Rolling news: 25 November – 1 December

Smuggled antiques, prize winners, Venice visitor numbers...

Centre Pompidou-Metz. Photo: Christophe Goessen.

An archaeologist is accusing Christie’s for not carrying out their due diligence regarding the sale of a first-century marble statue of Eros. Dr Christos Tsirogiannis, a leading researcher in the field of smuggled antiques, claims the statue is linked to notorious antiquities dealers Robin Symes and Christo Michaelides. According to Dr Tsirogiannis, the statue appears in four photographs of the pair’s collection that was confiscated by Greek and Italian authorities. Christie’s responded to Tsirogiannis allegations, saying: ‘Following extensive research, we have found no grounds under which title to sell can be questioned’. As of now, the marble is still listed, going on auction on 4 December 2019.

Expo Chicago, the city’s contemporary art fair, named its curators for 2020. Marcella Beccaria who is chief curator and curator of collections at Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin, will be programme curator, and Humberto Moro, deputy director and senior curator at Mexico City’s Museo Tamayo will curate the exposure section, which showcases artists from galleries ten years and younger.

Cecilia Vicuña is this year’s winner of the Premio Velázquez de Artes Plásticas, a €100,000 annual art prize presented by the Spanish ministry of culture to artists based in Spain or belonging to the Ibero-American community. Vicuña was recognised for her ‘work as a poet, visual artist and activist’. Recently Vicuña was also shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize. 

Artist Hetain Patel has been awarded the Film London Jarman Award. The award, now in its twelfth year, gives £10,000 to UK-based artist filmmakers whose work ‘celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation.’ This year marks the 25th anniversary of Derek Jarman’s death and so for the first time, Patel’s prize-winning work will be shown together with the work of five other shortlisted artists (Cécile B. Evans, Beatrice Gibson, Mikhail Karikis, Imran Perretta and Rehana Zaman) at the Whitechapel Gallery from 26 November until 8 December.

Serge Lasvignes, chairman of the board of the Centre Pompidou-Metz has appointed Chiara Parisi director of the museum. Beginning 2 December 2019, Chiara Parisi will succeed Emma Lavigne, who is the new director of the Palais de Tokyo. 

The Venice Biennale officially closed on Sunday – though many of the pavilions around the city, including Wales and Scotland's presentations, were forced to do so a few days early due to flooding –and the organisers have estimated 593,616 paying punters joined the the 24,762 preview attendants in seeing Ralph Rugoff's show. Visitors under 26 years of age were 31 percent of the total.

Seoul Mediacity Biennale 2020 has announced the title for its upcoming edition along with other key details. One Escape at a Time will be in venues across the city, including Seoul’s Museum of Art (SeMA), from 8 September until 22 November 2020. There will also be a pre-biennale screening programme at Seoul Cinema this year from 6 December until 8 December.

To keep up to date on the latest appointments, open calls, awards, scandals and the rest, keep following our rolling news...