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Art News Daily

The Rubin Museum appoints Jorrit Britschgi as its new director

Plus: Moray Council proposes to sell items from museum collections | Hitler painting attacked by visitor with screwdriver | Former employee files ‘whistleblower’ lawsuit against Grand Rapids Art Museum | Marrakesh Biennale cancelled | and recommended reading

6 October 2017

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Jorrit Britschgi appointed new director of Rubin Museum | Jorrit Britschgi has been appointed the executive director of the Rubin Museum in New York, replacing Patrick Sears. Britschgi has been the institution’s director of exhibitions, collections, and research since 2016, having previously been the head of exhibitions and publications at the Museum Rietberg in Zurich.

Moray Council proposes to sell items from museum collections | A report approved by local councillors, which proposes a sale of items from Moray Council’s 50,000 strong collection, has prompted an intervention from Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS). The Museums Association reports that MGS has written to the council stating that any sale of items from its collection would be considered ‘unethical’; it has cited the case of Northampton Borough Council’s 2014 deaccession. In 2013, in response to a £30million cut to its funding, Moray Council cut its arts and culture budget by 100 per cent.

Hitler painting attacked by visitor with screwdriver | An oil painting by Adolf Hitler on display at the Museo di Salò was attacked by a visitor wielding a screwdriver on Thursday, reports the Corriere della Serra (Italian language article, via the BBC). He reportedly shouted the word ‘bastard’ before lunging at the exhibit. The painting was one of nearly 200 works hanging in a show, curated by Vittorio Sgarbi, exploring the theme of madness. The work’s owner has decided not to press charges.

Former employee files ‘whistleblower’ lawsuit against Grand Rapids Art Museum | A former employee of Grand Rapids Art Museum has filed a lawsuit against the institution, claiming that his contract was terminated after he sought to uncover financial irregularities. According to local news outlet MLive, Donald Neil Bremer was fired as chief operating officer earlier this year, and claims that the dismissal was the result of his attempts to prevent the misuse of restricted funds.

Marrakesh Biennale cancelled | The Art Newspaper reports that the seventh edition of the Marrakesh Biennale will not go ahead in February, as planned, due to a lack of funds. Founded by Vanessa Branson in 2004, from whom Kabbaj took over in 2016, the Biennale is now reportedly in €250,000 of debt.

Recommended reading | The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones has written an intriguing account of a weekend spent at Tracey Emin’s bolthole in the south of France, revealing that the My Bed artist grows her own vegetables, drinks moderately these days, and that he himself is terrified of helicopters. Elsewhere, in the New York Times Andrew Dickson profiles Thomas Ruff, and in ArtReview J.J. Charlesworth considers the implications of Blockchain for the art market.

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