Art Industry News: A Taipei Museum’s Valuable Hi-Res Art Scans Have Been Leaked Online + Other Stories

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NEED-TO-READ

Zurich Museum to Scrutinize Its Own Collection – The Kunsthaus Zurich is stepping up its efforts in provenance research to root out works held unlawfully as a result of Nazi persecution. Its new approach includes “improved transparency” and the appointment of an independent commission of experts on provenance, who will help investigate the origin of some 203 works on show at the museum. Research results are expected to be published in spring 2024. ()

Miami Art Dealer Sentenced for Ivory Smuggling – Eduardo Ulises Martinez was found guilty on nine counts of smuggling ivory sculptures without declaring them to the U.S. authorities, and one count of obstruction of justice. A federal judge sentenced Martinez to 51 months in prison, and ordered him to pay a $20,000 fine. The U.S. implemented a ban on elephant ivory trade in 2016, and Martinez was caught with ivory in his luggage at the Miami International Airport in 2021. ()

Leaked Hi-Res Art Scans From Taiwan Museum Show Up for Sale – The National Palace Museum in Taipei confirmed that up to 100,000 high-resolution images of paintings and calligraphy from its collection of historic Chinese artworks have been leaked online. Some of them, which the museum had been licensing for between $98 and $850, were available for sale on mainland Chinese online shopping platform Taobao for less than $1.50. ()

FBI Returns Cache of Stolen Guns to Museums – Authorities recovered at least 50 firearms and other historical artifacts that went missing for half a century hidden in an attic in Delaware. They have been repatriated to 16 museums. ()

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Masterworks Acquires Arthena – The art investment platform specialized in fractionalization has acquired Arthena, a data collection, analysis, and pricing platform with expertise  in data engineering and machine learning infrastructure for the art market. (Press release

Columbus Museum of Art Names Director – The Ohio-based institution has named Brooke A. Minto as its next executive director and CEO. Minto served as the inaugural director of the Black Trustee Alliance for Art Museums, which was founded in 2020 to encourage dialogue between Black museum trustees. She begins her role on May 15, succeeding Nannette Maciejunes who retired in 2022 after two decades. ()

Lio Malca Expands – The veteran art-world dealer and collector is moving his gallery space from Chelsea to the newly-minted gallery hub of Tribeca at 60 White Street. The multistory exhibition space, a 19th century building undergoing a facelift by design firm studioMDA, will launch this May with a show of Spanish painter Rafa Macarrón. ()

FOR ARTS SAKE

Venus Williams and Adam Pendleton Organize Benefit – The tennis star and artist are teaming up to raise funds to restore Nina Simone’s North Carolina-based clapboard home, a project led by the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Artists including Julie Mehretu, Stanley Whitney, Cecily Brown, and Rashid Johnson are donating work for the sale, which will be held at Sotheby’s online from May 12-22, with a corresponding IRL gala hosted by Pace. ()

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