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GET ON YOUR HATS (BOWLER). A 1961 René Magritte the paint is set to hit the block at Sotheby’s London in March with an estimate of over £ 45million (around $ 60million), Villa Angelique reports in ARTnews. Backed by a guarantee, it is well positioned to beat the artist’s previous auction record of $ 26.8 million, set in 2018, also at Sotheby’s. Work is a classic, The empire of lights, showing a tranquil blue sky above a street and a darkened house, a lamppost shining in its center. It has been part of the same collection for 60 years. Although Magritte collector noted Wilbur ross is no longer the US Secretary of Commerce, it’s still a highlight for the artist, with a new biography released, Magritte: a life, through Alex Danchev with Sarah whitfield. In the New York Times, Deborah Solomon called it “accessible, factually reliable and. . . free from the inflated weight of so many recent biographies.
MEET AT HOME. that of New York Rubin Art Museum returns two wood carvings to Nepal after research determined they were stolen and smuggled out of the country, Zacharie Petit reports in the New York Times. Non-profit, the Nepalese heritage recovery campaign, first raised questions about century-old works. These are the latest in a series of items the group has been implicated in identifying as potentially stolen that museums have repatriated, Small notes, citing recent cases involving the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Art.
A miniature stable that Banksy secretly deposited in a village theme park in Great Yarmouth, England, last summer as part of his “Great British Spraycation” series will be sold at Anderson & Garland Auctioneers in Newcastle. Its owners said they were parting with it because they feared they could save it. A replica will take its place. [BBC News]
This is the curious case of connoisseurs of catfish. Four Instagram accounts have been exposed to claim to belong to contemporary Italian art collectors who do not exist. Lawyers are looking into the issue. [Artnet News]
Sigg Art Foundation, a new association founded by a Swiss collector Pierre Sigg and led by the curator Sacha Guedj-Cohen, will focus on funding artist residencies. The first is a program in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, of which 2,022 residents include Petra cortright and Louisa gagliardi. [ARTnews]
Conservative Kelli morgan, professor of practice and first director of conservation studies at Tufts University in Massachusetts, argues that museums need to be more engaged in the fight against race. “The reality is, we don’t teach critical race theory in the American education system at all,” she says. [The Art Newspaper]
The critic and curator Hilton als profiled director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, writing that “he is the poet par excellence of contemporary cinema of place and dislocation”, and that he “produces a cinema in which dreams and politics converge”. [The New Yorker]
the American Folk Art Museum in New York received his 11th painting by the great portrait painter Ammi phillips, who plied his trade during a trip to the northeastern United States in the 19th century. The gift – a depiction of a young boy dating from around 1815 – is from collectors Lucy and Mike Dantziger. [The Art Newspaper]
DIG IT. A badger allegedly unearthed a treasure trove of ancient Roman coins while searching for food in a cave in northwest Spain, which was later discovered by a local man who notified archaeologists, according to CNN. The more than 200 pieces date from the 3rd to the 5th century. “When we arrived, we found the hole that led to the badger’s nest, and the ground around it full of coins”, archaeologist Alfonso Fanjul noted. Someone finds this badger and gives it a treat! [CNN]