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UK museum leaders warn of crumbling infrastructure

Plus: New Museum employees vote to strike if contract agreement not reached | Man sentenced to three years for theft from the Tretyakov | James Bradburne reconfirmed as director of Pinacoteca di Brera | and Jorge Pérez to open private museum in Miami

30 September 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

UK museum leaders warn of crumbling infrastructure | Maggie Appleton, president of the Museums Association (MA), Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum Group and chairman of the National Museum Directors’ Council, and Stephen Deuchar, director of the Art Fund, have written a letter to The Times warning that the deteriorating infrastructure of UK museums is putting their collections at risk. The letter, which was published today, said that cuts to funding and an increase in visitors are putting pressure on museums. Fire was cited as one risk faced by museum collections, along with leaks and inadequate air-handling systems. The MA plans to address the claims in its annual conference later this week. 

New Museum employees vote to strike if contract agreement not reached | Members of the New Museum Union, which represents employees of the New Museum in New York, have voted 69 to 3 in favour of a strike if no agreement is reached between the union and museum management on the terms of a new contract. The union has led negotiations with the institution since 28 March; its proposals include health benefits and a new minimum salary for full-time employees of $51,000. In a statement, the museum has said that the two sides ‘have made considerable progress’ and that it hopes to ‘bridge any remaining gaps and reach an agreement soon’. 

Man sentenced to three years for theft from the Tretyakov | A man has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing a painting from the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow in January. Dennis Chuprikov was not stopped by security when he walked out of the gallery holding Arkhip Kuindzhi’s Ai-Petri. Crimea (1898–1908), but the theft was caught on CCTV and he was detained by the police the following day. Chuprikov claims that he had always intended to return the work. 

James Bradburne reconfirmed as director of Pinacoteca di Brera | Dario Franceschini, Italy’s minister for cultural heritage and activities, has announced that James Bradburne will direct the Pinacoteca di Brera for another four years. Bradburne joined the gallery in Milan as director in January 2015 – one of 20 appointments made during the Franceschini museum reforms.

Jorge Pérez to open private museum in Miami | The collector Jorge Pérez, whose donation of $40m to the former Art Museum in 2011 led to its being renamed the Pérez Art Museum Miami, has announced that he is opening a private museum, named El Espacio 23. The museum will be located in a former warehouse and will house Pérez’s collection of contemporary art. It is scheduled to open in December.

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