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Six hundred lost books and manuscripts return to Bonn

Plus: New York will demolish Elizabeth Street Garden | Court case over paintings once attributed to Frans Hals closes | and Mike Kelley Foundation gives $400,000 to arts organisations in LA

12 April 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Six hundred lost books and manuscripts return to Bonn | 600 valuable books and medieval manuscripts were returned to the University and Regional Library of Bonn yesterday. The books disappeared during Allied occupation after the Second World War, but an inventory of losses meant that specialists at Sotheby’s London were able to identify them when 150 were offered for auction by a Belgian consignor. The books had been doctored in an attempt to hide their origins, with some title pages, library stamps and bindings removed, but they will now be restored.

New York will demolish Elizabeth Street Garden | Officials on New York’s City Planning Commission have voted in favour of a proposal to demolish Elizabeth Street Garden and use the site to build affordable housing for seniors. The proposal is controversial because the garden has been  filled with artworks and sculpture since 1991, when it was leased by the gallerist Allan Reiver. The current scheme proposes the 20,000 sq ft garden be reduced to 6,700 sq ft to make space for the new Haven Green building, but must face a public hearing before the City Council before it is approved.

Court case over painting once attributed to Frans Hals closes | The two week court case over a portrait originally attributed to Frans Hals drew to a close yesterday. The judge, who is reserving his judgement until the summer, will decide whether Sotheby’s should be reimbursed by the work’s co-consignor David Kowitz of Fairlight Arts Venture, who owned the painting jointly with the art dealer Mark Weiss, with whom the auction house have already reached a settlement. James Martin, a specialist at Sotheby’s, has defended the 2016 discovery that the artist’s signature was a forgery, according to his forensic analysis of the pigments used.

Mike Kelley gives $400,000 to LA arts organisations | The Mike Kelley Foundation has announced the recipients of its 2019 Artist Project Grants and will be giving $400,000 to 10 nonprofit arts organisations in LA. Among those named are Ford Theatre Foundation, the Huntington Library, Art Collection and Botanical Gardens and the 18th Street Arts Center.  

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