Art News Daily

The mayor of Paris wants the city to store art from conflict zones

Plus: British Council arts employee detained in Iran | US government could subject art dealers to financial regulations | Margaret McDermott (1912–2018) | and recommended reading

4 May 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

The mayor of Paris wants the city to store art from conflict zones | Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, has proposed that the city could set aside secure storage facilities to protect works of art evacuated from conflict zones. Le Figaro (French language article) reports that Hidalgo’s proposal involves earmarking hundreds of square metres of secure, flood-proof storage to house art and antiquities at risk in their countries of origin. The details of the plan have yet to be developed, but it is understood that the scheme might involve cultural partnerships with cities around the world.

British Council employee detained in Iran | Aras Amiri, an employee of the British Council specialising in the arts, has been detained in Iran while visiting her grandmother in hospital. According to the Centre for Human Rights in Iran, Amiri has organised film and theatre festivals for Iranian artists, operating with the permission of the country’s Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. She was arrested on her way to the airport on 14 March and subsequently denied legal aid. Her family made the news public earlier this week.

US government could subject art dealers to financial regulations | Legislation likely to be passed in Congress this month could see US-based art dealers added to a list of regulated financial institutions, an art law firm has warned. According to the Art Newspaper, New York-based Pearlstein McCullough & Lederman has warned its clients that the new law could mean that dealers will be obliged to conform to an anti-money laundering compliance and reporting regime that may prove challenging for some galleries.

Margaret McDermott (1912–2018) | Texan philanthropist Margaret McDermott has died at the age of 106. A renowned collector, McDermott donated more than 3,000 works of art, including sculpture by Aristide Maillol and paintings by Van Gogh, to the Dallas Museum of Art, where she served as a trustee for 57 years. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s director, said in a statement: ‘Margaret McDermott’s contributions to the Dallas Museum of Art are unparalleled.”

Recommended reading | On ArtNet, Julia Halperin reports on Frieze New York, where dealers have so far seen notably mixed results this week. In New York, Jerry Saltz visits the event and argues that the entire art-fair system needs to change. In the FT, John Murray Brown looks at the pros and cons of the UK government’s Cultural Gifts Scheme, whereby art collectors can donate works to the public in exchange for reducing their inheritance tax bill. Finally, the late Ana Mendieta is currently being honoured with shows in Berlin and New York. However, on account of her death in disputed circumstances, the artist’s legacy is an uncomfortable one, writes Rosanna McLaughlin in Art Review. Does the fact that she has become a figurehead for a cause detract from the particulars of her work?

Lead image: used under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-SA 4.0; original image cropped)