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Venice Biennale Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement goes to Jimmie Durham

Plus: Saatchi Gallery now registered as charitable organisation | Antique jewels stolen from Rome’s Etruscan Museum have been recovered | Berlin’s Jewish Museum will no longer accept Sackler donations | and Nazi-looted 17th-century Dutch painting returned to Jewish heirs

4 April 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Jimmie Durham receives Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement | The American artist, performer and writer Jimmie Durham has been announced as the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at this year’s Venice Biennale. Durham was selected by the board of the Venice Biennale after being recommended by its curator Ralph Rugoff, who praised the 78-year-old artist for making work ‘that is at once critical, humorous and profoundly humanistic’. Durham will receive the prize at a ceremony to inaugurate the biennale’s 58th edition on 11 May.

Saatchi Gallery now registered as charitable organisation | The Saatchi Gallery in London was registered with the Charity Commission as a non-profit charitable incorporated organisation on 5 March, the New York Times reports. Previously a commercial enterprise run by Charles Saatchi, the gallery has for the last ten years had an exhibition space in Chelsea. The NYT report states that attendance figures have declined from 1.8m in 2017 to 1.2m in 2018, while accounts submitted by the private company Saatchi has used to run the gallery show losses of £24,764 for 2017 and a 37 percent decrease in sponsorship; the accounts for 2018 are not yet available on the Companies House website.

Antique jewels stolen from Rome’s Etruscan Museum recovered | Antique jewels from the Castellani collection, held at the National Etruscan Museum in Rome, have been recovered by the Carabinieri art and antiquities squad, it was announced on Tuesday. The thieves, three men who broke into the museum in March 2013 and stole more than 20 pieces of 19th-century jewellery from the collection, have been identified and are now standing trial in Rome.

Jewish Museum in Berlin will no longer accept Sackler donations | The Art Newspaper reports that the Jewish Museum in Berlin will no longer accept donations from the Sackler Trust and Foundation. The National Portrait Gallery and Tate in London and the Guggenheim in New York all publicly announced their decision not to receive funding from these sources in March due to a number of US lawsuits against Purdue Pharma, which is owned by members of the Sackler family. A Jewish Museum spokesperson said it would not rename its Sackler Staircase or give back funds already donated, which were ‘accepted in good faith’ and would require public funds to return.

Nazi-looted 17th–century Dutch painting returned to Jewish heirs | The heirs of the Jewish Parisian art collector Adolphe Schloss travelled to the French consulate in New York on 1 April for the restitution ceremony of A Scholar Sharpening His Quill (1639) by the Dutch painter Salomon Koninck. The work was looted in 1943 and sent to Hitler’s Munich headquarters in Munich. It was then considered lost until it resurfaced in 2017, when a Chilean art dealer attempted to sell the painting through Christie’s and it was brought to the attention of the FBI.  


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