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Strike at the Musée d’Orsay Delays Splendour and Misery

22 September 2015

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Strike at the Musée d’Orsay | Union members working at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris voted to go on strike this morning, in protest at plans to open the museum seven days a week. The museum has announced it will be closed today. The industrial action comes at a particularly bad time for the Musée d’Orsay; today was supposed to see the public opening of the much-heralded ‘Splendour and Misery’, a major new exhibition themed around depictions of prostitution in art.

Dutch Government Pledges €80 million to Bring Rembrandts Home | The government of the Netherlands has pledged €80 million towards the purchase of a pair of Rembrandt portraits – half of the money needed to buy them outright. The paintings, which are up for sale for €160 million, are currently owned by a French businessman. If the rest of the money can be raised, the two paintings could be installed in the Rijksmuseum within weeks, reports the New York Times. Kickstarter, anyone?

Getty Reaches ‘Compromise’ with Armenian Apostolic Church | The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Armenian Apostolic Church in America have reached an agreement over a 13th-century manuscript, reports The Art Newspaper. The Getty has acknowledged the church as the rightful owner of the artefact, in return for the church donating it to the museum. According to a church attorney, the deal represents the first restitution of art from the Armenian Genocide. Could it set a precedent?

‘New’ Tate Modern to Open in June 2016 | Herzog & de Meuron’s extension to London’s Tate Modern is to open next June, with a special visit planned for schoolchildren the day before the public opening. According to the Architects’ Journal, the project has come in 21% over budget – let’s hope it was money well spent.

Bonhams Announces Record Price for Darwin Letter | A letter written by Charles Darwin, in which the evolutionary biologist appears to avow his atheism, has sold for $197,000 – an auction record for correspondence. The letter more than doubled its highest estimate of $90,000 – not bad for a 35-word reply…

NYC Cultural Affairs Commissioner Takes Leave Due to Illness | Thoughts are with Tom Finkelpearl, New York City’s Commissioner of Cultural Affairs, who has taken a leave of absence due to illness, reports the New York Times. Finkelpearl is to undergo ‘several courses’ of chemotherapy, after which he expects to be back to work.

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