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Stolen Picasso recovered after 20 years

27 March 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Stolen Picasso recovered after 20 years | A stolen Picasso has been recovered after 20 years by the Dutch art-crime investigator Arthur Brand. The portrait, known as Buste de Femme (Dora Maar) (1938), was taken from the yacht of Saudi billionaire Sheikh Abdul Mohsen Abdulmalik Al-Sheikh in Antibes, France in 1999. Brand first learned that the work was circulating around the Dutch black market in 2015, and recovered the painting when it was used as payment in what its recipient believed to be a legitimate business deal. Said recipient contacted Brand in response to an appeal and returned the work, which has now been authenticated by an expert at New York’s Pace Gallery.

Sackler-owned Purdue Pharma reaches $270m settlement with Oklahoma | Purdue Pharma, the company that manufactures the prescription painkiller OxyContin, reached a $270m settlement with the state of Oklahoma over illegal marketing of the drug, to go towards an addiction centre at Oklahoma State University. Purdue Pharma is owned by some members of the Sackler family, whose UK trust announced on Monday that they would pause all philanthropic donations. The National Portrait Gallery and Tate both publicly turned down further Sackler funding last week.

German panel calls for return of Hitler’s Bellotto paintings to Jewish heirs | Germany’s advisory commission on the return of Nazi-looted art has called for the restitution of two Bernardo Bellotto paintings to the descendants of Max James Emden, a Jewish retail magnate from Hamburg. Emden had his businesses, properties and financial assets seized by the Nazis after fleeing persecution to Switzerland in 1933. In 1937 he sold his art collection below market value and the dealer Karl Haberstock bought the Bellotto works for Hitler in 1938. They are currently in the German federal government collection, and Emden’s heirs have spent 15 years fighting for their restitution.

MoMA PS1 settles with curator alleging gender, pregnancy and caregiver discrimination | MoMA PS1 has made a settlement with curator Nikki Columbus over her claim that the museum withdrew a job offer when it discovered she had recently had a child. The settlement involves financial compensation as well as a pledge to update the museum’s policies over staff members and job applicants who are women, working parents or caregivers.

Tate Modern overtakes British Museum as top UK attraction | The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva) has revealed that Tate Modern is now the top tourist attraction in the UK, with almost 5.9m visitors in 2018. It has overtaken the British Museum, which received 5.8m visitors. The other institutions in the top five were the National Gallery, the Natural History Museum and Southbank Centre. Liverpool’s World Museum was the most-visited attraction outside London.

Dallas Museum of Art receives major gifts for Latin American art | The Dallas Museum of Art has received a $1m acquisition fund from Linda Marcus and the endowment for a new curatorial position from Jorge Baldor, both in support of its growing focus on Latin American art. Linda Marcus donated the fund in memory of her husband Stanley Marcus, a former trustee of the museum who donated more than 300 works in his lifetime. Baldor is a local entrepreneur who has previously donated five works and sponsored an exhibition in 2017.