Art Industry News: Ukraine Is Recruiting Artists to Create and Sell NFTs to Fund Humanitarian Aid + Other Stories

Plus, Christie's is selling the world's largest white diamond, and French museums rally to send supplies to their colleagues in Ukraine.

NFTU-krain, another initiative to raise funds for the country via NFTs, is available for sale on OpenSea.

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 this Monday, March 28.


Monuments Men Are Trying a New Tactic: Playing Cards – The Dallas-based Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art has created a deck of playing cards dedicated to artworks and cultural relics that disappeared after World War II. The foundation’s president, Anna Bottinelli, said the initiative intends to raise awareness of the missing works. The foundation is offering rewards of up to $25,000 for information that leads to their recovery. (U.S. News)

French Museums Send Supplies to Ukraine – More than French 20 institutions, including the Louvre and the Musée du Quai Branly—Jacques Chirac, have responded to a call from the International Council of Museums to send emergency supplies to museums in Ukraine help them protect their collections from Russia’s continuous shelling. A truck carrying 15 tons worth of materials—from crates and bubble wrap to fire extinguishers and blankets—left Paris earlier last week. (The Art Newspaper)

Ukraine Launches NFT Museum – Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation is launching what it’s calling the MetaHistory NFT Museum, a blockchain-based chronicle of the Russian invasion. The museum will showcase NFTs of digital art depicting Ukraine’s recent history paired with written reflections. Proceeds from the NFT sales will go toward humanitarian aid in the country. (Coindesk)

Where Have the Artist-Addicts Gone? – The cultural obsession with artist-addicts and the romanticizing of substance abuse in the 20th century has taken a turn amid a more open attitude toward drugs and alcohol. Now, the act of intoxication has become a question of self-optimization. And “the junkie artist has become, if not entirely passé, then at least less visible,” writes M. H. Miller. (T Magazine)


Christie’s Is Selling the World’s Biggest White Diamond – A 228.3-carat pear-shaped white diamond called “The Rock” will headline the auction house’s Geneva jewelry sale on May 11. Classified as G color with VS1 clarity, The Rock is said to be the largest of its kind ever to go on sale and carries a $30 million estimate. (Complex)

Moderna Museet Malmö Names Director – Elisabeth Millqvist has been appointed the next director for the Swedish institution’s outpost in Malmö, a southern coastal city in Sweden. Millqvist succeeds Iris Müller-Westermann, who is stepping down but will remain a curator at the museum. Millqvist previously served as artistic director and co-director of Wanås Konst Sculpture Park. (Artforum)

Dealer Suspected of Trading Looted Art Is Detained – Roben Dib, who is suspected to having played a central role in the sale of allegedly looted artworks to museums such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, was arrested last week in Hamburg. He has since been extradited to France. (The Art Newspaper)

Lucy Raven Joins Lisson – The artist, who is featured in this year’s Whitney Biennial and was the subject of a solo presentation at the Dia Art Foundation in Chelsea last year, will be represented globally by Lisson Gallery. Raven—who specializes in hypnotic, mesmerizing films—was previously not represented by a gallery. (ARTnews)


Hew Locke Takes Over Tate Britain – The Guyanese-British artist’s major new installation, The Procession, features nearly 100 life-size sculptures that together form a spectacle of politics, power, greed, race, and history. The museum was expecting 60 figures, but, according to the Guardian‘s Laura Cumming, “they just kept on coming, forming in Locke’s mind and studio during lockdown and beyond.” (Guardian)

Sculptures featured at Tate Britain’s The Procession a major new installation by artist Hew Locke. (Photo by HOLLIE ADAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

A visitor looks at sculptures composing the exhibition “The Procession” by British artist Hew Locke and displayed in the Duveen Galleries at the Tate Britain, in London. (Photo by HOLLIE ADAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

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