Art Industry News: Afghan Arts and Heritage Experts Fear the Current Situation ‘May Well Be Worse’ Than in 2001 + Other Stories

Plus, a seaside town removes its new Banksy mural due to a grisly coincidence and Forensic Architecture withdraws from its latest solo show.

Paintings from the Kabul National Gallery that were shredded by the Taliban are preserved in the city's museum on April 23, 2002. Under the rule of the Taliban, all forms of pictures and imagery were banned. (Photo by Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images)
Paintings from the Kabul National Gallery that were shredded by the Taliban are preserved in the city's museum on April 23, 2002. Under the rule of the Taliban, all forms of pictures and imagery were banned. Photo by Kaveh Kazemi/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, August 17.


Great Yarmouth Council Removes Banksy Mural After Trampoline Death – Officials in the seaside resort town in Norfolk removed a mural that Banksy had created as part of his “Great British Spraycation” earlier this month in light of a grisly coincidence. The mural depicted two children on an inflatable dinghy being flung into the air; it was installed near the site of a horrible accident in 2018, when a three-year-old died after an inflatable trampoline she was playing on burst. “We thank Banksy for all the wonderful art work and fully appreciate these circumstances would not have been known by the artist,” officials said in statement. (BBC)

Forensic Architecture Pulls Whitworth Gallery Show – The Turner Prize-nominated investigative art group demanded the closure of its exhibition at the Whitworth gallery in Manchester after a statement of solidarity with Palestine was removed from the display. The U.K. Lawyers For Israel said the presentation, which in part addresses violence used by Israeli forces against Palestinians, was “incendiary and by its very nature one-sided” and suggested it could be a breach of the university’s public sector equality duty. (Guardian)

Fears Over the Future of Afghanistan’s Cultural Heritage Mount – As Taliban fighters have swept across Afghanistan over the past 10 days and its president fled the country, cultural heritage experts have been nervously monitoring the fate of both colleagues and collections. The British Council has suspended its heritage projects in Afghanistan and closed its office in Kabul. One anonymous museum curator with ties to the region said the situation “may well be worse” than in 2001, when the Taliban was pushed out by U.S.-led forces. For more on how artists and art professionals are faring, stay tuned for a full report on Artnet News tomorrow. (The Art Newspaper)

Korean Artist Kim Guiline Dead at 85 – The pioneer of Korean abstract painting, who is associated with the Dansaekhwa movement in the mid-1970s, died in Paris, where he had lived and worked since 1961. He is represented by Gallery Hyundai in Seoul and Lehmann Maupin. His work is held in many collections in South Korea, from the Busan Museum of Art to the Seoul Museum of Art. (ARTnews)


Rothko Chapel Gets $3 Million From WordPress Founder – Matt Mullenweg, a Houston native and web developer behind WordPress (the platform used by this very news site!), has donated $3 million to help fund the restoration of the Rothko Chapel. The meditation garden will be named in honor of his parents, while the Birch Grove will be named for his sister. (Press release)

Austrian Museum Will Not Lend Headdress to Mexico – Austria’s Weltmuseum Wien has declined to lend a storied Aztec headdress in its collection to Mexico to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Spain’s conquest of the Aztec empire in 1521. Austrian officials, who have denied similar requests from Mexico before, said the object was too fragile to travel. (ARTnews)

Monterey Rare Car Sales Total $343 Million – Art isn’t the only asset the wealthy are looking to spend on right now. Five auction houses, including RM Sotheby’s, sold $343 million in rare cars across three days of sales during Monterey Car Week—up almost 40 percent over the same stretch in 2019. (Bloomberg)


Origins of Arthur’s Stone Revealed – Arthur’s Stone, a Neolithic chambered tomb that dates back to between 3,700 B.C. and  2,700 B.C. was once part of a much larger ceremonial landscape than previously thought—the flat tabletop stone has been linked to two 6,000-year-old “halls of the dead” in the surrounding area. (Science Alert)

Arthur’s Stone in Dorstone, Herefordshire, United Kingdom. Photo: Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images.

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