Art Industry News: A Band of Young Thieves Staged a Very Real $330,000 Heist on the Set of Netflix’s Hit Art-Thief Show ‘Lupin’ + Other Stories

Plus, MoMA restores its contract with the NYPD, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts gets a $60 million gift.

A still with Omar Sy, who stars in the new Netflix series Lupin. Photo: Emmanuel Guimier/Netflix.

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 21.


MoMA Renews NYPD Contract – The museum has renewed its paid security contract with the New York Police Department following the stabbing incident that wounded two front-desk employees last weekend. The agreement, which brings armed off-duty officers to support unarmed MoMA guards, had been cancelled following the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in 2020. (Hyperallergic)

Getty Under Pressure to Return Fresco – Christos Tsirogiannis, an expert in looted antiquities and outspoken advocate for restitution, has urged the J. Paul Getty Museum to return a Roman fresco fragment to Italy. Tsirogiannis claims he has identified a photograph of the fragment in the archive of the late dealer Robert Hecht, who was accused of illegally trafficking artifacts. Tsirogiannis has alerted the district attorney’s office in New York that the fragment may have come from Pompeii. (Guardian)

Thieves Hit Set of Art-Thief Show Lupin – Seven people between the ages of 13 and 21 were accused of staging an armed robbery last month on the set of the French hit Netflix series Lupin, which was filming in the Nanterre district in the west of central Paris. A gang of 20 allegedly stole more than $330,000 worth of equipment from the set while the crew and cast, including the show’s star Omar Sy, were present. No one was injured. (BBC)

Artist Resale Organizations Sue Dealer Ivor Braka – The Artists’ Collecting Society and the Design and Artists Copyright Society have lodged a lawsuit against the art dealer and collector in British High Court to uncover whether he owes royalties dating back to when the Artist Resale Right came into effect in the U.K. in 2006. Braka said he has never been asked to disclose secondary market dealings in his personal capacity as a collector after 2006; he declined to comment on the status of his company. (The Art Newspaper)


Smithsonian Acquires Critic Robert Hughes’s Papers – The Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art has acquired the papers of the influential late art critic, who died in 2012. Hughes served as head art critic for TIME magazine and produced TV shows including The Shock of the New. (ARTnews)

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Gets a $60 Million Gift – James and Frances McGlothlin, longtime patrons of the museum, have donated $60 million in art and cash to boost its $190 million renovation project. The gift of 15 paintings includes works by Norman Rockwell, John Singer Sargent, Andrew Wyeth, and Milton Avery. (U.S. News)

Final Picasso Biography Volume Released – The fourth and final volume of the artist’s biography is out, three years after the death of its author, John Richardson. Reviewer Kathryn Hughes says the final chapters contain signs of having been completed by Richardson’s research assistants, but A Life of Picasso is nevertheless “so alive” and “thrilling.” (Guardian)

Small Fire Breaks Out at the Whitney – Sparking wires ignited a small fire in the lobby of New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art on the evening of March 17. Firefighters extinguished the blaze in around 45 minutes. No one was injured and no artwork was damaged, according to the museum. (Observer)


Taiwan Artist Captures Ukraine War On Camera – The Austria-based Taiwanese artist Chien-Chi Chang has traveled to Ukraine to capture untold stories of war. “As a Taiwanese, I have felt compelled to come to Ukraine to document the invasion by Russia,” the artist said on Instagram. “Many believe that Taiwan could be the next country to be attacked by a more powerful neighbor.” (Art Touch, Instagram)


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