Art Industry News: A New Bill Would Force U.K. Museums and Galleries to Ramp Up Security in Case of an Attack + Other Stories

Plus, Emma Webster joins the roster at Perrotin and Gérard Depardieu's art collection hits the auction block.

Security guards and police officers are seen outside the Tate Modern gallery in London on August 4, 2019 after it was put on lock down and evacuated. Photo: Daniel SORABJI / AFP via 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 Thursday, June 15.

NEED-TO-READ

Mummified Māori Heads Returned to New Zealand Seven German institutions have returned the mummified heads of six Māoris to the New Zealand Museum Te Papa Tongarewa in a private repatriation ceremony. The remains were likely those of chiefs or warriors, and were preserved as part of a tradition of honoring loved ones. (CNN)

Museums Must Increase Preparedness for Terrorist AttacksThe draft of a new bill named for Martyn Hett, one of the victims of the Manchester Arena attack in 2017, would require public spaces in the U.K. with a capacity of more than 100 visitors—including museums and galleriesto ramp up security measures in the event of a terrorist attack. Prior to the introduction of Martyn’s Law, every venue has had its own approach to security. (Museums Association)

Activists Target Monet Painting in Climate Protest – Two women were arrested at Stockholm’s National Museum after gluing themselves to the glass of a Monet painting and smearing red paint across it. The individuals were part of the group Aterstall Vatmarker (Restore Wetlands) and stated that “gorgeous gardens like those in Monet’s painting will soon be a distant memory.”(AFP) 

MOVERS & SHAKERS

Emma Webster Joins Perrotin – The British-American artist has joined the gallery’s stable after showing at outposts in Seoul and Tokyo. A landscape painter who uses VR technology to create her lavish canvases, Webster will present a special presentation at the gallery’s booth at Art Basel in Miami Beach this December. (Instagram)  

MSCHF Sells Micro-Purse – The renegade activist art group MSCHF has released a Microscopic Handbag of Louis Vuitton’s OnTheGo tote, a boxy purse bearing the distinctive monogrammed LV pattern—but really, really small. The 657x222x700 micrometer bag is smaller than even a grain of salt, and will be sold as part of Pharrell’s Just Phriends auction on the Joopiter platform. MSCHF was not authorized by Louis Vuitton to make the miniature version: “We are big in the ‘ask forgiveness, not permission’ school,” said chief creative officer Kevin Wiesner. (New York Times)

Gérard Depardieu Sells Art Collection – The French actor Gérard Depardieu is selling off his collection of 20th-century art, including some 250 works by Auguste Rodin, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Calder, and others, through the Paris auction house Ader in September. The actor, who has been accused of sexual harassment or assault by more than a dozen women, is currently facing rape charges in France. (Press release)

FOR ART’S SAKE

SFMoMA Acquires Architectural Treasure – The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is now the proud owner of one of the pods salvaged from the demolished Nakagin Capsule Tower building in Tokyo. Designed by Kisho Kurokawa, the building—which included individual rooms with a bed, folding desk, and electronics—epitomizes the Metabolism design style. (The Art Newspaper)

A man takes photos of the Nakagin Capsule Tower Building in Shimbashi, Tokyo, Japan, April 12, 2022. The Nakagin Capsule Tower Building is a mixed-use residential and office tower, located in Shimbashi of Tokyo. Built in 1972, the building has fallen into disrepair. In March 2022, it was announced that the building is to be demolished. Photo: Zhang Xiaoyu/Xinhua via Getty Images.


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