Christie's Heads to India, Fake Art Fiasco Ends China Museum, and More

Christie's Heads to India, Fake Art Fiasco Ends China Museum, and More
Christie's CEO Steven Murphy
(Photo: Clint Spaulding/

Christie’s Plans Auction in India: In a move that further signals the growing importance of the Indian art market, Christie’s has announced it will hold its first auction in the country in December. "We are delighted to announce that we will hold auctions in India, allowing Indian collectors domestic access to works of art, international collectors access to the very best of Indian art, and opening channels to our global network and specialist expertise," Steven P. Murphy, chief executive officer of Christie's, said in a statement. [India Times]

China Shutters Museum Over Fake Exhibits: A museum in China's Hebei province owned by local Communist Party leader Wang Zongquan that cost $88 million to build has been shut down by Chinese authorities after the alleged artifacts in many of its 12 exhibition halls — including a supposed Qing dynasty vase painted with neon green cartoon animals — were revealed to be inauthentic. The institution had "no qualification to be a museum as its collections are a fake," an official in the region told the Global Times. The museum's founders, who have been accused of squandering village funds by funneling off revenue from land sales, are being investigated. [AFP]

Venice Barrier Builders Arrested: Beginning with an early morning raid on July 12, seven people have been arrested for fraud and contract rigging in the construction of Venice's flood barrier, among them the 81-year-old former president of the Consorzio Venezia Nuova (the group charged with executing the city's flood-protection master plan, known as Mose), Giovanni Mazzacurati, who retired late last month citing health problems. The Mose project, whose financial management has been under investigation since 2011, began in 2003 and is scheduled for its first trial run in the fall — it is expected to come in €1 billion over budget, at €6.5 billion, when it is completed in 2016. [TAN]

Anti-U.S. Light Art Protest in Berlin: German police are investigating artist Oliver Bienkowski for "insulting organs and representatives of foreign countries" after he projected the phrase "United Stasi of America" onto the exterior of the U.S. embassy in Berlin on Sunday night. [Der Spiegel]

Cooper Union Occupation Over: Cooper Union students have ended their nine-week occupation of president Jamshed Bharucha's office after reaching an agreement with administration that "they be granted amnesty for violations of the school's code of conduct; that a working group be formed to explore alternatives to charging tuition; that students be represented on the board of trustees; and that a 'community commons' be designated as a student center." [AiA]

– Hong Kong's forthcoming M+ museum has hired Doryun Chong, currently a curator at the Museum of Modern Art, to be its chief curator, a job he'll start in September — though the institution isn't due to open till 2017. [WSJ]

Rotterdam Art Thieves to Face Trial: While the seven masterpiece paintings stolen from the Kunsthal Rotterdam are still missing, the six Romanians suspected of the crime are set to face a trial for the 'theft of the century' at a to-be-determined date. [AFP]

– The National Museum of Finland has denied a request from the Iraqi government to return six objects that were gifted to the Finnish president Urho Kekkonen by an Iraqi delegation in 1977. [TAN]

– Veteran dealer Marian Goodman, who runs spaces in Paris and Manhattan, is hunting for a space in London's Mayfair district, which has attracted an increasingly large contingent of international galleries — include Pace, Gagosian, David Zwirner, and Hauser & Wirth — in the last several years. [NYT]


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