Atheists Sue to Exorcise Cross From 9/11 Museum, Met to Milk McQueen Success Until Midnight, and More Must-Read Art News

Atheists Sue to Exorcise Cross From 9/11 Museum, Met to Milk McQueen Success Until Midnight, and More Must-Read Art News
The steel cross that stands in Ground Zero is under attack by an Athesit group
(Courtesy of trevino via Flickr)

Atheists Sue to Exorcise Cross From 9/11 Museum: An atheistgroup has filed a lawsuit to prevent a cross made out of World TradeCenter steel beams from going on display at the 9/11 Memorial Museum.The cross had been found standing in the rubble following the attacks,but the group argues that symbols of other belief systems, includingatheism, should be granted equal pride of place. The 9/11 memorialpresident said the cross "became a symbol of spiritual comfort for thethousands of recovery workers who toiled at ground zero." [NBC



Midnight at the Met: In a final attempt to milk the outrageously popular "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" exhibition for all it's worth, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will stay open until midnight on August 6 and 7, the final two days of the blockbuster show. Apparently, it is the first time the Met has stayed open so late. The McQueen exhibition opened May 4 and has been extended twice, but the lines to get in still snake around the museum and wait time can last up to three hours. [NYT]



National Gallery to Pair Up Virgins: Scholars still wonder why Leonardo painted two nearly identical versions of his "Virgin of the Rocks" — try picking out the differences, it's fun — with the leading theory being that he had some sort of quarrel with his patrons over the first version. Now that the works are going to be exhibited side-by-side in a museum for the first time, perhaps more light will be shed on the mystery. Also, since the National Gallery will also be showing Leonardo's spooky Jesus painting, this is bound to be a blockbuster show to end blockbuster shows. [Telegraph

Yale Founds Preservation Institute: The university will convert a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant into the newly established Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage. The institute will work to develop new tools and techniques for the conservation of art and artifacts, and will centralize similar work already being done at the university's three museums. It will be funded by a $25 million gift from Lisbet Rausing, heiress to Sweedish food processing and packaging company Tetra Pak, and her husband Peter Baldwin. [TAN

"Seven Days in the Art World" Author Wins $100,000 Lawsuit: "Seven Days in the Art World" author Sarah Thornton won over $100,000 in damages from the Daily Telegraph's parent company over a review the paper ran of her book. Reviewer Lynn Barber claimed Thornton had never interviewed her for the book, though in court the Canadian journalist was able to prove that she had conducted a 30 minute phone interview with Barber two years earlier. Barber, who is well known for her own book, "An Education," also alleged that Thornton had given her interview subjects "copy approval," a claim the court ruled libelous. [LAT

Inside Picasso's Mountain Mansion: In 1958, Picasso purchased hundreds of acres near the tiny mountain village of Vauvenargues, where he would live in a château for the next four years. Summer visitors to the French town have a rare opportunity to visit the living quarters and studio of the great cubist. But if you can't make it to France, the WSJ offers a good description and even a few photographs. [WSJ

"Star Wars" Storm Trooper Artist Wins Case: Andrew Ainsworth, a British artist who helped design the storm trooper costumes in the original "Star Wars" movie, won the right to sell replicas of the costumes without permission from George Lucas or his studio. The 62-year-old artist sells his replicas online for $2,400 each, and was sued by Lucasfilm for copyright infringement. The suit went all the way up to the Supreme Court in Britain, but he finally emerged victorious. Let's hear it for the little guy! [NYT]

Powhidamania: On the eve of his well-attended performance exhibition at Marlborough Chelsea, William Powhidagets interviewed by Flavorwire. Asked if name-calling extends beyondhis work and into other areas of his life, he says he tries to confineit to his art — nevertheless, he still manages to toss a name or twointo his answer. He quipped, "I don't want up to Jules de Balincourt at the coffee shop and say, 'What's up? Did you invent a new shade of green yet?!'" [Flavorwire]    

Britain Changes Visa Rules to Recruit Foreign Artists: The government has created a new "exceptional talent" category of the points-based visa system. "Internationally recognized" world leaders of the arts will be allowed to stay in the UK for up to three years and four months, regardless of whether they have a job lined up. Arts Council England and TV producers PACT will be the judge as to whether or not you qualify as a "world leader of the arts." [The Stage

Shepard Fairey's Hits Books With Gorgeous L.A. Library Mural: Street artists Shepard Fairey, Retna, and Kenny Scharf created a group of bright, beautiful murals for a new public library in West Hollywood. The project was co-sponsored by MOCA, whose director, Jeffrey Deitch, sees it as an extension of the museum's blockbuster "Art in the Streets" exhibition. [LAT]

Bidoun Rounds 25 With Revolutionary Issue: To commemorate the 25th issue of Middle Eastern art and culture magazine Bidoun, the editors traveled to Egypt and took over the first floor of a gallery in downtown Cairo, five minutes from Tahir Square, to better understand what happened during the revolt and revolution. The results of over 50 unique interviews, roundtable discussions, tweets, and more — along with critical thoughts on the connection between revolution and art — comprise this very special anniversary issue. [Wired]

Let's Hear It For the Ladies: An all-female team was appointed as joint artistic directors of the 9th Gwangju Biennale 2012. [ITA]