Art Industry News: The Late Artist Christo’s Team Is Working ‘Around the Clock’ to Wrap the Arc de Triomphe by Fall + Other Stories

Plus, Tate Modern transformed into a vaccination center for the night, and U.S. authorities look to return a valuable artifact to Cambodia.

Christo The Arc de Triumph (Project for Paris, Place de l'Etoile – Charles de Gaulle) Wrapped. Photo: André Grossmann. © 2018 Christo.

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, July 19.


Another U.K. Football Mural Defaced – A mural in Darlington, U.K., celebrating the England soccer team players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka was defaced with racist graffiti after the trio failed to score penalties in the final match of the Euro 2020 league. Condemning the defacement, locals gathered to take a knee at the mural and, echoing a similar move in Manchester, cover up the abusive message with tributes to the players. (Evening Standard)

U.S. Authorities Move to Return Cambodian Artifact – Prosecutors in the U.S. are seeking to return a stolen 10th-century Khmer statue to Cambodia after its owner, who inherited the work, relinquished all claim to it. The piece was taken from a temple in 1997 and sold three years later for $1.5 million by disgraced late collector Douglas A.J. Latchford, who was indicted in 2019 for his role in the trade of looted Cambodian antiquities. (New York Times)

Wrapping the Arc de Triomphe Is Underway – After a brief pause to let the Tour de France go by, workers have begun in earnest the process of wrapping the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The project is the late artist Christo’s first posthumous work, and the stakes are high. “Three teams will work around the clock to complete it,” said Christo’s nephew Vladimir Javacheff. The work—which uses polypropylene fabric and 3,000 meters of recyclable red rope—will be unveiled in September. (The National)

Is a Creativity Crisis Coming for U.K. Schools? – New analysis of government data by the Labour Party suggests that both students and teachers are moving away from the creative arts. Following a decade of austerity policies that have slashed support for arts subjects, the number of students and teachers has dropped in some cases by one fifth. Students have moved instead towards more traditional academic disciplines such as geography and English. (Guardian)


Bowie Art Galore Hits the Market – David Bowie superfans can beef up their memorabilia collections with treasures from artist Edward Bell on offer at Halls Fine Art in the U.K. through August 1. Bell, who designed the cover art for Bowie’s Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) album, is selling such Bowie-themed objects as a series of portraits of the star as Lazarus at accessible prices of up to £2,000 ($2,700). (The Art Newspaper, BBC)

MACBA Names Next Director – The curatorial powerhouse behind London’s the Showroom, Elvira Dyangani Ose, has been named the next director of MACBA in Barcelona. The first woman and the first Black person to lead the museum, Dyangani Ose will begin a five-year contract this year. (ARTnews)

Bloomberg Philanthropies Doles Out $30 Million – Bloomberg Philanthropies will grant 46 beneficiaries a total of $30 million to fund digital innovation and online programming. Awardees include the Queens Museum and the Tenement Museum in New York. (New York Times)


Tate Modern Converted Into a Vaccination Center – Tate Modern transformed into a temporary vaccination center for the night on Friday. Visitors enjoyed free access to the museum as well as a DJ set as part of the race to get as much of the U.K. population vaccinated as possible before the lifting of public health restrictions today. Unfortunately, Tate was only offering Pfizer, so we have all had to resist the readily awaiting “Tate Moderna” joke. (Tatler)


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