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Denver Art Museum to Return Antiquities to Cambodia, Vienna’s Art Goes on OnlyFans, and More—Morning Links for October 18, 2021

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The Headlines

FOLLOWING THE PAPER TRAIL. The Denver Art Museum will return to Cambodia four antiquities that are linked to Douglas Latchford, the dealer accused of trafficking in looted material, the Washington Post and the Colorado Sun report. Latchford was indicted on trafficking charges in 2019, but died in 2020 before standing trial. His activities have come under renewed scrutiny during the Pandora Papers investigations, which identified 10 museums holding works that were once in his possession. In other DAM news, it is unveiling a $150 million-plus renovation of its campus, and the Sun, the Denver Post, and Rocky Mountain PBS have previews.

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A MONDAY ARTIST BLOTTER. (They have been busy!) In San Francisco, Judy Chicago offered up a sculpture of smoke and pyrotechnics to a crowd of around 8,000, Datebook reports. (Here’s an ARTnews guide to Chicago.) To draw attention to climate change, Spencer Tunick shot hundreds of nude models near the Dead Sea in Israel, and the AFP has the story. Basil Watson has been selected to create a monument to the Windrush generation at Waterloo Station in London, per BBC NewsCarlo Benvenuto photographed his Milan home for DomusDarren Bader spoke with Flaunt about his latest show, at the Little House in Los Angeles. And Gilbert & George went to lunch with the Observer Food Monthly to discuss their goings-on and general worldview. “The greatest English invention is cooked breakfast,” Gilbert said.



The Digest

Singaporean artist Sarkasi Said, who used batik techniques to create a wide-ranging body of contemporary art, died last week at 81. Referring to Said as the “Baron of Batik,” the city-state’s president, Halimah Yacob, said he “will be remembered for his passion and determination in pursuing his craft.” [The Straits Times]

Japanese billionaire and ARTnews Top 200 Collector Yusaku Maezawa has been training for his 12-day trip to space in December, and has compiled a list of 100 things he plans to do while orbiting the earth, including playing badminton with another crew member. [Associated Press/Courthouse News]

In his weekly column on the media, Ben Smith looks at the German heavyweight Axel Springer, whose chief executive, Mathias Döpfner, “owns one of Germany’s leading collections of female nude paintings.” Döpfner is also known for throwing formidable holiday parties; one featured an impressive 512 disco balls. [The New York Times]

Frieze has tapped Patrick Lee, the executive director of Seoul’s Gallery Hyundai, to be the director of its new fair in the South Korean capital. The event is set to open next September in a partnership with the Korea International Art Fair. Both Frieze London and KIAF ran last week (and round-ups are available through those links). [The Art Newspaper]

A golf resort in Terlingua, Texas, is now home to a statue of Robert E. Lee that Dallas removed from view in 2017 and offered at auction (where it sold for some $1.4 million). The venue, which is owned by billionaire pipeline kingpin Kelcy Warren, received it as a donation in 2019. [Houston Chronicle]

In Cardiff, Wales, a municipal cleaning crew erased a series of street-art murals painted by emerging artists to celebrate underrepresented women. The city said the “devastating error” was a result of a miscommunication, and that it is working to find a way to rectify the situation. [The Guardian]

The Kicker

THE NAKED TRUTH. In one of the more imaginative marketing efforts in recent memory, Vienna’s tourism board has started an account on the adults-only site OnlyFans to showcase nude artworks in the city, CNN reports. The move is a response to museums in the Austrian capital having social-media companies censor works they were trying to post in recent years:  Facebook apparently nixed a Venus of Willendorf from the Natural History Museum and TikTok blocked the Albertina’s account after it showed Nobuyoshi Araki photos. A rep for the tourism board told the Guardian that “we want to stand up for our values and our beliefs,” and the board issued a statement saying that “Vienna and its art institutions are among the casualties” of a “new wave of prudishness” coming from social-media firms.

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