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Art News Daily

Turner Prize cuts ties with Stagecoach

Plus: Trevor Paglen’s satellite sculpture is lost in space | Facebook removes groups selling looted Syrian artefacts | Cattelan’s gold toilet goes to Blenheim

3 May 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Turner Prize cuts ties with Stagecoach | The Turner Prize has dropped its sponsorship deal with Stagecoach following outcry over a history of anti-gay campaigning by the transport company’s founder, Brian Souter. An announcement late Thursday evening stated that the sponsorship had been abandoned ‘by mutual agreement’.

Trevor Paglen’s satellite sculpture is lost in space | The Nevada Museum of Art confirms that American artist Trevor Paglen’s Orbital Reflector, an ambitious $1.5m satellite sculpture, has officially lost contact with Earth. Engineers missed the window to complete the deployment of the work—a 100-foot-long mylar balloon, launched into the cosmos by a SpaceX rocket last December – during a monthlong government shutdown earlier this year. ‘Trump’s willingness to shut down the government over a border wall has killed a sculpture that’s supposed to be the antithesis of that,’ Paglen said.

Facebook removes groups selling looted Syrian artefacts | Following a BBC investigation on Thursday into the use of Facebook by traffickers in looted Syrian and Iraqi antiquities, the social media company has removed 49 groups from the platform. Amr al-Azm, an archaeologist at Shawnee State University in Ohio, found the response insufficient. ‘We have documented over 70 of those groups and we can only see five of those that have disappeared and they were the smallest ones,’ he told the Times. ‘The big ones are all still there and readily available…these are big, big groups.’

Cattelan’s gold toilet goes to Blenheim | Maurizio Cattelan’s 2016 work America—a fully functioning golden toilet—will go on display in a solo show of the Italian artist’s work at Blenheim Palace this September. The work briefly became the centre of controversy when Guggenheim curator Nancy Spector offered the golden toilet to Donald Trump’s White House in lieu of a requested Van Gogh. America will be installed opposite the room in which Winston Churchill was born; Edward Spencer-Churchill, the founder of the Blenheim Art Foundation, surmised that his distant relative would have found the work ‘amusing’.

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