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THE CLIMATE TALKS BEGIN. World leaders are converging on Glasgow, Scotland, for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, aka COP26, and artists are participating in various ways. A text piece by Jenny Holzer that quotes activist Greta Thunberg will be projected in the city, the National reports; street murals made by children about climate change have gone up around the United Kingdom, BBC News relays; and the Scotsman has a roundup of climate-related local art shows. The visiting dignitaries dined at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on Monday night, per Glasgow Live, and musician Brian Eno will host a panel next week about how artists can respond to the climate emergency. Artists do not seem to be too happy about how leaders have been responding. “The politicians have not the courage to face the facts,” Romuald Hazoumè told Africanews. “Personally, I don’t think [politicians] can achieve a solution to the climate crisis,” Olafur Eliasson told the Art Newspaper. And Ai Weiwei told Sky News that it is “probably is too late and most likely nothing will change,” arguing that “we cannot depend on one meeting.”
BURIED TREASURER. Egypt said that archaeologists have found the tomb of Batah-M-Woya, chief treasurer to Ramses II, aka Ramses the Great, who ruled for two-thirds of a century, from 1279 to 1213 BCE, CNN reports. The tomb was found in the necropolis of Saqqara—a site of many recent archaeological discoveries, south of Cairo. In other archaeology news, researchers at Chichén Itzá in Mexico have identified a canoe that may have been used by the Maya 1,000 years ago, Smithsonian Magazine reports, and Palestinian officials unveiled a massive 8th-century mosaic in Jericho after five years of restorations, Al Jazeera reports. Speaking of canoes, a 1990 Peter Doig painting depicting that trusty water vessel will be offered later this month at Christie’s in New York with an estimate in excess of $35 million. ARTnews has the details.
After some 18 months in custody, following his arrest on the Pacific island of Vanuatu, art dealer Inigo Philbrick has filed paperwork indicating that he will plead guilty to federal charges in New York on Wednesday. Philbrick has been accused of bilking millions from collectors by selling art he did not own and other alleged fraudulent practices. [Artnet News]
Last week, a staffer at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg broke the nose of a young man who had allegedly entered through an exit, in violation of Covid rules. The aftermath of the incident was shared on Instagram by influencer Anastasia Mironova, who was visiting the storied institution with him. [The Art Newspaper]
Iranian artist Alireza Shojaian has painted a work protesting Iran’s treatment of L.G.B.T.Q. people on a car that once belonged to Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. The project’s backing by some conservatives has generated controversy. [The New York Times]
Photographer Frank Herfort has taken photographs of more than 770 Soviet-era metro stations in 19 cities and is soon publishing a book of his work. He was inspired by “the mystique, the immensity, the pervading sense of colossal authority” of the underground system, he writes. [The New York Times]
Good news for fans of painter George Bellows! A George Bellows Center is opening at the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio this week, with a gallery and study space dedicated to the Ashcan artist, who was born in the city in 1882 and played baseball at Ohio State University. [The Columbus Dispatch]
Dealer Nicola Vassell spoke with Michella Ore about the path that led her to open her eponymous gallery earlier this year in Chelsea amid, as Vassell put it, “the worst sort of crisis our generation has ever faced.” [Penta/Barron’s]
FAIR FARE. The founders of Frieze, Amanda Sharp and Matthew Slotover, have gotten into the restaurant business, with a new London boîte called Toklas (after Alice B.) that is helmed by chef Martyn Lyons. The Financial Times paid it a visit. “Most extraordinary was the fish,” reporter Ajesh Patalay writes. How does the food business compare to the art-fair business? “This is much easier,” Slotover said. “Of course, we’re a bit terrified too.” [Financial Times]