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Morning Links: Wildenstein Family Edition

Daniel Wildenstein with his son Alec. COURTESY EL MUNDO

Daniel Wildenstein with his son Alec.

COURTESY EL MUNDO

BARELY LEGAL

Several members of the Wildenstein family will go on trial for tax fraud and money laundering charges, for shipping nearly $250 million worth of art from the U.S. to tax-free Switzerland after the death of their father, Daniel, in 2001. “The trial is expected to…explore the complex and opaque processes by which some in the international art market use foreign trusts, shell companies, Swiss tax havens, even anonymous loans to museums, to shelter assets.” [The New York Times]

Though collector Olga Lengyel survived Auschwitz, she may not have survived Fidel Castro; a U.S. institution is now claiming that Lengyel’s collection of works by artists such as Picasso, Degas, Goya, Van Gogh and Hans Memling disappeared from her home in Havana in 1959, after Castro took control of the country. [The Art Newspaper]

WINDS OF CHANGE

The Museum of Fine Arts has agreed to transfer the School of the Museum of Fine Arts to Tufts University, effective June 30, 2016. [The Boston Globe]

Abstract painter George Ortman died in his Manhattan apartment last Wednesday, at the age of 89. [Artforum]

U.C. Berkeley is about to open a $112 million art museum, film archive, and events space. [San Francisco Business Times]

The New York City Department of Sanitation’s controversial new garage-and-salt-shed work of art has opened on the north edge of TriBeCa, in Hudson Square. Wealthy residents may hate it, but Michael Kimmelman argues why “it makes sense, economically and in terms of public health and social justice, for disparate communities to share burdens like parking for sanitation trucks.” [The New York Times]

AFRICA

Congolese businessman Sindika Dokolo, one of the top art collectors in Africa, has recovered three 19th-century Angolan works that he plans to send back to the museum they were stolen from several decades ago. [The Art Newspaper]

Here’s an interview with Yvette Mutumba, one of the curators of the 2016 Armory Focus section, titled “African Perspectives—Spotlighting Artistic Practices of Global Contemporaries.” [Hyperallergic]

JOAN MIRÓ

Joan Miró’s grandson is curating a London show concerning his grandfather’s studio life. [The Art Newspaper]

MERRY CHRISTMAS

This is what Jesus may have looked like, according to the results recently released by a team of British and Israeli forensic anthropologists. [WVLT]

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