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Smithsonian decision on London outpost imminent

11 April 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Smithsonian to decide on London outpost | Trustees of the Smithsonian Institution will meet today to discuss the possibility of opening a satellite in London’s Olympic Park, reports The Art Newspaper. A branch in the British capital was first proposed in 2014, but Smithsonian officials stressed that plans could progress only if $50 million was raised from British sources (a sum which has now been raised). According to TAN, British officials, including the mayor of London, are keen for a Smithsonian-affiliated museum to open alongside outposts of other museums, including the V&A and, perhaps, the British Museum.

Singapore’s Pinacothèque de Paris closes doors | A year after its opening, the Singapore branch of the Pinacothèque de Paris has closed due to weaker-than-expected numbers of visitors. The news comes just months after the announcement that the original branch of the Pinacothèque, in Paris’s 8th arrondissement, was to close.

Austrian government plans to seize Hitler’s birthplace | The Austrian government has announced plans for the compulsory purchase of the house in which Adolf Hitler was born (French language article). Located in the town of Branau-am-Inn, the building has been empty since 2011. Formerly a centre for the disabled, the property sparked a legal battle when its owner, Gerlinde Pommer, refused to pay for essential renovation work and also refused government offers to buy the house ‑ hence the move to prevent it falling into unsavoury hands. ‘We have concluded […] that expropriation is the only way to avoid the building being used by Nazi sympathisers,’ explains a spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior.

The weekend’s best news and comment | Following Jan Fabre’s resignation as artistic director of the Athens and Epidaurus festival, the New York Times has run an interesting piece on artists’ reactions to the country’s troubles. Troubles of a different sort in London, where the Observer’s Rowan Moore has lambasted Boris Johnson’s record on planning and architecture. And anyone trying to keep up to date with the revelations from Panama, could do worse than look to Ben Davis’s useful summary, from an artworld perspective, for ArtNet News. Finally, the Toronto Star has published a fascinating profile of Modern Painters and artinfo.com owner Louise Blouin.