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last week in art

'Graffiti Mecca' 5Pointz to Finally Get Its Day in Court

Also in art news: a pink diamond sold for $79.5 million, and an Israeli archeologist found a 3,500-year-old pinky finger.
Image by Flickr user Pelle Sten.

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:

+ After a four-year battle, a Judge order granted a group of graffiti artists representing the 5Pointz warehouse the right to sue Jerry Wolkoff, the developer who 'whitewashed' decades of work in 2014 in order to build a $400 million luxury apartment building. [ArtsyNYTimes]


+ After Gucci was denied access to the Parthenon for a runway show, the Italian fashion house struck a deal with the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. In exchange for access to the historic venue, the retailer has agreed to cover the $2.13 million restoration bill for the Boboli Gardens at the Uffizi Gallery. [The Florentine]

+ On April 9, the de facto birthday of Marcel Duchamp's Fountain, a secret password granted free admission to more than a dozen museums worldwide. [Hyperallergic]

+ Hundreds gathered in front of City Hall in downtown Manhattan on Monday to speak out against Trump's proposed federal cuts to the arts and humanities. [Hyperallergic]

+ The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is beefing up security following last week's terror attack in the city's metro. [The Art Newspaper]

+ The FBI released a statement warning that there could be "hundreds more" postwar Eric Spoutz forgeries. [artnet News, via]

+ German quinquennial (every five years) Documenta 14 opened to the public last week in Athens. [The Art Newspaper]

+ A window washer accused of stealing £500,000 in paintings from the home of late Scottish artist Alan Davie, says the painter gave him two of the works as a "thank you."  [BBC]

+ Artists and cultural workers gathered outside the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art last week to protest the opening of a new exhibition of works by sculptor Carl Andre. The group handed out postcards about Andre's late wife, celebrated feminist artist Ana Mendieta, who fell to her death from the couple's 34th floor apartment under suspicious circumstances in 1985. [ The Los Angeles Times ]


+ David Wildenstein's Upper East Side townhouse just sold for $79.5 million, a new record for New York City real estate. [The Real Deal]

+ The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced plans to add 91 works of Native American art to its American Wing. [The New York Times]

Via Sotheby's

+ Sotheby's sold a massive pink diamond ring for $71.2 million in Hong Kong last week, the most anyone has ever paid for a diamond or jewel at auction. [Fox News]

+ Two paintings worth a total of $1 million were stolen from the International Art Center in Auckland, New Zealand. [The New Zealand Herald]

+ 150 members of Congress, including 11 Republicans, signed a letter asking the Trump administration to increase funding for the National Endowment of the Arts. [The New York Times]

+ Artist Greg Allen started a Kickstarter to get an anonymous Chinese artist to paint Angela Merkel giving Ivanka Trump the side-eye in the style of a George W. Bush painting. [Artspace]

+ Damien Hirst launched a new exhibition of giant sculptures in Venice this week called Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable. [CNN]

+ Two thieves stole approximately $213,000 worth of jewels from the Grand Palais during the Art Paris Fair. [Artforum, via L'Express]

+ Israeli archaeologists from the Temple Mount Sifting Project discovered a 3,500-year-old fragment of a life-sized pinky finger from an ancient Egyptian statue. [The Jerusalem Post]


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