Rolling news: 20–26 January 2020

Art Fund launches campaign to save Jarman cottage, Louvre reopens after protestors force closure...

Michael Craig-Martin, Tacita Dean and Tilda Swinton.  © David Levene

The British Museum will help return a stolen sculpture to Afghanistan after it goes on temporary display in the UK. The limestone sculpture depicting a bull dates to around the 2nd century AD and was initially excavated in the 1950s by a french archaeological team, before going into the collection of the National Museum of Afghanistan where it was stolen. The Art Loss Register reported it to the Art and Antiques Unit of the Metropolitan Police after it was spotted on an online auction site last year. The British Museum then helped confirm the status of the sculpture as a stolen artefact. Fahim Rahimi, director the the National Museum of Afghanistan said, 'We thank the British Museum for their cooperation with us on this regard. As the result of our cooperation many lost objects from Afghanistan have been recovered in the UK and I hope that not only customs, but also museums and other private collections, will continue to help us return objects from Afghanistan in this way'.

Leading figures from the creative industries Tilda Swinton, Michael Craig-Martin, and Wolfgang Tillmans launched a £3.5m campaign with Art Fund to help save Prospect Cottage, the home of late filmmaker and artist Derek Jarman. The cottage in Dungeness, Kent, is at risk of being sold privately, which would mean the potential loss of Jarman's legacy. In addition to grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, the Linbury Trust, and private donations that have already taken the campaign half way towards its target, artists such as Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, and Isaac Julien have created limited edition artworks to be sold through a crowdfunding initiative on Art Fund’s website.

The Louvre Museum in Paris reopened this weekend after activists, in protest of government plans to reform France's pension system, forced the museum to close on Friday. Approximately 100 protestors, some of whom were Louvre employees, gathered at the entrance, blocking entry for visitors and forcing the museum to close and offer refunds to people who had purchased tickets online. Although the museum is now open, the website still states that it 'may open later [than usual] and some exhibition rooms may remain closed.'

In 2019, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) dedicated its entire programme to Women's Histories, Feminist Histories, which also meant that all acquisitions in that year were directed to artists self-identified as women. MASP acquired 296 works by 21 contemporary artists, one collective, and many unknown women artists from the 19th century. Isabella Rjeille, curator of Feminist Histories: artist after 2000 and who led many of the acquisitions, stated: 'This is a historical step for the institution toward a more balanced representation of Art History in its collection, known for its major presence of white, male and European artists.'

FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art announced the details of its second edition, which will take place in 2021. The triennial will run form 17 July through 2 October 2021, taking place across three cities in Northeast Ohio. The title Oh, Gods of Dust and Rainbows is taken from Two Somewhat Different Epigrams (1957), a poem by author Langston Hughes, who moved to Cleveland in his childhood and maintained an artistic connection to the region. The exhibition will be organised and realised by a multidisciplinary artistic team working in close collaboration with FRONT International’s curatorial team.