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Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall given to National Heritage Collection

Plus: Earthquakes in Puerto Rico force museums to close | and Palais de Tokyo faces criticism over partnership with Qatari state museum

9 January 2020

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall given to National Heritage Collection | Legal ownership of Carrawburgh, a Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland, has been transferred to English Heritage by Jennifer Du Cane, whose family acquired the fort in 1950. The 1.4 hectare fort, one of 16 along Hadrian’s Wall, dates from around 122 AD, and was once occupied by some 500 soldiers defending the Roman empire’s northern frontier. The site has been left relatively untouched by archaeologists, meaning much of the fort’s surviving structure remains underground. It is the first acquisition for the National Heritage Collection since English Heritage became a charity in 2015.

Earthquakes in Puerto Rico force museums to close | A spate of strong earthquakes in Puerto Rico, including one on Tuesday of magnitude 6.4, has led a number of art institutions to close. The Museo de Arte de Ponce announced its closure on Instagram, but has released a statement confirming that its collection was safe and that its building has not suffered any structural damage (it will remain closed while non-structural repairs are carried out). A representative for the (separate) Museo de Arte in San Germán told Artnet News that some of its collection had been damaged and that the building itself has suffered cracks. Other sites affected by the earthquakes include the 19th-century Church of the Immaculate Conception in Guayanilla, which has collapsed. 

Palais de Tokyo faces criticism over partnership with Qatari state museum | The Palais de Tokyo in Paris has faced criticism in response to an event announced on Tuesday for the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture. From 21 February the contemporary art centre will play host to ‘Notre monde brûle, a guest exhibition from Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, a state-run gallery in Qatar. Artists and other figures including the philosopher Yves Michaud have called into question the ethics of a partnership between the Palais de Tokyo and a state that criminalises homosexuality.