A round-up of recent news and comment from The Muse Room
From the magazine
What can be done about the cultural desecration of Iraq?
‘These acts of vandalism are an inexcusable assault on a cultural heritage that belongs to the whole world’. In the April issue of Apollo, John Curtis reports on ISIS iconoclasm in Iraq, while Thomas Marks argues that, now more than ever, we should seek out and celebrate the Assyrian treasures in museum collections around the world.
Should the Kunstmuseum Bern have accepted the Gurlitt bequest?
The Kunstmuseum Bern had a difficult decision to make last year when it emerged that the German art hoarder Cornelius Gurlitt had left his notorious art collection to institution. We asked the museum’s director, Matthias Frehner, and David Lewis of the Commission for Looted Art in Europe, to discuss the ethical and legal issues surrounding the bequest and the museum’s decision to accept it.
Don Quixote rides into New York
Don Quixote takes centre stage at the Frick Collection this spring. The museum has taken two impressive 18th-century tapestries out of storage for a focused look at Charles Coypel’s once-famous interpretation of Cervantes’ novel. We asked curator Charlotte Vignon to tell us more.
From the blog
Art Basel booms in Hong Kong
‘Art Basel in Hong Kong (or ABHK) is the youngest of Art Basel’s progeny, but it is no less breezily confident for that.’ Emma Crichton-Miller returns from Hong Kong with a round-up of the highlights and significant sales from this year’s fair.
Museums around the USA and Europe have been digging deep into their acquisitions budgets recently. Among the purchases announced last month are some of last November’s more controversial auction lots…