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Vladimir Putin to Receive $2bn Art Collection

9 October 2015

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Octogenarian Bequeaths Collection to Vladimir Putin | In a gesture that will surely spark controversy outside Russia, art collector Nina Moleva has donated her collection personally to President Vladimir Putin, reports the Moscow Times. Moleva claims that the collection, which is thought to be worth around $2bn and contain over 1,000 paintings by the likes of Leonardo, Rembrandt and Michelangelo, originally belonged to the grandfather of her late husband, who rolled up the canvases and hid them in his flat to stop them being repossessed by the Bolsheviks. Other observers, however, have expressed doubts as to the collection’s provenance.

William Kentridge Donates Video Art to Eastman Museum | It’s been a good week for artistic generosity. Following public spirited gestures from MKG Hamburg and MoMA PS1, The George Eastman Museum has announced that William Kentridge has donated his complete film, video and digital oeuvre to the institution. For the Eastman – the world’s oldest museum of photography – Kentridge’s gift marks an astonishing coup.

Blue Period Picasso to be Sold at Sotheby’s | Sotheby’s has revealed the star lot in its upcoming Impressionist & Modern Art evening sale in New York – La Gommeuse, a Picasso work from the artist’s ‘Blue Period’ that has not been seen in public for more than 30 years. It’s been given an estimate of $60m – rather pessimistic in light of the staggering $179m paid for Picasso’s Femmes d’Alger earlier this year.

Stolen ‘National Treasure’ Recovered | A large French tapestry that was stolen from a Normandy château in 1982 has been recovered after Art Loss Register investigators noticed it in the catalogue of a London auction house, reports The Art Newspaper. It is thought that the stolen tapestry was sold to a buyer unaware of its origins at Paris’s flea market. It has been returned to its original owners.

ARTnews Owner to ‘Consolidate’ Media Properties | Peter Brant has revealed plans to ‘consolidate’ his portfolio of art publications – which include Art in America, ARTnews and Skate’s Art Market Research – online under the ARTnews banner, reports the New York Times. Brant has stressed that the editorial operations of the various titles will remain separate.

Hauser & Wirth Announce New Gallery in New York | Is there no limit to the ambitions of Hauser & Wirth? The Swiss gallery has announced plans for a large new space on Manhattan’s West 22nd Street, reports The Real Deal. The new gallery will cover five storeys, two of which will serve as exhibition spaces.

Tim Davie Appointed as Tate Trustee | Finally, congratulations to Tim Davie, Chief Executive of BBC Worldwide, who has been appointed a trustee of the Tate galleries. In the course of his four-year tenure, he will be expected to work with other trustees in advising on acquisitions and allocation of resources, as well as assessing the overall objectives of the Tate group. Quite a burden for an unpaid role…