Briefing

Protestors temporarily close the British Museum and William Kentridge weighs in on the migrant crisis

  • London’s British Museum was temporarily closed yesterday, as activists from environmental organisation Greenpeace scaled the building’s exterior in protest of the current BP-sponsored exhibition, ‘Sunken Cities’.
     
  • Art historians have discovered a collection of 59 Italian Renaissance sculptures that have been missing from Berlin’s collections since the Second World War. The hoard, which includes sculptures by Donatello, Luca della Robbia, Andrea del Verrocchio, Francesco Laurana and Mino da Fiesol, was found in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.
     
  • The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has named Kathryn Kanjo as its new director. Kanjo, who first began working for the museum 25 years ago and is currently operating as deputy director, will assume her new post in October.
     
  • The Russian activist and performance artist Pyotr Pavlensky has avoided a jail sentence, despite being found guilty of vandalism by a Moscow court. Pavelensky was given a sentence of one year and four months for his 2014 work Freedom, which saw the dissident set fire to a pile of tires on a bridge in St. Petersburg, but that time was struck off as the statute of limitations for criminal responsibility had already expired.
     
  • The South African artist William Kentridge has strongly criticized Europe's recent response to the migrant crisis. Speaking to Art Magazin ahead of his survey at Berlin's Martin Gropius Bau, Kentridge said: ‘It is not as if the population of Europe will suddenly grow by 20 or 30 per cent, it is about a fraction of a per cent. From the outside it looks like incredible greed and selfishness.’ (German)

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Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

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