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World Museum in Liverpool defends use of facial recognition technology

Plus: Santiago Calatrava fined €86,000 over Venice bridge | Betti-Sue Hertz appointed director of Wallach Art Gallery | and recommended reading

19 August 2019

Our daily round-up of news from the art world 

World Museum in Liverpool defends use of facial recognition technology | The World Museum in Liverpool has said that it scanned visitors to its exhibition ‘China’s First Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors’ in 2018 with facial recognition technology. The acknowledgement from the museum came after it was criticised by the privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch. In its statement, the museum points out thatit was following the advice of Merseyside Police and local counter-terrorism advisors in response to a heightened security risk, and that it was ‘clearly communicated [to visitors] in signage around the venue’.

Santiago Calatrava fined €78,000 over Venice bridge | The Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava has been ordered to pay a fine of €78,000 to the city of Venice, for ‘negligence’ in the design of his Constitution bridge over the city’s Grand Canal. A court of auditors in Rome determined that the architect failed to account for the number of tourists who would use the glass-and-steel structure, which was completed in 2008 and has since accrued repair costs of €36,000. The city of Venice filed an unsuccessful negligence suit against Calatrava over the same issue in 2014.

Betti-Sue Hertz appointed director of Wallach Art Gallery | The Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University, New York, has appointed Betti-Sue Hertz as director and chief curator. Hertz, who was director of visual arts at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco from 2009–15 and has held teaching positions at the San Francisco Art Institute, among other institutions, replaces Deborah Cullen-Morales, who left the Wallach to become director of the Bronx Museum in July.

Recommended reading | Coinciding with a show of paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood at the Seattle Art Museum, ARTNews has republished an essay of 1964 by Allen F. Staley, in which he assesses the movement’s ‘noble failure’. After recent protests in the US and the UK over corporate museum sponsorship, Deutsche Welle has published an interview with Beate Reifenscheid, director of the Ludwig Museum and president of the German chapter of the International Council of Museums, who points to the ‘growing danger’ of powerful patrons gaining a greater influence over museums in Germany.

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