Ai Weiwei Released After Three-Month Detention By Chinese Authorities

With pressure from the international community and intense criticism of their human rights record, the Chinese government finally released artist Ai Weiwei from his nearly three-month detention. Following Ai Weiwei’s unexpected arrest, several high profile artist and art institutions spoke out, outraged by his treatment.  Earlier this month, Anish Kapoor, a well-known sculptor based in…

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The Getty Villa in Malibu returns Venus of Morgantina to Sicily

The Getty Villa, the educational center and museum run by the J. Paul Getty Trust in Malibu, California has been locked in litigation for two decades with the Italian government over a particular Greek statue, the Venus of Morgantina.  This seven-foot-tall limestone and marble statue was purchased by the Getty Museum in 1988 for $18…

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Japan’s Art Museums Affected by Recent Natural Disaster

The combination of earthquakes, the recent tsunami and damage to the Fukushima nuclear plant has taken a significant toll on museums in Japan.  After the March 11th earthquake, national museums closed for one week and have since re-opened with reduced hours due to electricity shortages. Usually in the spring museums open special shows, but under…

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Well-known Chinese Artist Missing

Internationally renowned artist (whose “Sunflower Seeds” installation is currently on display in the Tate Modern gallery, London) and Chinese rights activist Ai Weiwei was detained by Beijing airport police on Sunday, April 3rd as he tried to board a flight to Hong Kong on business.  Beijing police proceeded to raid Ai Weiwei’s Beijing home and…

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Rodin Sculpture stolen form Israel Museum

The Israel Museum announced that a statue by French sculptor Auguste Rodin was stolen from the grounds during recent renovations to the facility.  The bronze nude of French novelist Honore de Balzac was one of a series of studies Rodin cast for a monument to Balzac in the late 1800s.  The statue is 50 inches…

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Anti-government protests in Cairo put Egyptian Museum at risk

As thousands in Egypt stand together in peaceful protest against president Hosni Mubarak, others have not been as benign.  Officials are now beginning to assess the damage that has been caused by looters.  On the evening of January 28th, a thousand people jumped over a wall into the compound of the Egyptian Museum, which lies…

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