Welsh museums hit by strikes over Easter weekend

Plus: Pottery fragment suggests early Christian presence in London | Speculation about Cranach Venus continues | Pompeii’s ‘army of spies’

25 March 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Welsh museums hit by strikes | There will be strike action at six Welsh museums this weekend. According to the BBC, the Public and Commercial Services Union is protesting against National Museum Wales’s decision to stop extra payments to weekend and bank holiday staff. The NMW, however, says a 4.7 per cent cut in its annual grant-in-aid funding means that current payments cannot be sustained. It also says that the union has not balloted its members on a compromise deal, as previously agreed. Institutions likely to be affected by the strike include the Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon, the National Wool Museum in Llandysul, and parts of Cardiff’s St Fagans National History Museum.

Pottery fragment suggests early Christian presence in London | A piece of broken pottery made in what is now Oxfordshire in the 4th century AD has been identified as possible evidence that a Christian community was present in the London area earlier than previously thought, reports the Guardian. Although it was discovered in a dig on Brentford High Street in the 1970s, it is only now that researchers have noticed that the object is marked with the Chi Rho, an early Christian symbol.

Fakery allegations: a few talking points | As speculation continues about the possibility of the Prince of Liechtenstein’s Cranach Venus being a fake, The Art Newspaper has published an interesting piece about the various claims and counterclaims. For further commentary, it’s worth investigating Bendor Grosvenor’s updates on the Art History News blog. At this stage, however, no conclusions can be drawn for certain.

Pompeii’s ‘army of spies’ | The Independent has run a piece on the measures being taken by the Italian state to ensure that government and EU funding for the restoration of Pompeii doesn’t end up in the wrong pockets. According to the article, whistleblowers have been recruited to catch out both petty criminals and more serious organised crime syndicates intent on getting their hands on some of the €100 million allocated to the urgent restoration project. An interesting, if faintly depressing, read.

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