Art Industry News: Why ‘Vigilante’ Restorers Keep Tearing Up Heritage Sites Across Spain + More Stories


Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here is what you need to know this Monday, January 3. Good year !


MoMA to mandate COVID-19 boosters for staff –As workplaces around the world struggle to design vaccination policies, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has made a decision. A leaked email reveals that the museum will require COVID-19 booster injections for all staff. It also extended remote working until January 31 for some employees, although frontline workers in retail, security and visitor services are still required to work on-site. They will receive a daily bonus of $ 50. (Hyperallergic)

The story of Bill de Blasio’s checkered monument – The monuments were believed to be an important part of the legacy of former New York Mayor Bill de Blasio in New York City. But at the end of his administration in late 2021, none of the seven new historical women sculptures he promised had materialized. During this time, many of the city’s existing public monuments continued to collapse due to long-standing neglect. (New York Times)

Vigilant restaurateurs strike again in Spain – In November, a 750-year-old Romanesque church in the Spanish village of Castronuño suffered the fate of too many other valuable works of Spanish cultural heritage: a botched restoration. A self-defense restorer appears to have poured very modern cement into an ancient archway to prevent the east flank from collapsing. The home-made work has made some wonder if the country just has too much history to nurture to handle everything professionally. As one heritage professional put it, referring to viral restoration of a character now known as “Beast Jesus”, “The story of” Ecce Homo “keeps repeating itself across the country.” (NYT)

Wikipedia sells part of its history – At Christie’s, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales sold two items related to the origins of his online encyclopedia: his 2000 Strawberry iMac and an NFT of the first edition of Wikipedia, which Wales created on January 15, 2001, the day of the launch of the website. The computer ultimately made $ 187,500, while the NFT skyrocketed to $ 750,000. Profits will go to Wikipedia and “charities working in the world of free culture,” according to the auction house. (Hyperallergic)


New Los Angeles Cultural Center opens – Wallis Annenberg’s GenSpace, an extension of the Wilshire Boulevard temple supported by the late Eli Broad and designed by OMA, has opened to the public. The $ 95 million project received a final financial boost thanks to the $ 30 million donated by Audrey Irmas from the sale of her “chalkboard” painting Cy Twombly. GenSpace will provide programming for the elderly in an effort to address the isolation of the elderly. (NYT)

Cincinnati Art Museum takes a break – The Cincinnati Art Museum makes an unorthodox decision: to close its doors for a week and a half to allow employees to focus on “healing and community service.” In a press release, the museum said the pandemic was only an indirect factor in its decision. It will be closed from January 3 to 12. (Local 12)

VAC Foundation Director resigns – Teresa Iarocci Mavica, longtime managing director of the nonprofit contemporary art association with spaces in Moscow and Venice, will step down after more than a decade to focus on the location of the foundation in Italy. Mavica will be replaced on an interim basis by Artem Bondarevsky, who is deputy director general for administrative matters. (ARTnews)

India Art Fair postponed – The India Art Fair will postpone its 2022 edition, initially scheduled for February 3-6, until later in the spring, from April 28 to May 1. The move follows new restrictions implemented by the Indian government to help curb the spread of the Omicron variant. . (The arts journal)


Million pound facility finds new home – Elyn Zimmerman’s iconic rock and water installation Marabar has new life. Once threatened with destruction, it will now be moved from the grounds of the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC, where it was erected in 1984, to the American University campus. The deal ends a debate that began almost three years ago, when the company told the artist it no longer wanted the work. (NYT)

Elyn Zimmerman, Marabar (1984) at the headquarters of the National Geographic Society, Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of Elyn Zimmerman.

Elyn Zimmerman, Marabar (1984) at the headquarters of the National Geographic Society, Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of Elyn Zimmerman.

Elyn Zimmerman, Marabar (1984) at the headquarters of the National Geographic Society, Washington, DC. Photo courtesy of Elyn Zimmerman.

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