Art Industry News: Egyptian Model Arrested for ‘Inappropriate’ Pharaonic Shoot at the Ancient Site of Giza + Other Stories

Plus, everything you need to know about the latest monolith news and Dia's expanded Chelsea home will open in April.

Photographs from Salma El-Shimy's photoshoot at an archaeological site in Giza. Photos: Hossam Muhammed.

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, December 7.


Dia Chelsea Will Reopen in April – After a two-year renovation and expansion, the beloved New York art space will reopen its Chelsea outpost in April (after being delayed by lockdown from its original September date). The $20 million, 32,500-square-foot facility will be free to visit and will debut with new commissions by Lucy Raven. The New York overhaul represents the first phase of Dia’s new masterplan, which also includes upgrades to its spaces in SoHo and Beacon, New York. The museum has organized a $90 million capital campaign, of which Dia has raised $80 million to date. (New York Times)

Monolith Mania Continues Around the World – If we aren’t careful, Artnet News could easily turn into Monolith News, so allow us to recap the latest here. A group of four artists and fabricators came forward as the creators of the stainless-steel column that appeared (and then disappeared and then reappeared) in Atascadero, California, last Tuesday. (They had nothing to do with the Utah original.) Also over the weekend, new monoliths popped up in Los Padres National Forest and the Isle of Wight in England, bringing the total number of steel curiosities to five. The man who found the Isle of Wight version was walking his dog when he saw an object glistening in the sun. “The person who put it there knows what they’re doing,” he said. “It’s someone playing a practical joke.” (Evening Standard, NYT)

Egyptian Model Arrested Over Photo Shoot – The Egyptian model and influencer Salma El-Shimy was arrested on November 30 after holding a photo shoot at an archaeological site in the ancient city of Giza. She and her photographer, Hossam Muhammed, have been charged with taking photos without a permit. After the initial arrest, authorities said the model’s outfit, a short white dress with a pharaonic beaded belt and necklace, was “inappropriate,” though she is not facing charges of indecency. El-Shimy was released on December 1 while awaiting trial. (Hyperallergic)

UK Government to Redefine Treasure Finds – Faced with a rise of amateur metal detecting, the UK has moved to redefine the term “treasure”—objects that automatically belong to the Crown when uncovered and go on display in museums rather than disappearing into private hands. Changes to the 1996 Treasure Act will see artifacts defined as treasure if they are of historical or cultural significance. Until recently, treasure has been defined as a found object that is more than 300 years old and made of gold or silver, or found near another object containing these materials. The new rules will encompass copper alloy, which often comprise Roman objects that have been resurfacing in the UK. (BBC)


Museum of Latin American Art Sells Off Dozens of Works – Facing a deficit, the Long Beach institution is selling a total of 121 artworks in an online “fire sale.” Nearly fifty works are from the museum’s own collection; the rest were donated by artists and collectors for the fundraiser. Together, the objects carry a high estimate of nearly $500,000. The museum has been shuttered since March and has already conducted one sale of artworks this year. (Los Angeles Times)

Meet China’s Millennial Super-Collectors – A new generation of super-collectors—one reared on the internet and educated around the world—is emerging in China and opening private museums. Michael Xufu Huang, who recently opened Museum X in Beijing, says that while “China is very powerful in the economic sense,” the nation ”needs a richer culture…. We need more in our lives than buying products and consuming things.” (South China Morning Post)


MOCAD Names Interim Director – Laura Hughes has been appointed interim director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit following the departure of Elysia Borowy-Reeder, who was fired in July amid allegations of abusive workplace practices. Hughes has served on the museum’s board since 2019 and is the founder of Gusto Partners, a firm that specializes in stakeholder and relationship leadership that creates diverse and inclusive environments for social change. (Artforum)

German Gallery Transformed Into Testing Center – Berlin’s DNA gallery is one of many sites around the city that have been repurposed as virus testing centers. People can now get rapid antibody tests and more precise PCR tests while entertaining themselves with the art on the walls. (Monopol)

Artist Jackie Saccoccio Dies at 56 – The abstract painter died on Saturday of cancer at 56. Her gallery, Van Doren Waxter, described her as “a true painter’s painter.” Saccoccio’s highly physical process involved everything from rubbing or pressing together two still-wet canvases to applying mica to dripping paint from one painting to another. The result was deeply layered abstract compositions. (ARTnews)


The Musée d’Orsay Will Have a Rosa Bonheur Show in 2022 – The Paris museum will present unseen works by the 19th-century French painter Rosa Bonheur in the fall of 2022. The painter was regarded as an art star in France during her time but had been relegated to the sidelines by art history—although some might be familiar with her story from the art-history easter egg in the hit Netflix show The Queen’s Gambit. (Le Parisien)

A New Map of Emerging Art in London – The contemporary art collection and platform Modern Forms has teamed up with students and staff at Central Saint Martins and Kingston School of Art to produce a map and database of London’s emerging art scene. Called Credit X, the project hopes to bolster nascent creative scenes in the English capital. (Press release)

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