Art Industry News: Princess Diana’s Statue Will Be Unveiled at Kensington Palace in a Project Guided by Her Feuding Sons + Other Stories

Plus, activists say the new plan to save Venice's lagoon doesn't go far enough, and a previously unknown Thomas Gainsborough is identified.

Lady Diana Spencer, the future Princess of Wales, June 1st, 1981. (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/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 Monday, April 5.


Man Admits to Stealing Warhols, Trying to Sell Forgeries on eBay – A 46-year-old Boston man has pleaded guilty to stealing two works from Andy Warhol’s “Shadows” series from a friend and selling two fake versions of the 1978 works on eBay for $80,000 in 2016. Brian Walshe will be sentenced in August for wire fraud charges and faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. (The Independent)

Activists Urge More Action to Save Venice Lagoon – Activist groups say Venice’s latest efforts to divert giant cruise ships away from St Mark’s Square doesn’t go far enough to tackle the wider problem of pollution in the lagoon. The No Big Ships Committee says the new docking point at the Marghera Port is still part of the Venetian lagoon and cannot be abided as a temporary alternative to the central canal. (AP)

Princess Diana Will Get an Official Sculpture – A statue of the late Princess Diana will be unveiled at Kensington Palace on July 1 to mark what would have been her 60th birthday. The final design for the sculpture by artist Ian Rank-Broadley has been approved by her sons William and Harry, who have been overseeing the project since it was first announced in 2017. (The Sun)

Previously Unknown Thomas Gainsborough Discovered – An unknown portrait attributed merely to “British School” that sold in Paris last December for £2,500 could be by none other than Thomas Gainsborough. An expert on the artist, Hugh Belsey, has identified the work as a 1768 portrait likely of the bohemian composer Antonín Kammel, which could be worth millions. (Guardian)


M.I.A. Is the Latest Celeb to Make an NFT – The rapper and digital artist will auction an NFT of a still image titled GIFTY 1 on Foundation on April 8. The artist says NFTs have finally offered her “the appropriate gallery” for her ongoing body of digital art, which she began 25 years ago. (Pitchfork

Friend of a Friend in Warsaw Forges Ahead – Despite rising infections and limited travel, the gallery share event is proceeding with participants from the U.S. and Europe, including Athens gallery The Breeder. Nancy Lupo, whose work was on view at Galeria Dawid Radziszewski in partnership with L.A. gallery Kristina Kite, won the the Friends’ Art Prize; her installation has been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. (Friend of a Friend)


Wadsworth Atheneum Chief Museum Steps Down – Tom Loughman has stepped down from his post at the helm of the Connecticut museum after five years. Jeffrey N. Brown, the vice president of the museum’s board, will serve as interim CEO as it initiates a national search. (NBC)

Works From Melva Bucksbaum’s Collection Go to Bennington – Around 500 works from the celebrated collection of the late Melva Bucksbaum are heading to Bennington College thanks to a gift from her daughter, Mary Bucksbaum Scanlan, an alumna and board member. Around 250 works from the donation will be sold at auction to benefit Bennington’s Art for Access program. (Vermont Biz)


How the Huntington Is Trying to Change – Carolina Miranda considers the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens as a case study of an old-money museum working to evolve into a more equitable institution. Part of the process: reconsidering the legacy of the institution’s namesake, robber baron Henry E. Huntington. (LA Times)

Sealed Super Mario Bros Game Sells for $660,000 – A sealed copy of the Nintendo game Super Mario Bros, which was bought as a Christmas gift 35 years ago and sat in a desk drawer until recently, sold at Heritage Auctions for $660,000. The price set a new record for a video game, quadrupling the previous record set for a different version of Super Mario Bros last November. (New York Times)


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