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The week in art news – Botticelli painting sells for $92m at auction

29 January 2021

A painting by Sandro Botticelli has sold at auction for $92m, a record for the artist and the second-highest price ever fetched for an Old Master under the hammer (after Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi, which went for $450m in 2017). Young Man Holding a Roundel, which is dated to c. 1480, is one of just a dozen or so surviving portraits by the Florentine artist. It was sold at Sotheby’s in New York on Thursday evening.

The Centre Pompidou in Paris will close for renovations for three years from late 2023. Serge Lasvignes, the president of the museum, said that the essential maintenance work would ‘guarantee the future’ of the building; the famous structure, designed by Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano in the 1970s, is showing signs of wear and tear. The aim is for the works, which include removal of asbestos, treatment of corrosion and updating energy systems, to be completed in time for the 50th anniversary of the centre in 2027.

The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) has announced that it is postponing the 2021 edition of its annual Maastricht fair until 11–19 September. The fair, which usually takes place in March, had previously been slated for May this year; its New York edition, normally held in May, has now been pushed back to spring 2022. TEFAF’s chairman Hidde van Seggelen says that he is confident the decision ‘will create the opportunity for both a physical and online fair this year’.

The City of Bruges has announced plans for a new museum, set to open its doors by the end of 2024. A €28.5m budget has been allocated for the purpose-built exhibition hall, which has been named BRUSK, and will be a space for displays of both historic and contemporary art. It will join the 14 other venues that make up the municipal museums of Bruges, known as Musea Brugge.