there.

War photography installation vandalised in Leipzig | An outdoor installation of Gerda Taro’s war photography on display at Leipzig’s f/stop festival was defaced by vandals earlier this month in what is believed to have been a politically motivated attack. According to Monopol, vandals covered the works with black paint during the night of 3 August (German language article, via Artforum). Police are investigating the attack.

Jorge Daniel Veneciano to step down at Museo del Barrio | Jorge Daniel Veneciano, executive director of New York’s El Museo del Barrio, is to step down at the end of August, museum officials have confirmed. Veneciano, who has occupied his present role for three years, will be replaced provisionally by deputy director of institutional advancement Berta Colón and deputy executive director Carlos Gálvez. In the meantime, Veneciano says he will ‘pursue new opportunities’.