Art Industry News: Italy’s New Right-Wing Culture Minister Publicly Scolds the Uffizi for Closing on a National Holiday + Other Stories

Plus, the British Museum prioritizes renovations to its crumbling Parthenon Marbles gallery, and the U.S. returns a looted statue to Cambodia.

New Italian Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano arrives for the first cabinet meeting of the new Italian government at Palazzo Chigi on October 23, 2022 in Rome, Italy. Photo: Franco Origlia/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 Friday, November 4.


Alex Katz Show Gets a Pan – The 95-year-old artist’s show at the Guggenheim, his second New York retrospective in nearly 30 years, “may just be this season’s biggest disappointment,” writes Alex Greenberger. The critic was particularly underwhelmed by the artist’s “banal” late work: “Katz’s practice has clearly evolved over the years, just not in the way you’d hope.” (ARTnews)

Croatia Moves Toward Holocaust Art Restitution – After nearly a decade of foot-dragging, the Croatian government is taking action to return art looted during the Holocaust to the heirs of Jews whose collections were seized under the Ustaše regime. (New York Times)

Uffizi Jousts With Culture Minister Over Holiday Closure – The newly appointed Italian culture minister Gennaro Sangiuliano criticized Florence’s Uffizi harshly for closing its doors on Monday, which was a national holiday in Italy. “It does not escape your intelligence that a closure of this kind […] represents damage to the image of the Uffizi Galleries and the entire national museum system,” he said. (ARTnews)

British Museum Plans to Renovate Crumbling Parthenon Marbles Gallery – The museum plans to prioritize refurbishment to the dilapidated Parthenon Marbles gallery amid growing calls to return the historical treasures to Athens. The overhaul is part of the £1 billion Rosetta Project, the most expensive museum revamp in British history. (The Art Newspaper)


D.A. Bragg Returns 7th Century Antiquity to Cambodia – U.S. authorities have returned the Standing Sandstone Vishnu, a 7th century sculpture, to Cambodia. According to the Manhattan D.A., the sandstone work was looted from a temple under the direction of art dealer Doris Wiener, who had it smuggled it into Manhattan in 1995 and sold to a private collector. (ARTnews)

Rafael Mason Elected to the Frick Collection Board – Mason is an operating partner at Bain Capital, and previously worked at American Express, where he helped bring the art of Kehinde Wiley and Julie Mehretu to platinum credit cards to support the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Artists-in-Residence program. (Press release)

Archives of American Art Medal Winners Announced – Curator Lowery Stokes Sims received the Lawrence A. Fleischman Award for Scholarly Excellence, while magazine publisher Peter Brant and artist Ursula von Rydingsvard were awarded the Archives of American Art Medal at the Archives’ annual gala. (Smithsonian)

Phillips Adds Two Specialists to Its Asia Operation – The auction house named former David Zwirner Hong Kong director Lihua Tung as its new senior specialist and senior director of 20th century and contemporary art. Yvonne Fong, formerly senior director at Simon Lee in Hong Kong, came on board as senior specialist and senior director. (Press release)


Climate Change Museum Comes to New York – The roving museum—which seeks to use art to galvanize the public to act on climate change—has opened its first pop-up to raise funds for a permanent home. Featuring a mural by David Opdyke, the Soho gallery is open until December 22. (TAN)

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