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The best arty April Fools’ pranks of 2019

1 April 2019

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

This April Fools’ Day has yielded a bumper crop of cultural capers. Most prominent was a report in the Guardian that the government was seriously contemplating a new Festival of Britain, post-Brexit – with the caveat that ‘the Democratic Unionist party has initially said no, arguing it must be called the “Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”.’

Elsewhere, the Lincolnshire Reporter concocted a story that Skegness Council had earmarked £10m towards a new sausage museum – ‘giving locals and visitors to the popular seaside town a true taste of the county’.

Art historian Bendor Grosvenor revealed that Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi – whereabouts unknown – had surfaced at the White House. ‘Trump sees himself as saviour of the world, so it was a no-brainer for the Saudis to offer him the painting,’ a ‘source’ was quoted as saying.

Weirdest of all, perhaps, was funnyman Gyles Brandreth’s claim that the V&A had tapped Victoria Beckham to curate an exhibition devoted to his vast collection of outlandish knitwear.

Pull the other one, Gyles. Surely it’s better suited to the Design Museum?

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