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Art News Daily

Rio museum completes controversial Pollock painting sale

Plus: Venice implements tax for day tourists | and Jessica Martinez to direct Cornell University’s art museum

6 February 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Rio museum completes controversial Pollock painting sale | The Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM) in Rio de Janeiro has sold its Jackson Pollock painting, No. 16 (1950). Donated to the museum by Nelson Rockefeller in 1954, it was the only work by Pollock on public view in Brazil. The Art Newspaper reports that auction house Phillips sold the painting in a private transaction for around $13m (the exact total is undisclosed), following a failed attempt to find a buyer at auction last November with a minimum price of $18m. The sale, which has proven controversial, is intended to cover the museum’s current debt of $3m as well as the creation of an endowment for future operations costs. 

Venice implements tax for day tourists | The mayor of Venice, Luigi Brugnaro, announced this week that the city would introduce a €3 tax on day-tripping tourists from 1 May, days before the opening of the 58th Venice Biennale. The plan for a tax for day tourists was approved by the Italian government in December; soon after the details of its implementation were announced the Italian tourism minister called it a ‘useless and damaging measure’. The fee is expected to increase in early 2020 to between €6 and €10, adjusted according to the season.

Jessica Martinez named director of Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art | Cornell University has named Jessica Levin Martinez as the new director of its Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. Martinez is currently head of the division of academic and public programmes at the Harvard Art Museums, where she has also been a research curator of African art since 2016. She starts the role on 15 July, succeeding Stephanie Wiles, who is now director of Yale University Art Gallery.

Lead image: used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 3.0)