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Terrorist attack at UNESCO world heritage site

4 January 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Shooting at Ancient Citadel in Caucasus | Last week, gunmen reportedly linked to an ISIS-affiliated terrorist group opened fire on local residents at a UNESCO World Heritage site in Dagestan. The citadel of Derbent, where the attack took place, is a popular tourist attraction and one of Russia’s oldest cities. ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attempt, which killed one member of the security services.

China Announces Proposal to Preserve Great Wall | The Government of China’s Inner Mongolia region has set out a five-year plan to protect and preserve a 7,000 km section of the Great Wall of China that lies within its jurisdiction. According to The Art Newspaper, certain sections of the Wall have been damaged by natural disasters or put at risk by their proximity to major construction projects. As it stands, the Inner Mongolian administration’s plan stresses a policy of ‘minimum intervention’.

New Foundation Takes Over Gurlitt Provenance Research | After widespread criticism about the performance of the taskforce investigating the provenance of the late Cornelius Gurlitt’s contentious art collection, the Stiftung Deutsches Zentrum Kulturgutverluste has taken over responsibility for researching the hoard. Complaints have been made about the Schwabinger Kunstfund’s slow progress; to date, only five works from Gurlitt’s collection have been identified as looted during the Nazi era.

Italian Restitution Claims for Lysippos Rejected | Italy’s Court of Cassation has rejected, for now, the government’s restitution claims to a Lysippos sculpture held in the collection of Los Angeles’s Getty Museum. The court has upheld the Getty’s view that the original 2012 hearing in Pesaro was procedurally flawed. The statue, which was discovered off the Adriatic coast in 1964 and has been in the Getty’s collection since 1977, is the object of a long-running legal battle between Italy and the museum. Italy claims that the statue was illegally exported, while the Getty maintains that it was discovered in international waters and thus was not the state’s responsibility. The dispute may, however, continue. The case has been referred back to the regional court in Pesaro.

Phyllida Barlow to Receive CBE | The arts are well represented in 2016’s New Year Honours List. Sculptor Phyllida Barlow has been made CBE for services to art, while Sir Roy Strong is the only figure to be appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour. Elsewhere, Pim Baxter, Deputy Director of the National Portrait Gallery, art historian Professor Maurice Howard and Juliana Beattie, founder of educational resource The Art Room have all been awarded OBEs.