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Report recommends cancelling Garden Bridge

10 April 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Report recommends cancelling Garden Bridge project | A report conducted by Margaret Hodge, former chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, has concluded that London’s proposed ‘Garden Bridge’ is unlikely to receive sufficient private funding to go ahead without requiring further contributions from the taxpayer, and should be abandoned lest it create a further drain on public funds.

National Gallery seeks £11m to save Bellotto landscape for the nation | London’s National Gallery is seeking to to match the asking price for an export-deferred landscape by Bellotto, according to the Art Newspaper. The 1757 landscape, the Fortress of Königstein, was recently sold for £11m to an overseas buyer by the Earl of Derby, whose family had owned the painting since 1834. An application for an export licence was deferred until February 2017 in order to allow a UK buyer to match the price, but when the National Gallery expressed its intention to raise the necessary funds, this was further postponed until August.

Plans to save Lancashire museums in doubt | English Heritage has announced that it is not in a position to save two Lancashire museums that closed down last year, reports the Lancashire Telegraph. The heritage body had entered talks with Lancashire County Council when it became clear that the Queen Street Mill and Helmshore Textile Mill, respectively located in Burnley and Helmshore, were to close. Local campaigners have vowed to continue to try and save the museums.

Paintings stolen from Auckland gallery | Two paintings by Gottfried Lindauer have been stolen from Auckland’s International Art Center, reports the New Zealand Herald. The paintings, in which the Czech-born artist depicted indigenous Maori people, were due to be auctioned and expected to fetch $350,000-$450,000 each. Experts believe the theft was targeted, but say the works will be ‘impossible to on-sell’.

Recommended reading | The Athens half of Documenta 14 has opened, and the first reviews are in. The New York Times’s Jason Farago has reservations, but is ultimately impressed. ArtNet News’s Hili Perlson, however, is not so keen, complaining that its intentional failure to engage with the local art scene makes for a show that feels ‘aloof’.  Meanwhile in Britain, an exhibition devoted to Eric Gill is about to open at the Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft. The Observer’s Rachel Cooke tries to separate Gill’s artistic achievements from his biography.