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Museums Went on Strike for Inauguration Day | Last Week in Art

And the Eiffel Tower is Getting a $320 makeover.

A lot went down this week in the weird and wild world of Art. Some things were more scandalous than others, some were just plain wacky—but all of them are worth knowing about. Without further ado:

+ Numerous art museums shut down or otherwise altered their policies (the Whitney and New Museum, for instance, were pay-what-you-wish) over the weekend as part of the #J20 Art Strike. [Hyperallergic]

+ Controversial Russian performance artist Petr Pavlensky said he plans to seek asylum in France after a Russian actress accused him and his wife of violent sexual assault. [The Independent]


+ One of Harvard’s graduate theater programs, ART Institute, has temporarily suspended admissions after the US Department of Education revealed that the school was leaving students with an unmanageable amount of debt. [The Boston Globe]  

+ European police arrested 75 people in relation to an international network of art traffickers. [The New York Times]


+ City authorities in Paris have announced plans for a roughly $320 million renovation to the Eiffel Tower. [The Guardian]

+ The late Zaha Hadid left behind an $87 million fortune according to her will and grant of probate. [The Architects’ Journal]

+ South Korean culture minister, Cho Yoon-Sun, resigned over a blacklist controversy that targeted nearly 10,000 artists who spoke out against impeached President Park Geun-Hye. [AFP]


+ This painting of Donald Trump by Scottish artist Michael Forbes went viral after Madonna shared it on Instagram. [BBC]

+ A collection of 77 letters and documents that once belonged to Alexander Hamilton was sold for $2.6 million at Sotheby’s on Wednesday. [The New York Times]

+ A report released by Israeli news blog Ha-Makom asserted that James Snyder, director of the Israel Museum for the last 20 years, for years received a ‘double salary’ from the government-funded institution. [Artnet News + Ha-Makom]

+ A Swiss antiques dealership is suing The Getty and its director, Timothy Potts, for $77 million for cutting them out of a deal in connection with antiquities owned by the Torlonia family in Italy. [The Art Newspaper]



+ Shepard Fairey unveiled new set of protest posters aimed at the new President. The three part ‘We the People’ set features patriotic renderings of a Muslim woman, a Latina woman, and an African-American woman. [CNN]

+ The Nasty Women art show put together earlier this month raised $50,000 for Planned Parenthood. [The Huffington Post]

+ Trump’s transition team is considering cutting the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of a extravagant plan to cut government spending. [The Hill]

+ James Bradburne, the English director of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, has become a recent target of nationalistic indignation after two of the museum’s 15th century paintings were damaged in a storm. [The Times]


+ The Syrian director of antiquities confirmed that ISIS fighters destroyed a section of Palmyra’s Roman Amphitheater facade. [Newsweek]

+ Saint Jerome, a 16th century painting by Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, otherwise known as Parmigianino, is the latest addition to the Old Master forgery ring discovered late last year. This week, Sotheby’s declared the painting a fake, hoping to get their $842,500 reimbursed by the seller. [Bloomberg]


+ Robert Rauschenberg’s seaside compound in Captiva, Florida is at risk of flooding due to rising sea levels. [The Art Newspaper]

Did we miss any pressing art world stories? Let us know in the comments below!


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