Our daily round-up of news from the art world
Metropolitan Museum of Art considers levying entrance fee | New York mayor Bill de Blasio has given his support to new plans that may see the city’s Metropolitan Museum of Art put entrance charges in place for visitors residing out-of-state. According to the New York Times, de Blasio said he thought it would be ‘fair’ to impose the charge, which breaks with the museum’s current policy of soliciting ‘suggested donations’. The proposal is a controversial one: the museum, which, as previously reported, is facing a substantial budget deficit, is a taxpayer supported institution, receiving some $26m – or 8 per cent of its operating costs – from New York City per annum. Some have suggested that a mandatory fee for out-of-towners may result in public funds being shifted to other organisations.
Two acquitted in Brett Whiteley forgery case | Two men have been acquitted of faking and selling paintings by the late Australian artist Brett Whiteley, reports Guardian Australia. Prosecutors in the case unexpectedly conceded appeals against the conviction of art restorer Mohamed Aman Siddique, and dealer Peter Stanley Gant, who in May 2016 were found guilty of ‘obtaining and attempting to obtain financial advantage by deception’ through the sale of forged Whiteley paintings. The conviction was quashed on the grounds that there was ‘cogent evidence’ to support Gant’s claim that he had bought the works in good faith in 1988.
Jean Pigozzi plans foundation for contemporary African art | French venture capitalist and collector Jean Pigozzi is planning to build a new foundation to house his collection of contemporary African art. Pigozzi has been buying contemporary art from sub-Saharan countries for almost 30 years. He told the Le Quotidien de l’Art that it would be ‘sad’ if his 10,000 strong collection was dispersed after his death. ‘It is still incredible that neither the Museum of Modern Art, nor Beaubourg, nor the Metropolitan Museum of Art have a department of contemporary African art. In five years’ time, I want to create a space in Europe.’
World Monuments Fund launches Instagram initiative to protect modern buildings | The World Monuments Fund has launched an Instagram campaign that it hopes will highlight the plight of modern buildings that have fallen into disrepair. According to the Art Newspaper, the WMF has initiated the project with images of 30 buildings nominated by architects, experts and students in order to encourage the public to submit further nominations via the social media platform. The list will eventually be sent to an advisory council of architects, designers and critics who will advise the heritage body as to how best to proceed with safeguarding the buildings’ conservation.