Art Industry News: Pussy Riot Members Detained After Protest in Siberia + More Must-Read Stories

Plus, French volunteers clean Basquiat’s headstone in Brooklyn and plans take shape for a U2 Museum in Dublin.

Maria Alyokhina (right) and another member of Russian feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot have been briefly detained in Russia. Photo OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images.
Maria Alyokhina (right) and another member of Russian feminist punk rock protest group Pussy Riot have been briefly detained in Russia. Photo OLI SCARFF/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 Tuesday, August 8th.


Volunteers Clean Basquiat’s Headstone – Last week, French volunteers participating in an exchange program dedicated to preservation scrubbed the grime from Basquiat’s headstone at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where more than 400 artists are buried. (New York Times)

Meet the Middlemen Who Trade ISIS Loot – Syrian art traders, recent ISIS defectors, and law-enforcement officials explain how antiquities find their way from Syria and Iraq to the US. Trade in illicit antiquities is estimated to make up to $100 million each year for ISIS, whose revenues from oil are running dry. (Wall Street Journal)

Pussy Riot Members Detained in Siberia – Two members of the anti-Putinist punk band, Maria Alyokhina and Olga Borisova, were briefly detained on Monday while demonstrating outside a prison in Yakutsk for the release of Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov. The women were released after a judge deemed the case flawed. (Associated Press)

Get Ready for the U2 Museum – The band’s recording studio in Dublin is slated to become a museum dedicated to U2’s four-decade history. If everything goes according to plan, fans can expect a cantilevered structure jutting out over the River Liffey. (Irish Times)


Cash-Strapped Countess Claims She Was Duped by Dealer – Lesley Joan Viscountess Hambleden is suing former Sotheby’s specialist Timothy Sammons, alleging that he secretly sold her painting by Dutch master Willem van de Velde for a sum far below its $6–9 million estimate. (New York Post)

Sotheby’s Pink Diamond Still Hasn’t Been Paid For – The auction house’s earnings call from August 3 revealed that the diamond, sold for a record $71 million to Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook, hasn’t been paid for yet. Is the precious stone jinxed? In 2013, it sold for $83 million, but was reclaimed by Sotheby’s for lack of payment. (Arts Journal)

Governors Island Art Fair Gets New Location – The nonprofit 4heads announced that the 10th edition of Governors Island Art Fair, opening on September 2, will expand into Liggett Hall for the first time and add new outdoor locations. (Press release)


Photographer Claudio Abate Dies at 73 – The Roman photographer made it into art history thanks to his images documenting the work of artists including Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Trisha Brown, and Simone Forti. (Le Journal des Arts)

Zack Ingram Wins $15,000 Tito’s Prize – The Austin-based artist is the winner of the inaugural prize. He will also receive a solo exhibition at the local art organization Big Medium and a spot on the cover of the November issue of Arts+Culture magazine. (Glasstire)

Aspen Art Museum Raises $2.8 Million at Summer Gala – More than 600 collectors, dealers, and other art-world denizens descended on Aspen last Friday to participate in its 2017 ArtCrush Benefit honoring Lawrence Weiner. (Press release)


See Michelangelo’s Marble Quarry Today – The Renaissance master discovered Altissimo, the quarry of his dreams, back in 1517. Click through to view amazing photos that explore how this cradle of masterworks is thriving in contemporary times. (Reuters)

Why Darren Bader Loves Goats – Andrea K. Scott profiles the American artist, tackling his motivation for including living animals in his work, his love for wordplay, and his relation to Alexander Calder. (The New Yorker)

10-Year-Old Paleontologist Spots Museum Error – On a family visit to the London Museum of Natural History, Charlie Edwards spotted a mistake on the label of an Oviraptor display. The museum initially dismissed him as an overenthusiastic fan, but later contacted him to say he was right and thank him. (NPR)


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