Art Industry News: FIAC’s Scorched-Earth Battle for the Grand Palais Rages On + Other Stories

Plus, another museum in the U.K. will restitute a Benin Bronze and Kazakhstan protesters crash a museum.

The Grand Palais in Paris, France. Photo by Chesnot/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, January 17.


Documenta Responds to Allegations of ‘Anti-Semitic’ Connections – The Kassel quinquennial exhibition is dealing with criticism claiming that participants and board members have “anti-semitic” connections. The Alliance Against Anti-Semitism Kassel alleged that artists Lara Khaldi and Yazan Khalili, who are participating in the June exhibition as part of the collective the Question of Funding, as well as two other Documenta board members, have links to BDS, a pro-Palestinian movement. The links have been refuted by other reports in the German media. (ARTnews

Kazakhstan Protesters Crash Museum – According to Kazahk media reports, around 200 protesters stormed Kazakhstan’s the Central State Museum in Almaty, amid ongoing protests in the country over rising fuel prices. Local reports state that the group told staff to direct them to ancient armour. There was damage done to display cabinets but no looting has been reported. (The Art Newspaper)

FIAC’s Battle for the Grand Palais Rages On – On Friday, the legal duel officially began between two historical partners, RX France, the parent company of FIAC and Paris Photo, and the Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais (RMN-GP). RX filed a complaint, demanding the continuation of its contractual relationship with the RMN and requesting that RMN-GP suspends its current call for proposals that it launched on December 8. The two fairs, which have used the venue for decades, could be ousted from their fall slot. (Le Figaro, Le Monde)

Use of ‘Racist’ Term in Rijksmuseum Indonesia Show Sparks Anger – Bonnie Triyana, a Jakarta-based historian and one of the curators for the major exhibition “Revolusi!” at the Rijksmuseum, shared an op-ed with Dutch press calling the term bersiap a racist word that distorts the history of Indonesia’s revolution. Bersiap commonly refers to the revolutionary period from 1945 until 1946 where Indonesia military and militias disappeared and murdered civilians and officials from China, Japan, and Europe. Rijksmuseum director Taco Dibbits said the word bersiap would remain intact within the show because “we explain the term, we interpret it, and place it in the historical context of all the violence at that time,” adding that Triyana’s essay shared a personal opinion. (ARTnews)


The Met Buys Rare Van Gogh Prints – The New York museum purchased nearly half of Van Gogh’s prints in one fell swoop. Christie’s helped broker the private sale between the Met and a private Minnesota collector of the set of the three lithographs and an etching. There are plans to reveal the rare prints in a display during the summer. (TAN)

Another U.K. Museum to Return a Benin Bronze – The Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle, U.K. is seeking to repatriate an object in its collection that was looted by British troops in 1897. The brass stave was used as a musical instrument in ceremonies. (TAN)

More Winter Fairs Are Rescheduled – The Omicron variant continues to wreak havoc on wintertime fair plans. The Milan-based fair Salone del Mobile has its current dates under review, with sources saying that it will likely move from April to June 2022. The Netherlands’s Art Rotterdam 2022 is being moved from February to a new date, between May 19 and 22. (Press releasedesignboom)

Alexander Herman Appointed Director of Institute of Art and Law – Ruth Redmond-Cooper is stepping down after 26 years as director at the Institute of Art and Law. Alexander Herman, who is currently assistant director at the U.K. institution, will step into Redmond-Cooper’s former role. (Press release)


Exhibition on Queer Culture Opens in Bucharest – The Museum of Queer Culture, TRIUMF AMIRIA, together with the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Romania, are presenting a series of statement exhibitions about queer life in the country. Called “YOU FEEL ~ AND DRIFT ~ AND SING” the shows take place across four art venues in Bucharest: Combinatul Fondului Plastic, Suprainfinit Gallery, Spatiul THE INSTITUTE, and SWITCH LAB. (Press release)

YOU FEEL AND DRIFT AND SING exhibition view. Triumf Amiria.

YOU FEEL AND DRIFT AND SING exhibition view. Triumf Amiria.

YOU FEEL AND DRIFT AND SING exhibition view. Triumf Amiria.

YOU FEEL AND DRIFT AND SING exhibition view. Triumf Amiria.

YOU FEEL AND DRIFT AND SING exhibition view. Triumf Amiria.

YOU FEEL AND DRIFT AND SING exhibition view. Triumf Amiria.

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