Our daily round-up of news from the art world
Archaeological Sites Being Looted on ‘Industrial’ Scale, says UNESCO | Irina Bokova, the director of UNESCO, has stated that world heritage sites in Syria are being looted on an ‘industrial’ scale by ISIS. According to Bokova, satellite images suggest that archaeological sites across the country are ‘dotted by thousands of illegal excavations’. The statement follows an archaeologist’s claim that items looted from Palmyra are ‘already on sale in London’, as reported by Robert Fisk.
Unsuccessful Restitution Claim for Bristol Museum’s Renoir | The Bristol Museum & Art Gallery is to stay in possession of a Renoir painting once thought to have been forcibly sold under pressure from the Nazis, reports The Art Newspaper. The Spoliation Advisory Panel’s report stated that there was ‘insufficient evidence’ for the painting to be returned to the descendants of its original owner. A collective sigh of relief emanates from the West Country.
Artes Mundi Prize Shortlist Revealed | Seven artists including John Akomfrah OBE and Neïl Beloufa have been named on the shortlist for the 7th Artes Mundi Prize. Even if it lacks the glamour of the Turner Prize, the Artes Mundi is the UK’s biggest award for contemporary art, with the official winner receiving £40,000. Place your bets now…
Tour Montparnasse to Receive €800 million Refurbishment | Loathed it may be, but central Paris’s sole skyscraper is to undergo a comprehensive makeover that may cost up to €700 million – less than two years after a politician advocated tearing the building down. Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo hopes the renovation will turn the area into ‘the Times Square of Paris’. High hopes indeed.
Detroit Institute of Arts Names New Director | Salvador Salort-Pons has been named as the new director of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Madrid-born Salort-Pons, who is currently executive director of collection strategies and information, has been at the Institute since 2011.
Salvo (1947–2015) ‘È Morto’ | The Italian artist Salvatore Mangione, better known as ‘Salvo’, has died aged 68. Salvo, who was known for placing himself at the centre of his work, left behind a typically self-referential epitaph, reading ‘SALVO È MORTO’ (‘Salvo is dead’). The phrase was carved on the reverse of a 1973 marble sculpture inscribed with the phrase ‘SALVO È VIVO’.