Syrian government forces recapture Palmyra | The ancient site of Palmyra has once more returned to Syrian government control. This is the fourth time in the last two years that the Unesco World Heritage Site has changed hands. The extent of the damage since IS fighters retook the city last December has yet to be determined.
Four African-American artists buy Nina Simone’s birthplace | Adam Pendleton, Rashid Johnson, Ellen Gallagher, and Julie Mehretu have banded together to buy the house in North Carolina where the singer and civil-rights activist Nina Simone was born. The four artists bid on the house in Tryon at auction and succeeded with a bid of $95,000. Rashid Johnson, told the New York Times, ‘My feeling when I learned that this house existed was just an incredible urgency to make sure it didn’t go away.’
Spencer Hays (1936–2017)
The American philanthropist and collector Spencer Hays has died at the age of 80. In October he and his wife Marlene Hayes donated 187 works from their art collection to the Musée d’Orsay. It has been reported as the largest foreign donation of art to a French museum in the post-war period. The couple’s entire collection of more than 600 words is also pledged to go to the museum. Hays, who was born in Oklahoma, was the founder of Tom Jones Clothing.