Critics blow up ‘insensitive’ proposal for Virginia Woolf statue overlooking the Thames + Other Stories

Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most important developments in the art world and the art market. Here is what you need to know on Monday, November 22.


Oxford publishes list of objects looted in Benin – Dan Hicks, curator at the Pitt Rivers Museum and author of Raw museums, led the University of Oxford’s new report, which lists 145 objects in its collections as known to have been looted in the 1897 raid by British troops on the Royal Palace in Benin, in present-day Nigeria ‘hui. The Pitt Rivers Museum expects the report to lead to repatriations to the African nation. It includes 100 looted objects that are in his collections, as well as 45 pieces on loan from private owners: 43 from the Dumas-Egerton Trust and two from Mark Walker. (BRONZER)

Teddy Roosevelt statue heads to North Dakota – The New York City Public Design Commission has finally decided what to do with the Teddy Roosevelt statue outside the American Museum of Natural History. The bronze artwork, which features the former president on horseback with a Native American and an African man by his side, will head to Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in Medora, North Dakota, on long-term loan. An advisory board comprising representatives of indigenous and black peoples will decide how best to recontextualize the statue. (NYT)

Critics seek to move Virginia Woolf statue – A proposed statue of the acclaimed 20th-century author is questioned on its intended location, overlooking the Thames, which critics have called “insensitive and reckless”. Woolf committed suicide by drowning in a river. The group supports the memorial statue but asks the authorities to find a different site where the silhouette does not face the water. (Guardian) (Independent)

Biden to block drilling near cultural sites in New Mexico – The Biden administration is seeking to block planned fossil fuel drilling within 10 miles of Chaco Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once a cultural center for the indigenous Pueblo people. The 30,000-acre site in New Mexico is home to some of the most significant native ruins in the United States. (The art journal)


Camille Henrot joins Hauser and Wirth РThe mega-gallery will represent the French multidisciplinary artist in collaboration with his long-time European dealers Kamel Mennour and K̦nig Galerie. (Press release)

Jude Law Cast in Lee Miller Biopic – The surreal wartime photographer has a biopic of her life set to begin production in 2022, starring Kate Winslet. Jude Law will play her husband, Roland Penrose, in the film. (The arts journal)

Swizz Beatz launches creative agency in Saudi Arabia – The music producer and collector is expanding his empire in Saudi Arabia with a global creative agency called Good Intentions. He will work with young architects, designers, artists, filmmakers, writers and other creators unknown to the region, where two-thirds of the population is under 35. (WWD)


Discover the installation Zany David Shrigley by Stephen Friedman – You can participate in the “Mayfair Tennis Ball Exchange”, which opened in London on November 18th. And if you bring an old tennis ball to the gallery, you can swap it with one of the new ones lining the space. (Instagram)

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