Headlines: Doig, the Tate, and Italy
1) Peter Doig Proves he Didn't Paint This Desert Scene
Peter Doig has come out successful in the strange court battle that we reported on a few weeks ago. A federal judge ruled in Doig’s favor, deciding definitively that Doig did not paint the desert scene – admittedly very similar in style to Doig’s work – that was at the centre of the case. Former Canadian corrections officer Robert Fletcher claimed that he had personally witness Doig creating the work while incarcerated for LSD use in the 70s. Fletcher had hoped to sell the work for a significant profit, but needed Doig’s authentication.
2) Assistant Curator Positions at Tate Modern Offer Shockingly Low Pay
Following the June opening of the new expansion of the Tate Modern in London, job openings for curators show a depressing statistic – that curators for the prestigious museum are more than a little underpaid. According to three job listings posted in August, an assistant curator at the new Tate Modern would pull in around $32,200 USD annually. With the average apartment in London renting for just over $2,000 USD a month, such a salary would leave the potential curator precious little for other necessities. In comparison, the Tate director’s current salary is over $218,000 USD.
3) Museums in Italy to Donate Proceeds to Earthquake Relief
In light of the recent 6.2-magnitude earthquake that devastated the central part of Italy, leaving over 200 dead and many more injured, the nation’s museums are opting to donate all proceeds from their August 28th ticket sales to earthquake rescue efforts. Italy’s culture minister Dario Franceschini is urging Italians to take this Sunday to go to a museum in order to help rescue efforts as well as appreciate these cultural institutions. According to culture officials in Turin, utilizing museum proceeds to help also emphasizes the damage done to cultural artifacts by the quake, and assures citizens of the nation’s determination to rebuild.
4) Two Men Arrested for Attempted Theft of a Banksy Copycat Work
In a strange case of art theft, two men in Britain have been arrested for attempting to steal a copy of a Banksy work. The copy, by street artist Robsci, is an homage to a 2014 work by Banksy called Art Buff. Art Buff had previously been the target of controversy after the owners of an arcade removed it from the wall where it had been painted, using chisels, and sent it to an art gallery in the United States. In the previous case, the judge ruled that it should be returned to its original place. Two men were spotted on the morning of August 21st trying to lift the new piece which had been painted on a particleboard sheet attached to an abandoned home.
5) Beloved Banksy Mural Goes Missing in Renovations
On a related note, a popular Banksy work painted on the side of a house in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was recently stripped away – much to the dismay of locals and officials. The work, entitled Spy Booth, was a phone book with three men in trench coats with spy equipment painted on the surrounding wall. The booth was beloved by locals and tourists alike, and proved a popular attraction in the two years that it was there. According to the leader of the Cheltenham borough council, the artwork was protected by a listing, and while the home was undergoing renovations for plasterwork, no one seems certain what became of the mural.