Art Industry News: Collector Guy Ullens Files Lawsuit Against Son for Alleged Murder of Wife, Myriam Ullens + Other Stories
Plus, collector Bernard Arnault is now the richest person in the world and researchers discover markings on the 'The Stone of Destiny.'
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 this Thursday, April 6.
Collector Bernard Arnault Named Richest Person – The French businessman and art collector behind luxury conglomerate LVMH has reached the number one spot on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, with a total net worth of $201 billion. He is one of three people to ever surpass the $200 billion mark that has been reached by Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. (Robb Report)
Ahead of Coronation, a Discovery on the Stone of Destiny – As Britain readies itself for the coronation of King Charles next month, new markings were found on the Stone of Destiny, an object that has been used for centuries in the coronation of monarchs. Researchers noticed what they think are unrecorded Roman numerals when they were examining a 3D-printed replica of the stone; the technology allowed them to look at the object more closely. Experts are unsure of the meaning of the markings. (Evening Standard)
Guy Ullens Files Suit Against Son in Killing of Mega-Collector – The Belgian collector’s lawyer Nathalie Buisseret said her client is filing a lawsuit against his son, Nicolas Ullens, who is suspected of shooting his mother-in-law, Guy Ullens’s wife Myriam “Mimi” Ullens, last month. According to the prosecutor, the motivation of the suspect was financial. Nicolas Ullens’s sister has spoken out in support of her brother, who is in police custody, in the wake of the shooting: “Mimi plagued the family. She wanted everything for herself. We weren’t even allowed to see Dad anymore,” she told the press. Reports say Guy Ullens’s children had been trying to prevent his wife from blocking them from their inheritance. (De Standaard) (HBVL) (Nieuwsblad)
Thousands Sign Petition for Public Statue Honoring Drag Icon – More than 100,000 people are calling for a statue honoring the comedian and T.V. presenter Paul O’Grady in his hometown of Birkenhead, U.K. O’Grady, who died at the age of 67 last week, rose to fame in the 1990s with his drag queen persona Lily Savage. (BBC)
MOVERS & SHAKERS
13 Galleries Join ADAA – A new cohort of galleries from around the United States have joined the Art Dealers Association of America, bringing the total membership to over 200 dealers and galleries. New additions include Anat Ebgi, Canada Gallery, Ryan Lee Gallery, and Ortuzar Projects. (Press release)
Grada Kilomba Joins Pace – The interdisciplinary artist and author has joined the blue-chip gallery’s roster, with her inaugural presentation slated to take place in May; she will continue to be represented by Goodman Gallery. Kilomba’s striking installation O Barco/The Boat debuted in her native Portugal in 2021 before traveling to 1-54 art fair in London last year. (Press release)
Greene Naftali Leadership Changes – Greene Naftali has made Jeffrey Rowledge and Martha Fleming-Ives partners. Both have been with the New York gallery for more than a decade. The gallery also appointed Cory Nomura as senior director; he joins from Matthew Marks Gallery. (Instagram)
FORMAT Returns With Star-Studded Lineup – The Bentonville, Arkansas-based festival is gearing up for the second edition featuring artists including Ragnar Kjartansson, JR, and the Guerrilla Girls, alongside musicians LCD Soundsystem, Leon Bridges, and Alanis Morissette. Mafalda Millies and Roya Sachs return as artistic directors and co-curators. (Press release)
FOR ART’S SAKE
Babe Ruth’s Bat Fetches Record Sum at Auction – The bat used by famed Yankee player Babe Ruth fetched a home-run total of $1.85 million at Hunt Auctions. Dating to the 1920–21 season, during which Ruth famously hit 59 homers, the bat is now the most expensive sold at auction, surpassing the previous record of $1.68 million. (Bleacher Report)
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