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Yana Peel announced as new Serpentine director

13 April 2016

Our daily round-up of news from the art world

Yana Peel to replace Julia Peyton-Jones at the Serpentine | The Serpentine Galleries have announced that St Petersburg-born philanthropist Yana Peel is to replace Julia Peyton-Jones when she steps down as co-director of the institution in July. Peel, who was educated in Canada and London and began her career with Goldman Sachs, has a long track record in arts philanthropy. In 2003, she established the Outset Contemporary Art Fund with Candida Gertler, with a view to introducing the work of emerging artists to major public collections – and where innovations included crowdsourcing funds to buy works for the Tate from the Frieze art fair. Six years later, Peel moved to Hong Kong and co-founded Intelligence Squared Asia, and later bought out the parent company itself alongside with Amelie von Wedel and David Legg. In addition, Peel sits on boards including the Tate Executive Council, Moscow’s V-A-C Foundation and the British Fashion Council. As for her outlook, Peel has previously spoken of her ambition to ‘present the argument that a truly rich society values and nurtures its “creative class”.’

FBI offers $25,000 for Springfield Museum’s stolen Warhols | The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for the recovery of a set of Andy Warhol prints stolen from a Missouri museum earlier this month. Last week, thieves broke into the Springfield Art Museum and removed seven of Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can screen prints. The total value for the complete set of ten prints (the thieves failed to take the remaining three) is estimated at $500,000. Museum officials believe the works were taken early in the morning of 7 April. The FBI are working with Springfield Police Department to establish the whereabouts of the prints.

Egyptian authorities move to demolish Townhouse Gallery | Three days after a section of Cairo’s Townhouse Gallery collapsed, Egyptian authorities have ordered labourers to begin dismantling the building in its entirety. The local administration was due to send round an architect to assess the damage; instead, it issued a non legally binding recommendation for the structure to be torn down. Work has reportedly begun in earnest, and according to local residents, the demolition work began without the construction crews presenting any paperwork.

Daniel Libeskind reveals plans for Kurdish museum in Irbil | After six years of speculation, architect Daniel Libeskind’s studio has revealed its design for a museum of the Kurdish peoples in the regional capital of Irbil, Iraq. Work on the design for the project began in 2014, but was set back when ISIS militants threatened to capture the city. The ongoing conflict against extremists – in which Kurdish forces have played a crucial role – has given the project an entirely new significance, and makes the museum a political issue as much as a cultural one. According to the Architects’ Journal, construction work will begin as soon as the region has stabilised.

Australia deports Oscar Murillo after artist destroys passport | Artist Oscar Murillo was recently detained and deported at Australian customs, having destroyed his British passport mid-flight while travelling to participate in the Sydney Biennale.‘Destroying my passport was a way of challenging the conditions in which I have the privilege of moving through the world, as a citizen,’ Murillo said.

Two men arrested in connection with murder of Oxford art dealer | Thames Valley Police have announced the arrest of a second suspect in the murder of Oxford based art dealer Adrian Greenwood, whose corpse was discovered in the hall of his Iffley Road home on Thursday. Mr Greenwood, who was best known for his involvement in a landmark auction of the work of street artist Banksy in 2011, was last seen alive shopping in a local branch of Sainsbury’s supermarket.

Could there be a second ‘lost Caravaggio’ hidden away in France? | In his column today, the Guardian’s Jonathan Jones is sceptical about the credentials of the supposedly ‘lost Caravaggio’ discovered in a Toulouse attic and unveiled to the public yesterday. In France, however, excitement is running high. According to Le Figaro (French language article), two specialists in the art market of the 17th century have gone so far as to suggest that more of the Lombard master’s works may be hidden away in the region.

Elmgreen & Dragset appointed curators of 15th Istanbul Biennial | Artistic duo Elmgreen & Dragset have been named as curators of the 15th Istanbul Biennial, having participated at previous editions of the event. ‘In light of the current global geopolitical situation, in which we’re experiencing a new rise of nationalism, it will be important for us to curate a biennale based on collaborative efforts and processes,’ they said in a statement.