Art Industry News: France Will Open a Mysterious Lead Sarcophagus Found in a Graveyard Beneath Notre Dame + Other Stories

Plus, a Danish artist won't get his sculpture back from Hong Kong, and the Sharjah Biennial announces artists for 2023.

Archaeologists excavate the floor of Notre Dame Cathedral after the discovery of a 14th century lead sarcophagus, in Paris, on March 15, 2022. Photo by Julien de Rosa/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 Tuesday, April 19.


Winning Designs for Mosul Mosque Restoration Redrawn – The design for the reconstruction of Mosul’s Al-Nuri mosque that was destroyed by ISIS five years ago will be sent back to the drawing board following the discovery of a 12th-century prayer hall beneath the site. The reconstruction is a partnership among UNESCO, the United Arab Emirates, and the Iraqi authorities. (The Art Newspaper)

Dismantled ‘Pillar of Shame’ Stuck in Hong Kong – A sculpture commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre at the University of Hong Kong, which was dismantled in December, will most likely not be returned to its artist in Denmark. More than 12 transport companies have declined to move the work to a port for fear of retaliation from the Chinese authorities, the sculpture’s creator, Jens Galschiøt, said in a statement. The work has been in a container since December 24, but despite the collaborative efforts of lawyers, two shipping companies, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it is uncertain if the work will ever be returned the artist. (Press release)

France Will Open Sarcophagus Found Under Notre Dame – A mysterious lead sarcophagus unearthed by archaeologists working to restore Notre Dame will soon be opened. (What could go wrong?) Buried 65 feet below the spot where the transept crosses the nave of the Gothic church, the warped object will be examined by researchers from France’s national archaeological research institute before being returned to its resting place. The announcement came just one day before the third anniversary of the devastating fire that engulfed the cathedral, which is set to reopen in 2024 following a major restoration. (ARTnews)


Sharjah Biennial Announces Artist List – More than 150 artists from over 70 countries will be featured in the upcoming Sharjah Biennial, which has been postponed until 2023 due to the pandemic. The event was conceived by the late curator Okwui Enwezor and curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, the director of the Sharjah Art Foundation. (ARTnews)

National Gallery of Victoria Receives $100 Million – Billionaire trucking magnate Lindsay Fox and his wife Paula have donated $100 million to the Australian museum for the building of its new space, which will be named The Fox: NGV Contemporary. It is the largest donation to an art museum in Australia by a living donor. (The Guardian)

England’s National Glass Center Commissions Artists – Four contemporary artists—Ryan Gander, Monster Chetwynd, Pascale Marthine Tayou, and Katie Paterson—have collaborated with master glass artisans in Sutherland, the English town that has been a glass production hub since 674 CE, on a series of new commissions using the ancient medium. (TAN)

Kavi Gupta Represents Jaime Muñoz – The California-based artist joins the roster of Kavi Gupta gallery in Chicago. Born in 1987, the painter will be featured in a group show this year, following a first solo presentation at the gallery in 2023. (Press release)


L.A. Artists Make AR Art in Collaboration With Snapchat – Works by Judy Baca, Sandra de la Loza, and Kang Seung Lee are featured in the return of “LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives,” a collaboration between the museum and the social media platform to showcase selected artworks in augmented reality. (Unframed)

LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives (Collection II)

Screen shot of LACMA × Snapchat: Monumental Perspectives (Collection II), featuring second cohort of artists, Judy Baca, Sandra de la Loza, and Kang Seung Lee.

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