Art Industry News: Insider Trading Rumors Swirl Around CryptoPunks Following a 957 Percent Spike Ahead of Noah Davis Appointment + Other Stories
Plus, a public art show marks the 25th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover, and Russia's Hermitage director gives a chilling interview.
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, June 27.
NEED TO READ
Hermitage Director on Culture’s Role in Ukraine Conflict – For the first time, Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovsky spoke directly about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a chilling interview with the official government newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, he likened the country’s exhibitions abroad to the Ukraine offensive, calling them “a kind of ‘special operation,’ which a lot of people don’t like. But we are coming. And no one can be allowed to interfere with our offensive.” (The Art Newspaper)
Retired British Geologist Appeals Jail Term – Jim Fitton, 66, has filed an appeal of his 15-year prison sentence, handed down by an Iraq court earlier this month after he attempted to smuggle artifacts from the country. The retired geologist collected 12 stones and fragments of broken pottery as souvenirs while touring the site Eridu; he says he was told that the pieces had no economic or historical value. (Evening Standard)
CryptoPunk Trading Activity Sparks Insider Trading Rumors – The day before news broke that Christie’s NFT guru Noah Davis would leave the auction house to become brand lead of CryptoPunks, trading volume for the cartoon-punk NFTs spiked 957 percent (relative the the previous 30-day average). Key buyers like Gary Vaynerchuk, an investor in CryptoPunks’ parent company Yuga Labs, have denied accusations of insider trading. (ARTnews)
More Than 150 Cultural Sites Lost of Destroyed in Ukraine – A total of 152 cultural sites in Ukraine have been partially or totally destroyed since Russia’s invasion of the country on February 24, according to UNESCO’s most updated report. Sites affected include 70 religious buildings, 30 historical buildings, 18 cultural centers, 15 monuments, 12 museums, and seven libraries. (UNESCO)
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Lisa Sutcliffe Named Photography Curator at the Met – Sutcliffe previously served as curator of photography at the Milwaukee Art Museum and, before that, as assistant curator of photography at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, she will focus on post-1960s photography and time-based media. (Press release)
Faculty at ArtCenter College of Design in Southern California to Unionize – More than 60 percent of the art school’s faculty members voted to form a union after nearly two years of organization. The staff will become part of the California branch of the American Federation of Teachers, which is affiliated with the country’s largest federation of unions, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Organizations. (The Art Newspaper)
Dallas Museum to Reassess Security After Vandalism – The Dallas Museum of Art has committed to hire an independent security consultant as part of a review and reassessment of its security measures after a man broke into the museum earlier this month and destroyed four artworks. (Dallas Morning News)
Dora Maar’s Pictures Go on Sale in Paris – A collection of around 750 unpublished photos by the pioneering photographer (and former lover of Picasso) Dora Maar hits the block at Artcurial in Paris today. The photographs were taken during her stint with the Surrealists in Paris from the 1920s to the end of 1940s. (Guardian)
FOR ARTS SAKE
Hong Kong Public Art Project Marks Handover Anniversary – The Hong Kong government has organized an exhibition of 13 large-scale, colorful sculptures on both sides of the Victoria Harbor to spread positivity ahead of the the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong’s sovereignty from Britain to China on July 1. “Art@Harbor” includes work by Victor Wong and the Hong Kong design studio Whiteground. Following the implementation of a national security law in 2020, the city has seen an exodus of both locals and expats. (South China Morning Post)
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