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Art News Daily

Pope appoints new head of Vatican Museums

Plus: Museum accuses Google of profiting from Holocaust denial | Paintings looted in Verona heist return to Italy | and Nancy Wiener accused of selling stolen antiquities

22 December 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Pope appoints Barbara Jatta to head Vatican Museums | Pope Francis has appointed Italian art historian Barbara Jatta as the next director of the Vatican Museums, effective as of 1 January 2017. She will succeed Antonio Paolucci, who has led the museums since 2007. Jatta has worked for the Vatican since 1996, and currently oversees the Vatican Library’s collection of prints. She will be its first female director.

Museum accuses Google of profiting from Holocaust denial | David Schendowich, marketing director at Atlanta’s Breman Museum, has alleged that Google is profiting from online Holocaust denial, reports the Guardian. According to Schendowich, the Breman – a Jewish heritage museum – is paying Google up to $2 per click to direct internet users to its own website via AdWords when they type in the phrase ‘did the Holocaust happen’, in order to prevent neo-Nazi sites from appearing in the top search results.

Paintings looted in Verona heist return to Italy | Seventeen paintings stolen from Verona’s Castelvecchio Museum last November have been returned to Italy from Ukraine, from where they were recovered earlier this year. The cache, which includes works by Rubens and Tintoretto, is in good condition, having suffered only ‘scratches’, according to curator Ettore Napione. The paintings will go on display at the Castelvecchio Museum on Friday, and will subsequently be sent for restoration and reframing.

Nancy Wiener accused of selling stolen antiquities | New York antiques dealer Nancy Wiener was arrested yesterday on felony charges of criminal possession of stolen property and conspiracy, reports the New York Times. It is alleged that Wiener obtained stolen artefacts from smugglers, selling them on after creating false provenance and ownership histories. Wiener, who ‘surrendered voluntarily’ according to her lawyer, was released after posting $25,000 in bail.

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