Week in Review: Gallerists Fined $15M for Art Scam, and Kremlin Museum Investigates Stolen Malevich

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Week in Review is a weekly collection of news, developments, and stirrings in the art world. Subscribe to receive these posts as a weekly newsletter.

Diego Velásquez, “Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus” (via Wikimedia Commons)

The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston has officially decided that a painting once labeled, “in the style of Diego Velázquez,” is in fact an authentic work of art by the Spanish painter. The painting, “Kitchen Maid” (~1620), bears a striking resemblance to two authenticated works by Velásquez, “Kitchen Scene,” owned by the Art Institute of Chicago, and “Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus,” which belongs to the National Gallery of Dublin. Zahira Bomford, the museum’s chief paintings conservator and a Velásquez specialist, stripped away layers of wax, resin, and repainting to perform numerous studies on the painting, which she and other experts have now confirmed as an authentic Velásquez. This is now the first work of art by a Spanish master owned by the Houston museum. [Chron]

Married gallery owners in Finland were jailed and ordered to pay €13 million (~$15 million) for selling hundreds of counterfeit artworks over the past 5 years. The couple, Kati Marjatta Karkkiainen and Reijo Pollari, were found guilty of 30 charges of aggravated fraud. They will respectively serve four and five years in prison. An additional eight people were sentenced in the fraud, for up to three years in jail each. [AFP]

A seller of a painting purported to be by Parmigianino, Lionel Saint Donnat de Pourrières, was ordered by a New York federal court to pay Sotheby’s over $1.2 million after the work was discovered to be a “modern forgery.” He was ordered to pay Sotheby’s $842,500 (the amount the auction house refunded the buyer in the 2012 sale), $158,090 in interest, and cover the price of the forensic inspection and the auction house’s legal fees. [TAN]

Kasimir Malevich, “Samovar” (1913) (via Wikimedia Commons)

The Kremlin Museum in Rostov, Russia, says a painting by Kasimir Malevich, titled “Samovar” (1913), was reportedly stolen from the Rostov Kremlin Museum in the late 1950s or early 1960s. Earlier this year, the museum realized its version of the painting was, in fact, a forgery. The painting currently hangs at the Centre Pompidou as part of the exhibition Cubism, and is on loan from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. [Journal des Arts]

The Italian government will introduce stricter penalties on cultural heritage trafficking, closely monitoring the sales of Italian art and antiquities. The country’s populist government says it will soon ratify the Nicosia convention, an international agreement establishing penalties for offenses such as unlawful excavation, importation, exportation, illegal acquisition, and sale of cultural artifacts. In the past two years, 16 precious art and archaeological artifacts were repatriated to Italy after being discovered in the US. [Telegraph]

Kerry James Marshall, “Knowledge and Wonder” (1995), Acrylic and paper collage on canvas, 114 x 275 in. Estimate: $10,000,000-15,000,000. Offered in the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 15 November at Christie’s in New York (Courtesy Christies © Kerry James Marshall)

Kerry James Marshall says he will no longer be making public art, after the city of Chicago nearly sold his painting “Knowledge and Wonder” at auction with Christie’s. Marshall painted the artwork for the Legler Branch public library on the West Side of Chicago, but to renovate the library, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he planned to sell the work, which was estimated at around $10 million. After Marshall voiced his discontent with the sale — saying, “It just seemed like a way of exploiting the work of artists in the city for short-term gain in a really shortsighted kind of way. And so I made a decision at that time I would never do another public work” — Emanuel announced the city had canceled the sale. However, Marshall’s decision was final. “There’s too many contingencies that go with public art, and there are more compromises than I think I’m going to be willing to make from here on out,” the artist affirmed. [Chicago Tribune]

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Three women at a Russian museum mistakenly damaged a work by Salvador Dalí in a selfie-gone-wrong incident. On their visit to the International Arts Center Main Avenue in Yekaterinburg, Russia, the group accidentally toppled a temporary wall, shattering the glass of two framed works, one by Dalí and another by Francisco Goya. The Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs says the city will not open a criminal case against the women. The whole scene went down on security footage — watch the video above. [CNN]

After the devastating Venice flooding last week, two tapestries by Joan Miró sustained significant saltwater damage. However, the artworks, worth a combined €1 million (~$1.1 million), were restored in record time. The tapestries, from 1975 and 1985, were shipped to the Scassa tapestry factory in northwestern Italy for emergency restoration by soaking them in limestone-purified water infused with natural herbs and rinsing every hour. The miraculous restoration happened quickly enough to ship them back, just in time for an exhibition at the Palazzo Zaguri in Venice. [ArtNet]

The Rosetta Stone (via Wikimedia Commons)

Egypt is requesting the Rosetta Stone, currently housed in the British Museum, be repatriated to its place of origin. The director of Egypt’s national museum, Dr. Tarek Tawfik, says the 196 BCE artifact at the British Museum should be replaced with a VR replica. It was stolen over 200 years ago by Napoleon’s army in the 18th century and subsequently shipped to England. [Evening Standard]

Rare ninth-century Christian manuscripts have been located in the US after they were taken from a monastery in Greece more than a century ago. Eight of the manuscripts are now included in the library collections of Princeton University, Duke University, and the Morgan Library in New York City. But representatives of the Greek Orthodox Church have launched a legal battle to return them to the Kosinitza Monastery, one of the oldest and most important Orthodox Christian sanctuaries. [Pappas Post]

The Grand Egyptian Museum, located near the Pyramids of Giza, has been postponed once again. The Egyptian government hopes the project, which was announced in 1992 and originally intended to open in 2012, will open by 2020. [TAN]

The Qatar National Museum, designed by Jean Nouvel, will open on March 28, 2019. The 430,000-square-foot includes a historic palace and 11 galleries. [via email announcement]

Transactions:

Giovani Giacometti, "Bagnanti (Alberto and Diego)" (1919), oil on canvas, 41 1/16 x 37 13/16 inches (image courtesy the Barrett Collection)
Giovani Giacometti, “Bagnanti (Alberto and Diego)” (1919), oil on canvas, 41 1/16 x 37 13/16 inches (image courtesy the Barrett Collection)

The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) has received the Barrett Collection, a gift of over 400 works of Swiss art. The Barrett Collection will be housed in a new Barrett Museum to be built on campus. [via email announcement]

More News from This Week:

  • Artists Accuse DC Arts Commission of Censuring Free Speech for Grant Money
  • Artist Covertly Hangs #MeToo-Inspired Wall Labels at the Met Museum
  • Rethinking Crime Photography and the Rights of Nonviolent Offenders
  • Anti-BP Protesters Sip Oily Champagne in Satirical Performance at the British Museum
  • Ahead of Midterm Elections, Wall Street’s “Fearless Girl” Dons a Bulletproof Vest
  • Who is Franck Riester, France’s New Culture Minister?
  • Major Art Fair Bans Dealers and Auction Experts from Vetting Committees
  • Why the Victoria & Albert Museum Is Expanding to East London and Beyond
  • A Parade of Feminist Art Centered On Voting
  • After $31 Million Sale of 3,000-Year-Old Assyrian Relief, Experts and Artists Denounce Christie’s
  • Publishers Say They Were Harassed by Airport TSA Returning from a New York Art Book Fair

The post Week in Review: Gallerists Fined $15M for Art Scam, and Kremlin Museum Investigates Stolen Malevich appeared first on Hyperallergic.

Original source: https://hyperallergic.com/469984/week-in-review-gallerists-fined-15m-for-art-scam-and-kremlin-museum-investigates-stolen-malevich/

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