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Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation angers Jewish Groups in Restitution Dispute

24 November 2015

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

German Cultural Foundation & Jewish Groups in Dispute Over Guelph Treasure | The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (SPK) has angered Jewish groups by claiming that an allegedly forced sale of medieval ecclesiastical treasures to the Prussian state by Jewish dealers in 1935 ‘predated the Holocaust by several years’. According to The Art Newspaper, the SPK made the comment as part of a motion to dismiss a US lawsuit, brought by descendants of the original owners, which calls for the restitution of the famous Guelph Treasure. Commentators have suggested that the statement downplays the scale of persecution at the time.

23 Major Heritage Sites Damaged by Saudi Bombing in Yemen | Yemen’s General Organisation of Antiquities has claimed that Saudi airstrikes on the war torn country have ‘seriously damaged’ 23 major heritage sites, reports Le Journal des Arts. Among the stricken sites is Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, the historic centre of which is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

African Art Fair Cancelled in Paris | AKAA, Paris’s first African Art Fair, has been cancelled in the wake of the terrorist atrocities that took place in the city earlier in the month, reports Le Monde. The fair, which was scheduled to take place between 3–6 December at the Carreau du Temple in the city centre, will instead debut next year.

Stephen Sutcliffe & Graham Eatough Win 2015 Contemporary Art Society Award | This year’s £40,000 Contemporary Art Society Award has been given to Stephen Sutcliffe & Graham Eatough, along with Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery. Sutcliffe and Eatough have been selected for their proposal to create a two-part film based on the first and last chapters of Manchester-born author Anthony Burgess’s Enderby novels, in collaboration with the Whitworth.

Mitsubishi to Donate $1 million to Freer & Sackler Galleries | The Mitsubishi Corp is to donate $1 million to the Smithsonian’s Freer & Sackler galleries to improve outreach to Japanese visitors, encourage collaboration between American and Japanese institutions and promote bilingual staffing. The financial support will cover a period of five years until September 2020.

Nominees Announced for Vincent Award 2016 | The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum has announced its shortlist for the 2016 Vincent Award, a biennial pan-European prize for mid-career contemporary artists. The contenders are Portugal’s João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva, Germany’s Jutta Koether, Holland’s Manon de Boer, Iranian-born but Berlin-based artist Nairy Baghramian, and the art collective Slavs and Tatars.

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