Art Industry News: Macron Vows to Rebuild Notre Dame ‘Even More Beautifully’ in Just Five Years + Other Stories

Plus, the Noguchi Museum will open the artist's studio to the public and Francois Pinault declines to take a tax break on his Notre Dame donation.

People kneel on the pavement as they pray outside watching flames engulf Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019. (Photo by ERIC FEFERBERG / AFP) (Photo credit should read ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/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 this Wednesday, April 17.


Gagosian, Apple, and More Pitch In to Restore Notre Dame – The art world and the tech industry are also pitching in to help fund the restoration of Notre Dame. Apple CEO Tim Cook says he is “heartbroken for the French people.” The size of the company’s donation has not yet been made public. Meanwhile, Gagosian has announced a benefit exhibition in June, with all proceeds going toward the cathedral’s reconstruction. And winemaker Château Mouton Rothschild and Versailles announced that proceeds from a planned wine auction at Sotheby’s—originally intended to fund restoration projects at the Palace of Versailles—will instead go toward rebuilding Notre Dame. (Complex, Press releases)

Pinault’s Cultural Advisor Calls for 90 Percent Tax Breaks – Twitter was set abuzz when the former French culture minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon, who now directs the vast Pinault art collection, suggested that money donated to the cathedral’s reconstruction should be 90 percent tax deductible. (His statement comes as the so-called Aillagon Law that he introduced in 2003, which established corporate tax breaks of up to 60 percent for cultural philanthropy, is under new scrutiny.) This morning, however, the Pinault family issued a statement to clarify that it would not take advantage of any tax breaks for its €100 million (around $113 million) donation to help fund the cathedral’s restoration. (Daily Mail, Le Figaro)

Macron Wants to Rebuild Notre Dame Within Five Years – As hundreds of millions of euros pour into the country to restore the fire-ravaged cathedral, the French President has said he wants Notre Dame rebuilt within five years. Fast-tracking the reconstruction would mean it could be complete in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics. “We have so much to rebuild,” Macron said in a speech to the nation. “We will rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral even more beautifully.” (AP)

German Authorities Drop Investigation Into Replica Holocaust Memorial – After an outcry, Germany has dropped an investigation into the collective that installed a replica Holocaust memorial outside the home of a right-wing politician who once called the original memorial in Berlin a “monument of shame.” The investigation into a member of the art collective Center for Political Beauty, which had been kept largely under wraps, was called off less than a week after it became public. Cultural figures from across the country protested when the news emerged. (Hyperallergic)


Art Seller Sues Peter Max’s Studio – Park West Gallery in Michigan is suing the studio of pop artist Peter Max, alleging that ALP, the company running the artist’s studio, has reneged on a contractual agreement to sell paintings and collages worth several millions of dollars to the gallery. ALP says that the artist had put the works aside because he was particularly proud of them and wanted to save them for himself and his children. (New York Times)

Juvenile T-Rex Pops Up on eBay – A 68 million-year-old skeleton of the dinosaur has surfaced on eBay, to the outrage of many paleontologists. The rare juvenile specimen was put up for sale by an amateur fossil hunter with a price tag of $2.95 million. As the market for dinosaur fossils heats up without much regulation, the move stoked fears that the T-Rex would become inaccessible to both scientists and the public forever. (Daily Mail)

Kayne Griffin Corcoran to Represent Anthony Hernandez – The Los Angeles gallery has added the local artist to its roster. Work by Hernandez, whose practice revolves around photography of his home city, will be included in this year’s Venice Biennale. (ARTnews)


Noguchi Museum Will Open the Sculptor’s Studio – The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum has announced that it will open the Japanese-American sculptor’s studio to the public by 2022. The space will be restored as part of an expansion and renovation of the museum’s campus in Long Island City, New York. “Unless you’ve been to the Noguchi during his lifetime and sat with him, very few people have ever been in the apartment,” notes the museum’s director Brett Littman. (New York Times)

V&A Names a Gallery After Elton John – The London museum has named a photography gallery after Elton John and his partner David Furnish to mark an undisclosed but “significant donation” they made to its new photography center. The V&A will also show works from their illustrious photography collection in a show co-curated by the museum’s curators, the rock star, and Furnish. (Guardian)

MFA Boston Names Decorative Arts Curator – Michelle Millar Fisher is leaving the Philadelphia Museum of Art to become the MFA Boston’s curator of contemporary decorative arts. In her new role, she hopes to collaborate with local institutions like the MIT Media Lab. (ARTnews)

Garage Museum Launches a Fundraising Drive – Moscow’s museum of modern and contemporary art founded by Dasha Zhukova has established an endowment fund and is now seeking donations. Anton Belov, the director of Garage, says that the move is an important step in its transition from a private art institution to a public museum. (Art Daily)


Thelma Golden Creates an Ice Cream Flavor – The director of the Studio Museum in Harlem has teamed up with New York’s Sugar Hill Creamery to create a custom ice cream flavor called Golden Chai. A percentage of the proceeds of the limited-edition treat will support the museum and the local nonprofit Hot Bread Kitchen. Bon appétit! (ARTnews)

AI Robot Creates Chinese Ink Art – Watch out, artists—are robots coming for your jobs, too? A Hong Kong-based artist has built a robot that uses an algorithm to create traditional Chinese ink paintings of the moon. Victor Wong’s robot, which is called A.I Gemini, bases its work on data from NASA and China’s space program. (Reuters)

Trove of Egyptology Donated to University Museum – Emory University’s Carlos Museum has announced a spectacular gift of Egyptian and Near Eastern art collected by a French businessman. The Georges Ricard Foundation has donated the 1,500-work trove to the university museum in Atlanta, Georgia. It is one of the most extensive collections of its kind to be donated to an American museum, according to Emory. (Press release)

Gilded Cartonnage Mummy Mask. Egyptian. Late Ptolemaic Period, 197-30 BC. Linen, gesso, pigment, gold. Gift of the Georges Ricard Foundation.

Gilded Cartonnage Mummy Mask. Egyptian. Late Ptolemaic Period, 197-30 BC. Linen, gesso, pigment, gold. Gift of the Georges Ricard Foundation.

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