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Art Industry News: The British case of the Parthenon Marbles convinced no one at UNESCO + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily summary of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here’s what you need to know this Friday, May 27.


Unionization push continues at US museums – Some 200 workers at the American Museum of National History have decided to unionize, with 85% of votes in favor. The union will join Local 1559 of DC 37, New York’s largest union, which already represents 78 positions at the museum. On the opposite coast, staff members of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which opened last year, have also announced plans to form a union with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. municipalities. (Hollywood journalist, Hyperallergic)

What NFT Collectors Think About Dipping Value – The Washington Post checked in with true NFT believers amid a digital asset market slump. (An NFT of Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, bought for $2.9 million last year, resold for just $280 last month.) “Does it hurt? Of course,” said NFT collector Frank Chaparro. “You want what you have to ride, but think about all the things you like to have that really have no value but say something about yourself.” (Washington Post)

Great Britain Bungles Parthenon Marbles Mail – A senior British official has rejected his own government’s move to discuss the return of the Parthenon Marbles with Greek Culture Minister Lina Mendoni. Speaking at a UNESCO meeting in Paris, the British delegate said the British government had no power to determine the fate of the sculptures, shifting responsibility to the British Museum. Eighteen other countries participated in the discussion, all expressing their support for the Greek claim. The Venezuelan delegate called on Britain to stop this “game of ping pong”. (The arts journal)

The President of the Central Council of Jews speaks on Documenta – Joseph Schuster, president of the German Central Council of Jews, has spoken out about claims that the Documenta 15 program is anti-Semitic (a claim the organizers deny). Discussions on the matter were called off after a press leak that Schuster had raised his concerns with Culture Minister Claudia Roth. “Major cultural institutions and independent artists have a responsibility to ensure that anti-Semitism is outlawed even when it hides behind criticism from Israel,” Schuster said. “I expect this to be especially true for arts and cultural events that receive federal funding.” (Papule)


GCC Launches Sustainable Shipping Campaign – The Gallery Climate Coalition has launched a new campaign that offers industry goals for sustainable art shipping practices. By 2024, GCC requires freight companies to provide standardized emissions data so customers can make informed decisions. (Press release)

Studio Museum is creating a new curator position – Amber Esseiva has been named the inaugural curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem, where she will take on a number of roles, including advising on acquisitions and exhibitions. Esseiva is currently Curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. (Press release)

The Alice Walton Foundation donates $10 million – The Walmart heiress foundation has created a $10 million endowment for the Crystal Bridges Museum to help develop the next generation of art leaders. The museum partners with Spelman College and Fisk University to recruit interns from underrepresented populations within the arts leadership community. The donation will also fund the creation of a new administrative position dedicated to the internship program. (Press release)

FLAG appoints Jonathan Rider as new director – The FLAG Art Foundation established by Glenn Fuhrman has appointed Jonathan Rider, who previously served as artistic director, to lead the New York arts organization. He will be the second director in FLAG’s nearly 15-year history, succeeding Stephanie Roach, who stepped down in 2021. (Press release)


Wallace Foundation names first recipients of $100 million initiative – Eighteen American arts organizations working with or representing communities of color will participate in a new five-year initiative designed to promote equity in the arts. Each project will receive funding between $900,000 and $3.75 million. Selected organizations include the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico and the Laundromat Project in Brooklyn, New York. (Press release)

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