From a Major Restitution to Iraq to Overworked Guards at the Met: The Best and Worst of the Art World This Week

Catch up on this week's news, fast.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

BEST👍

Machu Picchu’s Real Age Uncovered – Thanks to new radiocarbon dating, the cultural heritage site is revealed to be even older than scientists previously thought.

Phillips Fills Its Coffers – The auction house reported earning more than half a billion dollars in the first half of 2021, a 25 percent increase from 2019.

To Infinity and Beyond – The biggest-ever museum devoted to astronomy has opened in Shanghai, with an observatory, planetarium, and solar telescope.

Mega Michelangelo – The latest immersive art experience to take over the country is none other than Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, which will touch down in cities around the U.S.

Musicians Get Artsy – Grimes, Bon Iver, and other musicians are creating art installations to draw attention to climate change.

Art on the Page – Looking for a new beach read? We’ve rounded up 17 art-centric books to delve into this summer.

Return to Sender – More than 17,000 ancient artifacts looted from Iraq are being returned after they were recovered in the U.S., Italy, the Netherlands, and Japan.

Art World Honchos Invest in NFTs – A new platform called MakersPlace has attracted investors including former Sotheby’s C.E.O. Bill Ruprecht.

More Museum Workers Move to Unionize – Workers at the Art Institute of Chicago are trying to unionize in an attempt to combat low wages and excessive hours.

Court Rules Against Stonehenge Tunnel – A judge in the U.K. has thwarted plans for a highway tunnel near Stonehenge—a big win for cultural preservationists.

 

WORST👎

Guards Under Pressure – Museum guards at the Metropolitan Museum of Art are reporting dire conditions, saying they are being asked to work too much, and the art is suffering as a result too.

Museum Director Resigns Over Mandates – An Italian museum director has left his post due to new vaccination mandates, claiming that no cultural institution should bar visitors.

Extreme Weather Threatens Cultural Sites – Wildfires raging throughout Europe are sparking fear as historic cultural sites in Greece appear to be in the line of destruction.


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