Art Industry News: Police Announce a $550,000 Reward to Hunt Down Dresden’s Jewel Thieves + Other Stories

Plus, the Uffizi Gallery will send a Botticelli show to Hong Kong and the Rubells ramp up their museum plans.

Diamond Rose Garniture. Stolen objects from this set include the rapier, two curved shoe buckles, a hat brim ornament, badge of the Polish Order of the White Eagle, a large diamond rose, an epaulette (a fragment remains), and up to 10 skirt buttons. Courtesy SKD.

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 Friday, November 29.


The Rubells Open a New Museum and Plan Another – Miami’s leading collectors Mera and Don Rubell are opening their new space in time for Art Basel in Miami Beach next week. The sale of the family collection’s old home, a former DEA warehouse in Wynwood, paid for their new space in Allapattah “and then some,” says Mera Rubell. The Rubells are already planning their second private museum, this time in Washington DC, which could open within three years. “We finally have a developer and financial partner,” she says. The Rubells will not have any trouble filling both venues as they have been as savvy in collecting contemporary art as their real estate deals. Mera Rubell acknowledges the galleries and artists who “give us a great price and long payment terms.” (Financial Times)

The Uffizi Will Send Botticellis to Hong Kong – The Uffizi is lending up to ten paintings by the Renaissance master to Hong Kong next year. The Botticelli show at the Hong Kong Museum of Art will also include a dozen paintings by his contemporaries also from Florence’s art museum. The Uffizi’s first major show in China is the start of a long-term partnership with the Hong Kong government, which is contributing $660,000 towards the exhibition. (The Art Newspaper)

There’s a $550,000 Reward to Recover the Green Vault Jewels –Authorities in Germany are offering a reward of €500,000 ($550,000) for information that leads arrests or to the recovery of the treasures thieves took from Dresden’s Green Vault. Saxony’s police force has added 20 more officers to help track down the four thieves who carried out the audacious heist on Monday morning. The gang made off  with 11 complete jewelry sets about around a dozen other parts of jewelry—most of them from the 18th-century and encrusted with diamonds, which were uninsured. “We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to solve this case,” said Horst Kretzschmar, the head of Saxony’s police force. (Monopol)

Indigenous Elders Reclaim Their Ancestors’ Remains A group of Indigenous elders from Australia reclaimed the remains of 45 ancestors from a museum in Leipzig, Germany, this week. The ceremonial handover took place at the Grassi Museum of Ethnology. Boxes containing skulls and bones were draped in an Aboriginal flag ahead of their return. A further ceremonial handover is planned for 2020. The event comes as museums across Europe confront the dark side of their colonial-era collections, although some institutions still insist human remains have scientific and educational value. (Guardian)


A Bankrupt Collector Tried to Borrow $51 Million Against Fake Art – The bankrupt businessman and collector James Stunt lent copies of work purportedly by Monet, Dalí, and Picasso to Prince Charles’s favourite Scottish country house. Now, it has emerged that Stunt tried to borrow $51 million using the copies made by the LA-based artist Tony Tetro as collateral. Stunt also owes Christie’s $5 million. (TAN)


Three Artists Triumph in Hong Kong’s Election – Artists Susi Law Wai-shan, Clara Cheung, and Wong Tin Yan are among the newly elected district council members in Hong Kong. The activist artists are three of the 389 pro-democracy candidates who enjoyed a landslide victory in the elections. (TAN)


Ancient Cave Art Is Discovered in Spain – A researcher has stumbled upon 5,000-year-old cave art in Spain. The drawings of humans, arrows, and other symbols were found need Albuquerque, which is close to the border with Portugal, by Agustin Palomo. He was looking for a tomb. (Daily Mail)

A Statue Is Unveiled of a Pioneering Female Politician – A bronze statue depicting the first woman to take her seat as a member of Parliament, Nancy Astor, has been unveiled in Plymouth, in the West of England. The sculpture of the Conservative politician was unveiled by former UK Prime Minister Theresa May. It stands outside Astor’s former home in the port city. Astor and her circle of aristocratic friends’ admiration of Hitler in the 1930s has never been forgotten by her critics. (Guardian)

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