Art Industry News: Architect Bas Smets’s Plan to Revitalize Notre Dame Makes Archaeology the Star of the Show + Other Stories

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NEED-TO-READ

The Great Potential in Africa’s NFT Scene – Cryptocurrency is gaining traction in Africa, with $105.6 billion being traded in payments between July 2020 and June 2021, according to a study by blockchain data platform Chainalysis. But the continent’s digital art ecosystem faces challenges in the form of cryptocurrency bans in certain countries, a lack of high-net-worth NFT collectors, and the high price of minting NFTs. (ARTnews)

Venice Day Tripper Fee Is Coming Into Focus – Venetian officials are sharing more details about the new tourist tax and reservation system that will go into effect in January 2023. The new digital system will require day trippers to pay between €3 to €10 depending on the level of crowds already in the city. (Those staying overnight already see that fee added to their hotel bill.) People will be stopped on the street to make sure they have paid up or have an exemption, which applies to those visiting residents or relatives in city jails. If you’re caught flouting the rules, you could face criminal penalties or fines of up to €300. ()

New Plans to Revitalize Notre Dame Area – Landscape architect Bas Smets won the international competition to transform the area surrounding the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris into a more pedestrian-friendly zone. Smets’s redesign includes more trees, a cooling system for the large area in front of the cathedral during heat waves, and an archaeological museum in a now-abandoned parking lot underneath the square. (Guardian)

Dutch to Review Looted Art – The Netherlands is conducting a new review of art in Dutch museums and public collections after introducing a wider definition of looted art amid an effort to return property taken by the Nazis. The new Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands will investigate 3,500 objects over four years, drawing on better archives, new technology, and digitized historical newspapers to examine provenance. (Reuters)

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Kate Middleton Gets a Photography Commission – Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, commissioned her daughter-in-law Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, to photograph her for the cover of magazine. The amateur photographer and former art history student captured the Duchess in a casual shot, smiling in the gardens of her Ray Mill House in Wiltshire. (Evening Standard)

Directors Named for Yokohama Triennale – Artist Liu Ding and art historian Carol Yinghua Lu have been appointed artistic directors of the 2023 Yokohama Triennale, which will be held at the Yokohama Museum of Art and Plot 48. The curatorial duo is based in Beijing. ()

Ornate Wooden Sculpture Discovered in Peru – Archeologists have uncovered a wooden sculpture at Chan Chan, one of the largest pre-Columbian cities in South America. The ornate figure has a flat oval face with almond-shaped eyes and archeologists suspect it dates from the early Chimú period, making it between 850 and 1,470 years old. (Heritage Daily)

FOR ART’S SAKE

Germany Restitutes Nazi Looted Works – German museums in Berlin, Munich, and Dresden have handed over five works to the heirs of Chemnitz banker Carl Heumann, who sold them under duress when he was persecuted by the Nazis during World War II. They include Albert Emil Kirchner’s (1854) from the Lenbachhaus in Munich and Jakob Gensler’s (1840) from the Dresden State Art Collections. ()

Jakob Gensler, <i>Girl with parrot</i>. © Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden State Art Collections.

Jakob Gensler, Girl with parrot. © Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden State Art Collections.

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