Our daily round-up of news from the art world
Sotheby’s posts record auction estimate for Modigliani work | Sotheby’s has broken auction records with a pre-sale estimate set for Amedeo Modigliani’s painting Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) (1917). The painting, which was unveiled yesterday at Sothebys Hong Kong, is estimated to sell for in excess of $150 million. The work, which at nearly 150cm wide is Modigliani’s largest painting, was completed for the artists’s only solo show in Paris in 1917. It will be auctioned in May as part of Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art sale.
UAE to contribute more than $50 million to Mosul reconstruction | The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has signed an agreement with Iraq and UNESCO to contribute $50.4 million to a multi-billion dollar project that will see the reconstruction of the city of Mosul in Iraq. The UAE’s contribution will be focused on the restoration of the Grand al-Nuri mosque and al-Hadba minaret, which is expected to take at least five years. The site was largely destroyed by ISIS militants last year.
Knight Foundation donates $1 million to US museums for digital technology | The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced a donation of $1 million to eight museums across the US, including the San Jose Museum of Art in California, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The donation is intended to support the hiring of staff members trained in the use of digital technology, including augmented reality software, with the goal of creating new ways for visitors to engage with the museums’ collections.
Cristian Valsecchi named general manager of Fondazione Prada | Fondazione Prada has named Cristian Valsecchi as its new general manager (Italian language article). Valsecchi is currently head of the Fondazione Torino Musei and the Associazione dei Musei d’Arte Contemporanea Italiani. He has also taught at the University of Bergamo.
New York dealers challenge law on antique ivory sales | Two dealers’ organisations are suing New York State over laws restricting the sale of antique ivory. The Art and Antique Dealers League of America and the National Art and Antique Dealers Association of America jointly claim that a state law designed to restrict ivory sales is too severe, and that it conflicts with looser federal laws, which allow trade in most ivory that is ‘antique’ (over one hundred years old).