Art Industry News: A Secret Deal on a ‘Hybrid’ Repatriation of the Parthenon Marbles Is Underway + Other Stories


Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 21.


Researchers Uncover Michelangelo Drawing – A rare 16th-century drawing by Michelangelo has been identified, with researchers surmising that the sketch of a nude man is as a study for the ceiling fresco of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. The experts linked the image, in red chalk, to a figure battling serpents on the painting. It is one of the few preparatory drawings to have survived. ()

Metal Detectorists Get a Museum Show – The National Museum of Denmark gathered hobbyists’ most remarkable finds for a show titled “The Hunt for Denmark’s Past.” Some of the objects on display are from the Iron Age, including gold artifacts dating to 6th century B.C. Amateur detectorists must turn in items they find to local museums in exchange for rewards, which has bolstered many museum collections. ()

Deal on Parthenon Marbles Underway – Bits of news are leaking out from the ongoing negotiations between the U.K. and Greece over the disputed Parthenon Marbles. George Osborne, the British Museum’s chairman, confirmed to the press that he and Greek officials are working to devise a “hybrid” deal regarding restitution. Last week, Greece revealed renderings for a David Chipperfield-designed update to its Archaeological Museum in Athens, where it hopes to host the historic friezes. ()

Export Licenses Could Present New Hurdle to Restitution – Just like any other artworks, restituted Benin bronzes and other objects removed during the colonial era, including the Parthenon Marbles, will require U.K. export licenses. The government is insisting that the normal procedures be followed, and this includes valuable examples being subject to deferral in the (unlikely) event that a U.K. buyer steps forward to match a given valuation and prevent repatriation. ()


Adjaye Associates Design Community Development Corporation – Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in New York, the first community development corporation in the U.S., will reimagine its Fulton Street plaza as the Restoration Innovation Campus. Adjaye Associates is behind the designs; the new campus will serve as a multi-purpose site. (Designboom)

Sean Lennon Pays Tribute for Mom’s 90th Birthday – To wish the artist Yoko Ono a happy birthday last Saturday, more than 50 artists and fans gathered at the Naumburg Bandshell in New York take participate in a 1960s-style art happening called “Morning Piece for Yoko Ono.” Online, her son, Sean Ono Lennon, set up a website called Wish Tree for Yoko Ono, where users could send birthday messages. ()

2,400-Year-Old Toilet Found in China – Likely used between 221 B.C. and 206 B.C. in China’s Shaanxi province, in the ruins of a palace. Most remarkably, the commode had a flushable system. (Sciencetech)


See Mike Nelson’s Hayward Takeover – The British installation artist has a major show opening at London’s Hayward gallery tomorrow, February 22 (on view until May 7). “Extinction Beckons” is an entropic funhouse of labyrinths and strange stagings, though critic Adrian Searle, who gave it three out of five stars, is not sure what is haphazard and what is intentional. “The more forensic you get as a viewer, the more out of control the story, if it is a story, gets,” he writes. ()


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here