Art Industry News: The British Museum and Greece Pump the Brakes on a Parthenon Marbles Deal + Other Stories

Plus, Beirut Museum of Art breaks ground, and Italian artist ​​Gianfranco Baruchello, a protégé of Marcel Duchamp, has died at age 98.

A man as seen painting in front of the Parthenon Marbles at the British Museum. Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images.

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know on this Tuesday, January 17.


Boy Thrown from Tate Balcony Is Recovering Well – Nearly four years after being thrown from the Tate balcony in London by an autistic teen (who was sentenced to 15 years for attempted murder), the young French boy is healing well, and is “able to blow out candles again.” He is making huge steps towards autonomy, the family reported this past weekend, breathing and swallowing again, gaining mobility, and able to play alone. (Standard)

​​Gianfranco Baruchello Has Died – The Italian multidisciplinary artist has died at age 98. He was a mentee and close friend of Marcel Duchamp, who “considered him to be his one true heir.” The artist only recently gained traction outside of Italy with exhibitions in Europe. (Artforum)

An In-Depth Look at Secret Talks Around the Parthenon Marbles – Since late 2021, Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and George Osborne, a former finance minister of Britain, now chairman of the British Museum, have been in secret talks trying to reach an agreement on the fate of the 250 contested marbles, which were removed from Greece in the late 19th-century. The New York Times reports that, despite optimistic reports, a deal remains far away. (New York Times)

Contemporary Artists Are Overshadowing Old Masters – Buyers of Old Masters “are fewer and richer,” as the category has seen an overall decline (accounting for just four percent of auction and private sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s in 2022) when it comes to wider collector interest. Collectors are instead opting for artists under 45, who are in much greater demand—like 33-year-old Flora Yukhnovich, who last year saw one of her Rococo-flavored semi-abstractions match the $3.6 million sale of a 1735 Jean-François de Troy canvas. (New York Times)


Barbara Chase-Riboud Publishes Memoir – The sculptor has released I Always Knew: A Memoir, which presents three decades of the artist’s correspondence with her mother. “It was somehow like finding the gravestone of a very young woman,” she wrote. The one-sided correspondence is “a private tale of becoming, told from the artist’s first life-changing trip to Europe in 1957 until her mother’s death in 1991.” (Hyperallergic)

Alexander Graham Bell’s Experimental Sound Recordings – The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will try to recover and restore some of the world’s earliest recordings thanks to public-private funding. The institution will focus on records created by Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone. (Archaeology and Arts)

Construction Has Begun on New Beirut Museum of Art – The museum has broken ground, in spite of a difficult financial climate in Lebanon, worsened by the blast in 2021. The museum’s permanent collection will consist of more than 1,200 works from 210 artists covering the Lebanese diaspora. (TAN)


Fresco of Well-Endowed Fertility God Unveiled in Pompeii – The UNESCO World Heritage site has revealed new pictures of the House of the Vettii, a house that has recently reopened that includes detailed frescoes and sculptures. There is a depiction of the god of animal and vegetable fertility Priapus, who likely indicated the prosperity and wealth of the house’s inhabitants. The figure is depicted weighing his member on a scale with a bag of coins as a counterweight. (Instagram)

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