Your weekly 5 art world updates:
Welcome back to the office on this splendid 10th of July! This afternoon we are taking you on a whirlwind tour of Europe, starting the week off in Spain with an update on an update.
Remember how last week we informed you about the fact that Salvador Dalí’s body was ordered by a Spanish court to be exhumed, following a lengthy paternity lawsuit? Well, the Dalí foundation has just announced that they will be appealing the decision, so stay tuned for more…
Salvador Dalí's crypte in Figueres, ES.
National Museum of Antiquities, Leiden
Moving back up North to Leiden, where the Rijksmuseum of Oudheden (ROM; National Museum of Antiquities) has just acquired the iconic Sword of Ommerschans which they have had their eyes on for over 100 (!?) years. Before being auctioned off at Christie’s last week, the over 3300 year old sword was kept in a German private collection. It is one of six extremely rare ritual swords found in England, France and the Netherlands that were supposedly casted by the same artist. Luc Amkreutz, curator at the RMO, has described it as the most important icon of the entire bronze age, making it an invaluable piece and a remarkable addition to the museum’s collection.
The Sword of Ommeschans, ca. 1500-1350 b.c.
Continuing in London, where £3 million worth of jewellery was stolen from the Swiss company Boghossain at the Masterpiece fair last week. The theft is thought to have taken place after closing hours on the final day even though security was very tight, including CCTV camera’s and bag checks. The Metropolitan Police are of course, taking the case very seriously.
The South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, home to the Masterpiece fair.
Homonculus Ioxodontus and Russia
In other news, the Russians appear to be completely under the spell of the Homunculus loxodontus. This statue of a slumping creature by Dutch artist Margriet van Breevoort was nicknamed ‘Zjdoen’, meaning ‘the waiting one’. After being photoshopped into several images, Zjdoen became such an internet hype that a Russian media company decided to buy the rights to further use. Calling it a ‘new national symbol’, the creature apparently epitomizes the Russian mentality in which, following the Soviet days, waiting has become a part of life.
Margriet van Breevoort, photoshopped version of the Homunculus loxodontus
Lastly, a selection from the Gurlitt collection is finally arriving at the Kunstmuseum Bern this week. Almost four years after its discovery and following intensive research, 200 pieces with a known provenance (out of 1500) will be exhibited as of November 2nd under the header ‘Degenerated Art’. The Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn will simultaneously display another 250 pieces that are believed to have been looted from private collections once belonging to Jewish art dealers.
The Kunstmuseum in Bern.