Our daily round-up of news from the art world
Bomb detonated at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina | In one of a series of apparently coordinated attacks across Saudi Arabia yesterday, a bomb was detonated at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. World leaders have expressed outrage at the attack, which according to Al Jazeera is thought to have killed at least four people. A spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry described the bombings as ‘despicable acts that did not respect the sanctity of place, time and innocent people.’ Saudi Arabia has yet to reveal whether the Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites, suffered structural damage.
Lee Ufan refuses to certify contested works as forgeries | Following the arrest of a South Korean art dealer for the sale of allegedly fake Lee Ufan works, the artist himself has come forward to state that the works are indeed authentic. Although the dealer, known only as Hyeon, has confessed to the forgeries, Lee has refused to deem them as such. ‘Police asked me to acknowledge that the four pieces that Mr. Hyeon admitted to having forged were indeed fakes in an attempt to reach a compromise, but I refused’, he said. ‘The use of breath, rhythm, and colour were all my techniques. An artist can recognise his own piece at a glance.’ Police are continuing the investigation.
Prosecutors seize Giacometti works from Swiss museum | Swiss prosecutors have filed for the seizure of a collection of drawings and photographs by Alberto Giacometti, currently in storage at the Grisons Art Museum in Chur. According to Reuters, the authorities say that they have ordered the seizure pending a decision by a French court, after a claim by the Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation that the works were stolen some decades ago. The Foundation has not revealed who it suspects of the alleged theft, and has said that it will only reveal details of the issue after the ownership battle is resolved.
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek art museum agrees to return archaeological artefacts to Italy | After years of negotiations, the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek art museum in Copenhagen has signed an agreement with the Italian culture ministry stipulating the repatriation of a number of archaeological artefacts. Italian authorities claimed the artefacts had been looted, and their sale brokered by disgraced American antiquities dealer Robert Hecht. According to the New York Times, the matter became a standoff between Italy and the Danish museum, which refused to return the objects for years. In exchange for the objects’ return, Italy has promised the loan of a number of ‘significant tomb discoveries.’ Glyptotek director Flemming Friborg has hailed the deal as a ‘powerful and visionary agreement’.