Failed Art Restorer Wants Royalties, Koons Consulted on Bridge Design, and More

Failed Art Restorer Wants Royalties, Koons Consulted on Bridge Design, and More
Tourists visit "Ecce Homo" at the Borja Church in Zaragoza, Spain
(Photo: Cesar Manso/AFP/GettyImages)

World's Worst Art Restorer Demands Royalties: Well-meaning but inept art restorer Cecilia Gimenez, whose attempt to restore a 19th-century fresco in Spain resulted in internet fame, a huge surge in visitors for the church where she volunteered her conservation services, and an unexpected spot on ARTINFO's recent list of the 100 most iconic artworks of the last five years, is now claiming copyright to the wonderfully freakish image and royalties from tourism revenue. The small Spanish church has placed a collection box alongside the "Ecce Homo" painting, and Gimenez wants a cut of the cash. [Techdirt]

Koons and Met Director Consulted on Bridge Decision: The aesthetic advisory committee for a planned $5-billion replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge just north of New York City that will be selected this fall has some serious art world muscle, including sculptor Jeff Koons, Metropolitan Museum director Thomas Campbell, and architect Richard Meier. In a statement naming the esteemed panel yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the committee will "ensure the new bridge is the best choice and fit for the region." [WSJ]


Crystal Bridges Launches Art Prize With Meat Processor's Donation: Walmart heiress Alice Walton's Arkansas museum has received a $5-million donation from the Tyson family and Tyson Foods, Inc. to create a new residency for scholars and the new Don Tyson Prize, an art award named for the multinational meat-processing company's late leader Donald Tyson. "American art has historically received too little attention from scholars and academic programs as a field of research," said the museum's executive director Don Bacigalupi. "Thanks to the generosity of the Tyson family and Tyson Foods, our museum will be able to develop and foster a community of scholars committed to furthering the understanding and appreciation of American art." [The City Wire]

Lost Dennis Hopper Photos Shown in Berlin: A set of more than 400 photographs — including images of Martin Luther King, Jr., Andy Warhol, and Tina Turner — by the late actor and artist Dennis Hopper that was put in storage over 40 years ago and recently discovered by his daughter Marin has opened at Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau museum. "It is a very intimate portrayal of his thought process as an artist," Marin Hopper said. "I felt that I missed him very much and I was very happy that I could have this show to have an ongoing dialogue with him." [AP]

French Minister Borrows Orsay Museum Paintings: France's Foregin Minister Laurent Fabius recently had nine paintings from the Musée d'Orsay installed in the Foreign Ministry's offices at a cost of €85,000 ($110,000) in public funds — for installation, a security system, and exhibition pamphlet — even though the intimate show will only be accessible to the public for two days out of its three-month run. Among the costly trove are a pair of portraits by Auguste Renoir and the eight-and-a-half foot tall John Singer Sargent "La Carmencita" (ca. 1890). [Figaro]

Robert Indiana's Paris Blockbuster Canceled: A major retrospective of Robert Indiana's paintings scheduled to open this fall at Paris's Grand Palais has been canceled after a major foreign loaner dropped out. Planned to run from November 21 through February 13, 2013, and feature some 75 works from public and private collections in Europe and the U.S., the exhibition was called off after the donor backed out citing "a difficult economic climate." [Libération]

Street Artist Pranks Downtown L.A.: The street artist Wild Life threw visitors to Downtown Los Angeles for a loop on earlier this week by installing official-looking placards claiming that generic features of the cityscape were actually the work of major artists, from a row of palm trees allegedly installed by Chris Burden, to a dumpster by Andy Warhol. The series of interventions, dubbed "Art Appears" and adorned with forged signatures of L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and L.A. MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch. [L.A.Times]

New York's African Burial Ground Monument to Reopen: The monument is located at the burial ground where over 400 remains were discovered, and remembers the thousands of African-Americans buried in the Lower Manhattan area that are lost beneath the concrete and steel. A temporary memorial was opened on September 18 for visiting by officials with the United Nations, while the renovated memorial will reopen in early October. [Epoch Times]

Space Shuttle Endeavour Takes Off for L.A. Museum: The celebrated shuttle left Cape Canaveral on the back of a 747 jet heading west on its journey to California, where it will become part of an exhibition at the California Science Centre in Los Angeles. New York City recently received a space shuttle of its own, the Enterprise, now housed at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, but unlike that vessel, Endeavour actually journeyed beyond the atmosphere, completing 25 missions as a replacement for the Challenger after it exploded in 1986. Other retired NASA shuttles include the the Discovery at the Smithsonian, and the Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex. [Guardian]


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