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Stonehenge among sites threatened by climate change, warns UN report

Plus: Christie’s to lead 250th anniversary sale with Constable ‘masterpiece’ | Russia’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts absorbed into State Museum and Exhibition Center | Ai Weiwei studio member detained by Greek police | UC San Diego to convert university art gallery into classroom | Yuri Pattison wins 2016 Frieze Artist award | and Patrick George (1923-2016)

26 May 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

World Heritage sites at risk from climate change, warns UN report | The Union of Concerned Scientists, UNESCO, and the United Nations Environment Programme have warned that landmarks and heritage sites including the Statue of Liberty, Stonehenge and the Galapagos Islands are at risk from climate change. According to UCS deputy director Adam Markham, the report’s lead author: ‘Climate change not only brings its own direct impacts such as high temperatures, coastal flooding, and more intense extreme weather events, but it acts as a “risk multiplier,” compounding many of the existing local stresses at each site’.

Christie’s to lead 250th anniversary sale with Constable ‘masterpiece’ | Christie’s has revealed that it is to lead its 250th anniversary sale with a six-foot oil sketch by John Constable. Sketch for ‘View on the Stour Near Dedham’ (c. 1821–22) is the last of Constable’s full-scale sketches to remain in private hands. The auction house describes it as a ‘pivotal work’ in his development. According to Christie’s global president Jussi Pylkkänen, it is ‘unlikely‘ that a UK institution will be able to match the asking price of £12–16 million. Will Ed Vaizey roll out another export bar?

Russia’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts absorbed into State Museum and Exhibition Center | Russian culture minister Vladimir Medinsky has announced that the country’s National Centre for Contemporary Arts (NCCA) is to be folded into the structure of the State Museum and Exhibition Center (ROSIZO). Director Mikhail Mindlin is to step down, while NCCA programmes including the prestigious Innovation Award and the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale will now be the responsibility of ROSIZO. The news has not gone down well with some figures in Russia’s arts community, who fear that the NCCA’s curatorial independence and distinctiveness may be lost.

Ai Weiwei studio member detained by Greek police | According to Ai Weiwei’s Instagram account, a member of his studio has been detained for questioning near the Greek-Macedonian border (report via The Art Newspaper). Lu Hengzhong was apparently filming at the Idomeni refugee camp when she was apprehended by police. She was then driven to a nearby police station, questioned and released several hours later.

UC San Diego to convert university art gallery into classroom | University of California San Diego is to permanently close its on-campus art gallery in order to convert it into a classroom, reports the UCSD Guardian. ‘Proposals to fund the gallery have been put forward recently, but the university must evaluate these options in the context of other pressing needs,’ the university stated in a press release. The closure of the space will make UCSD the only University of California campus lacking an art gallery.

Yuri Pattison wins 2016 Frieze Artist award | London-based artist Yuri Pattison has been named winner of the 2016 Frieze Artist Award. ‘Yuri Pattison is one of today’s most important young artists looking in a critical way at new technologies’, said Frieze Projects curator Raphael Gygax. ‘[…] I’m very excited to offer this platform for Pattison to build upon his thought-provoking and increasingly relevant work.’ Pattison will create a new multimedia installation for the Frieze London art fair in Regent’s Park in October.

Patrick George (1923–2016) | The painter and long serving Slade tutor Patrick George has died aged 92. Born in Wilmslow in 1923, George became interested in painting as a young child. After winning a bursary to study at Edinburgh School of Art, he spent several years in the Navy during the Second World War, before returning to Britain to study at Camberwell. He joined the Slade in 1949, and remained connected to the school until his retirement in 1988, becoming professor of fine art and president. According to the Times (£), he continued painting into his final weeks.

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