Art Industry News: Now Russell Crowe has posted illegal images of the Sistine Chapel on Instagram to brag about his ‘special privilege’ and other stories

Art Industry News is a daily round-up of the most momentous developments in the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Friday, July 22nd.


Jewish Collective Responds to Anti-Semitism Rumors at Documenta Casa do Povo, a Brazilian Jewish arts organization, said it was never formally invited to participate in documenta, contradicting an article published in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung suggesting that the collective was invited and then not invited because of the anti-Semitism controversy. The group said they had had initial talks about attending but hadn’t gone anywhere because of the pandemic. (e flux)

Indigenous groups urge Vatican to return items – Indigenous groups from Canada said the cultural treasures housed in the Vatican’s Anima Mundi Ethnological Museum should be returned ahead of Pope Francis’ trip to the country. “These pieces that are ours should come home,” said Cassidy Caron, president of the Metis National Council. The Vatican said the artifacts were gifts to Pope Pius XI. in celebration of the global reach of the Church. Pope Francis is expected to land in Canada on July 24. (AP)

Russell Crowe gets a private tour of the Sistine Chapel – Celebrities… they’re just like us, except they get private tours of the Sistine Chapel and are allowed to take pictures when the rest of the public isn’t allowed to. “I’m not sure there is any special privilege in the world than to hold the key to the Sistine Chapel and quietly witness its glory,” Crowe wrote on Twitter. Fans were quick to question why the Vatican sees the stars as being so much closer in the sky – Jason Momoa had a similar reception earlier this year. About his journey through “rooms, perspectives and parts of the collection that you don’t get to see as a normal tourist,” Crowe said that during the special visit to the museum, he and his mother felt his late father’s presence. (The art newspaper, Hi)

The Armory Show sheds light on the public monument debate – Curated by Tobias Ostrander, Tate Curator of Latin American Art, the Armory Show platform’s Large-Scale Art Projects section focuses on the role of public monuments and the growing demand to dismantle sculptures commemorating troubled histories. The 12 works by artists such as Iván Argote and Ebony G. Patterson will be placed in the center of the fair. (TAN)

movers & shakers

The Met Acquires Works From The Howard Hodgkin Collection – The Metropolitan Museum of Art has acquired a selection of works from the late artist’s Indian art holdings after the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford rejected the entire collection amid fears some of the works may have been trafficked. The Met says it has only acquired the 80 works with proven provenance, but it will show the entire collection of 122 works in an exhibition planned for 2024. (TAN)

MFA Boston receives a print windfall – The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston acquired the collection of more than 2,000 modern and contemporary prints assembled by the late Harvard professor Richard E. Caves. “Although his calling was economics, Dick’s secret desire was to become a print curator,” said Patrick Murphy, associate curator of prints and drawings. The treasure trove focuses equally on British artists and minimalism. (press release)

Germany’s Minister of Education says museums should be pioneers when it comes to saving energy – The government organized an energy management workshop for German cultural institutions on Tuesday to prepare them for rising energy prices and tight gas reserves. “The cultural industry should and must make its contribution to saving energy, also with a view to climate change,” said Minister of Culture Claudia Roth. (press release)


Giant gorilla installation at Bristol Zoo – A four-tonne interactive gorilla sculpture called Wilder, designed by theater company Bakehouse Factory, has been installed at Bristol Zoo to mark the final weeks before the zoo closes on September 3. The 23ft gorilla is made from sustainable wood donated by Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire. (evening standard)

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