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US judge orders return of Persian bas-relief to Iran

Plus: Cleveland Museum of Art establishes conservation centre for Chinese paintings | and record six-month sales period for Christie’s

24 July 2018

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

US judge orders return of Persian bas-relief to Iran | A judge in New York’s Supreme Court has ruled that a Persian bas-relief dating to roughly 500 BC must be returned to Iran, reports the New York Times. The limestone artefact was on view at TEFAF New York art fair in October, brought by London-based dealers Rupert Wace and Sam Fogg, when it was confiscated by state authorities. According to investigators, it was stolen from the ruins of Persepolis in the mid 1930s, before finding its way into the collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Wace and Fogg, the NYT reports, affirm that the item was purchased legally from from the museum’s insurance company after being recovered following a theft in 2011.

Cleveland Museum of Art founds Chinese painting conservation centre | The Cleveland Museum of Art is to establish a new conservation centre dedicated to Chinese paintings, it was announced yesterday. The centre will be funded thanks to a $1.5 million donation from philanthropists June and Simon K.C. Li matching an endowment-challenge grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Record six-month sales period for Christie’s | Christie’s has recorded its highest sales ever for a six-month period, Artnet reports, reaching a total of almost $4 billion in the first half of 2018. This record total, 26 per cent higher than the figures achieved in the same period last year, was reached in large part through the $835 million sale of the Rockefeller collection.

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