Speed Read: The Top 10 Art News Stories for September 22–26

Theft at Pompeii, protests in London, and more!

Exhibit B during a run at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam.
Courtesy Third World Bunfight.

1. 1,500-Year-Old Monastery Discovered in Israel
A massive complex dating from circa 330–638 CE and believed to have been a monastery was unearthed in Israel, just west of Jerusalem.

2. US Tourists Steal Pompeii Artifact
Confirming the stereotype of the ugly American tourist, a couple attempting to fly out of Rome’s Fiumicino were nabbed with a 65-pound antiquity they’d stolen from Pompeii packed in their suitcase.

3. What Is Behind the Art Investment Boom?
A new report on the buying habits of the super-wealthy predicts that, particularly in the United States, fine are will become even more popular as an investment asset.

4. Toronto Opens North America’s First Islamic Art Museum
After decades of planning, prince Karim Al Husseini—the leader of the Ismaili sect of Shiite Islam and fourth Aga Khan—has opened a museum to house his family’s 1,000 piece collection in Toronto.

5. Exhibit B Might Be Offensive To Some But That’s No Reason to Close It Down
Controversy around Brett Bailey’s performance art piece Exhibit B: Third World Bunfight came to a head, as protesters forced the production to shut down in London, but JJ Charlesworth reasoned that the response was excessive.

6. Florence Museum Official Investigated for Abuse of Office
Cristina Acidini, the superintendent of Florence’s museum, and her predecessor Antonio Paolucci (now the head of the Vatican Museums) are in hot water for allegedly not complying with European Union laws that require them to entertain bids from competing firms when it comes to transportation insurance for art loans.

7. New York’s Standout Gallery Shows Are on the Lower East Side
The fall season is off to a tepid start in Chelsea, but New York’s current gallery offerings get hotter the further south you go, as the current slate of Lower East Side exhibitions proves.

8. Getty Spins Web Gold with Knoedler Archive
The Getty Research Institute uploaded the Knoedler Gallery business archives from 1872–1920, revealing fascinating details about how some of the richest art collections in the US were built—but nothing, yet, on the forgery scandal that erupted after the gallery’s abrupt closure.

9. State of the Art at Crystal Bridges: Pure Pop for Now People
Walmart heiress Alice Walton’s Crystal Bridges Museum opened its hotly anticipated and huge exhibition surveying the contemporary art scene across the US, “State of the Art,” a crowd-pleasing affair blissfully free of familiar names.

10. Why Darja Bajagić Appropriates Porn and Serial Killer Art
Emerging conceptual and appropriation artist Darja Bajagić is making a name for herself with works that incorporate pornography and art made by serial killers that she buys online.

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