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Sadiq Khan announces trust to help create affordable artists’ studios

Plus: Earthquake rocks Italy’s Marche region | Israel criticises UNESCO over Temple Mount dispute | Private apartments of Pope’s summer residence open to the public | David M. Rubenstein named board chair of Smithsonian | and MoMA acquires original set of Emoticons

27 October 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Sadiq Khan plans trust to create affordable artists’ studios in London | London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced plans for a trust dedicated to financing the creation of affordable artists’ studios in the UK capital. The Creative Land Trust will draw on both public and private funds, and will offer loans to protect existing studio spaces and help studio providers buy their buildings. As reported here, soaring rents and large redevelopment projects have seen a large percentage of London’s available studio space disappear in the past few years. ‘As property prices rise and new areas of the city grow, artists are finding themselves unable to put down roots here’, Khan said yesterday. ‘I am committed to improving access to dedicated, affordable workspace so that the next generation of creatives are given the extra support they require to flourish.’

Earthquake rocks Italy’s Marche region | An earthquake measuring between 5.4 and 6.1 on the Richter scale hit towns across Italy’s Marche province on Wednesday night, leaving around 2,000 people homeless, local authorities say. Hundreds of smaller aftershocks were also recorded. Among the worst hit towns were Visso, Castelsantangelo sul Nera and Ussita, which were previously affected by an earthquake that caused huge damage to the region in August. No fatalities were reported, but the extent of damage to cultural heritage is as yet unknown.

Israel criticises UNESCO over Temple Mount dispute | A Palestinian-drafted resolution passed earlier this month by UNESCO delegates has been criticised by Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He and other Israeli figures have condemned UNESCO’s use of only Arabic terms for the sites. As The Art Newspaper reports, the resolution, which was approved by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee in a secret ballot yesterday, refers to Israel as an ‘occupying’ power throughout, and strongly criticises the actions of Israeli security forces, who, it claims, inhibit Muslims from worshipping at the site.

Private apartments of Pope’s summer residence open to the public | Pope Francis has granted permission for the private apartments of Castel Gandolfo to open to the public. The palace has been the summer residence of the popes for four centuries but, in keeping with his humble image, Francis has not stayed there since his ordination in 2013.

David M. Rubenstein named board chair of Smithsonian | The Smithsonian Institution has elected Carlyle Group co-founder David M. Rubenstein to be its new board chair. Rubenstein, who has been a member of the board since 2009, succeeds board of regents chairman John McCarter. ‘I love the museums, and I love the learning,’ Rubenstein said. ‘It keeps me young.’ Additionally, the Smithsonian elected AOL co-founder Steve Case as its vice chairman, and Risa J. Lavizzo-Mourey to the executive committee. They take up their three-year terms in January.

MoMA acquires original set of emoji | New York’s Museum of Modern Art has announced its acquisition of the original set of 176 emoji, or emoticons, which it plans to display in its lobby. The peculiar new addition to its collection was a gift from the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT DOCOMO), the business that invented the form in 1999. The museum explains that they represent an important cultural phenomenon: ‘From the start (in 1929), part of MoMA’s mission has been to display and collect the art (and design) of our time,’ senior curator Paola Antonelli told the Guardian in an email. ‘Our time is lived today in both the digital and the physical space.’

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