Art Industry News: Rishi Sunak Says There Are ‘No Plans’ to Return the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece + 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 Monday, March 13.


The Cost of Fraudulent Indigenous Art – Patricia Bovey, the first art historian to sit in the Canadian Senate, said that the market for fake Indigenous artworks has cost Indigenous artists millions of dollars. “Art fraud is big. It comes right after issues of the illicit drug trade and firearms,” the official said. Companies producing fakes get shut down but it’s like a game of “whack-a-mole,” according to one Haida and Cree artist. ()

Guantánamo Prisoners Want to Keep Their Art – Former Guantánamo prisoner Mansoor Adayfi, now project coordinator of advocacy group CAGE, as well as artist and activist, writes that the partial lifting of a Trump-era ban on the release of artwork made by prisoners at Guantánamo Bay is not clear. Prisoners will be able to take “a practicable quantity of their art.” Adayfi argues that the wording is ambiguous and could mean prisoners are only allowed to take only a small portion work they create during what can be many years of captivity. “In Guantánamo, from the very beginning, we made art. We had nothing, so we made art out of nothing,” he wrote. “Art was our way to heal ourselves, to escape the feeling of being imprisoned and free ourselves, just for a little while.” ()

Rishi Sunak Denies Plans to Return Parthenon Sculptures – The U.K. prime minister stressed that the British Museum is tax-payer funded, meaning its collection, including the disputed ancient marbles, are protected by laws which there are “no plans to change.” Themarbles have been at the center of a huge diplomacy crisis as Greece continues to push for their return, and Sunak’s comments contradict rumors of a secret deal underway with Greek officials. ()

A Prussian Prince’s Ongoing Battle for His Art – Georg Friedrich, Prince of Prussia has tactically withdrawn two lawsuits against authorities hoping to restore his family’s image. He had been demanding compensation in the millions for the seizure of his royal family’s assets, including art, after World War II. Much of that art is now in public collections after being taking by the Soviet forces. Many found the Prussian heirs claims out of line, given his family had aided and abetted the Nazis. ()


Aindrea Emelife Appointed Curator at EMOWAA – The British-Nigerian curator, who is based in London, will become curator of modern and contemporary art the Edo Museum of West African Art (EMOWAA), which is set to open in 2024. ()

Denver Art Museum Cuts Ties With Donor – The institution removed the name of a deceased former trustee from one of its galleries after it determined that she had ties to Douglas Latchford, the antiquities dealer who died in 2020. Emma C. Bunker collaborated with Latchford on forging documents, authoring books to give credence to Latchford’s looted art, as well as vouching for objects that she allegedly knew were accompanied by falsified documents. She had donated $125,000 and nine artworks to the museum. ()

Caitlin Murray to Head Up Chinati Foundation – The Chinati Foundation in Texas has a new head. The organization, founded by the artist Donald Judd, promoted its Caitlin Murray, former director of archives and programs at the separate Judd Foundation, to the role. ()


Get a Free Nan Goldin Print With Vinyl Order– may not have taken home an Oscar last night, but Nan Goldin and Sackler P.A.I.N. are still winners, having called attention to the art-washing of the Sackler name in the art world (the Sacklers invented, marketing, and benefitted hugely of the sale of Oxycontin). The documentary’s score is available on vinyl, and it comes with a signed print by Goldin. ()


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