Art Industry News: Switzerland Restitutes a Stolen Fragment Depicting Ramesses the Great to Egypt + Other Stories



An Entire Town Unearthed in Northern China Dating to the Bronze Age some 3,000 years ago, the town is the largest of the period to be found in China. It was also a burial site for the region’s elite, and among the ruins lie hundreds of ancient artifacts, from ornaments, to vessels, carved bone, jewellery, and a small figurine of a bird inlaid with pieces of turquoise. ()

Turner Painting Surpasses 1 Million at Auction – The watercolor, which is thought to depict a sunrise over the coastal town of Margate, surpassed its high estimate of £800,000 ($1 million) to sell for over £1,032,200 ($1.2 million) at Christie’s yesterday. At one time the work was owned by the artist’s landlady and is particularly well-preserved. () 

Switzerland Returns a Fragment Depicting Ramesses II – A 3,400-year-old stone statue of Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, which had been plundered in the 1980s or ’90s, was returned to Egyptian officials after being seized in a criminal case in Geneva. ()

Max Pechstein Hits Auction Block After Settlement with Jewish Heirs Lempertz auction house in Cologne is still planning to sell the self-portrait, which had to be withdrawn from a June 6 sale after it was shown to have belonged to a Jewish doctor who sold it in 1936 under Nazi persecution. The house made a second settlement with his heirs in order to have the work removed from a German-based database of Nazi-looted art.


Austria appoints Ralph Gleis to run the Albertina – The Austrian Culture Ministry has named Ralph Gleis, the director of Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie, as general director of Vienna’s Albertina. He will succeed Klaus Albrecht Schröder, who will step down at the end of 2024, after 25 years in the museum’s top post. ()

National Galleries of Scotland will buy Henry Raeburn Painting that was destined for export – The U.K. has once kept a historic masterpiece within its borders, arranging for the National Galleries of Scotland to buy 18-century painter Henry Raeburn’s portrait Patrick Moir. The deal came about through the nation’s Private Treaty Sale scheme, designed to encourage people who own culturally significant works to sell directly to museums, rather than at auction. ()

Rijksmuseum Buys Back Salt Cellars From Jewish Heirs The Amsterdam museum has acquired four exceptional salt cellars, two of which had already been in their collection for several decades. They were restituted to the heirs of Jewish collector Emma Budge earlier this year after it was proven that the proceeds of their 1937 sale had gone to the Nazis but were immediately bought back. ()

National Gallery London Show in Shanghai Sets a Record – Some 420,000 visitors saw “Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London” at the the Shanghai Museum. The previous record for attendance for attendance for London’s National Gallery was 323,827 guests at a 2011 Leonardo da Vinci show. ()


Hurry on Over! The Pergamon Museum Is Closing for 14 Years – The ongoing renovation of the Berlin museum, which began in 2013, is stepping up a gear and the museum will close its doors to the public this October for at least three and a half years. The building’s south wing will be closed until 2037. Yes, you read that right. ()

The Roman-era market Gate of Miletus at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany. The Pergamon is planned to close to visitors for a radical renovation beginning October 23, 2023 and is scheduled to partially reopen by 2027. Photo: Emmanuele Contini/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

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