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The Rake’s progress: last week in gossip

10 January 2018

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

Congratulations to Matt Hancock, who has risen up the ladder at DCMS to become secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport. According to the Evening Standard, the newly appointed cabinet minister celebrated with an evening at a glamorous Fitzrovia restaurant with a crowd including Tracey Emin and singer Rita Ora. But only days into the job, the sharks are already circling…


More troubling news from the Instagram horror that is the Museum of Ice Cream: since December, its recently opened Miami pop-up has wracked up fines totalling $5,000. According to the New York Post, the cultural attraction-cum-selfie opportunity has been issued with three separate fines after plastic ‘ice cream sprinkles’ from one of its exhibits were found scattered outside its premises, where they could be ‘consumed by small birds, reptiles and marine species’. Talk about a frosty reception…


Back in December, a Christmas tree installed in the centre of Rome made headlines when it shed its needles just two weeks after being installed. Nicknamed ‘spelacchio’, or ‘baldy’, by Romans, the tree sparked no end of mockery, leading mayor Virginia Raggi to order an inquiry into its premature decline. But Romans have reportedly adopted this (not-so) spruce as a mascot of sorts, and word is that the tree may could end up as an exhibit in the city’s MAXXI museum. Failing that, says the Huffington Post, it will either end up as ‘a wooden house to be used by breastfeeding mothers’ or ‘thousands of pencils for the city’s schools’.


Finally, good news from the USA. As reported last week, Utah schoolteacher Mateo Rueda was astonished when he lost his job at Lincoln Elementary, Hyrum, for showing a class ‘pornographic’ images – namely, reproductions of nudes by the likes of Modigliani and François Boucher. Happily, as he reports on his blog, he has now reached ‘a fair settlement with mutual satisfaction’ with the school and that his ‘name is clear’. However, he added, he ‘will no longer be teaching at Lincoln Elementary’. Well, who would?

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.