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THE DIPLOMATS. The British Museum and Greece have been in talks since last year about the possible return of the so-called Elgin Marbles, aka the Parthenon Marbles, according to a report in the Athens paper Ta Nea that has been picked up by BBC News, the Associated Press, and other outlets. Ta Nea says that negotiations are at an “advanced stage.” Greece is not commenting. While declining to address the story, the London institution said that “we are seeking new positive, long-term partnerships with countries and communities around the world, and that of course includes Greece.” British law currently bars the museum from deaccessioning works in its collection. For more on the long-running dispute on the marbles, ARTnews has a primer.
STREET CRIME. Officials in Ukraine said that they had detained eight people for allegedly trying to make off with a Banksy painting on the side of a building in the town of Hostomel, on the edge of Kyiv, the Guardian reports. While the suspects cut the work—a depiction of a person in a gas mask brandishing a fire extinguisher—from the structure, it has not been damaged. BBC News reports that Oleksiy Kuleba, the region’s governor, said in a social media post, “We’ll do everything to preserve these works of street art as a symbol of our victory.” A number of pieces by the shadowy street artist appeared in Ukraine last month; ARTnews has more on that guerrilla project.
After years in obscurity, the 17th-century Dutch painter Michaelina Wautier is “having something of a moment,” Milton Esterow writes, with a show of her work at the MFA Boston and her market ascendent. Though she was celebrated during her life, even some experts in Netherlandish art were not aware of her until recently. [The New York Times]
Law enforcement officials seized antiquities from philanthropist Shelby White on two occasions, last year and this year, according to search warrants, and they have been returned to Italy and Turkey. White, a Met trustee, declined to comment. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, which was involved in the action, declined to comment, citing an ongoing investigation. [The Art Newspaper]
The Moravian Museum in Brno in the Czech Republic is returning a Beethoven manuscript (the fourth movement of his String Quartet in B-flat Major, Op. 130) that was looted by the Nazis from a family that fled Czechoslovakia during World War II. A new restitution law made the move possible, the museum said. [The Associated Press]
An exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie looks at how class shapes contemporary art, with wall labels highlighting facts like how artists received funding for their work and the professions of their parents. “We really wanted to give more information on the circumstances that enabled the work to be,” one of its co-curators, Anna Schapiro, said. [The New York Times]
The Italian designer, architect, curator, and all-around polymath Pierluigi Cerri, who created revered furniture, graphics, and exhibitions, has died at 83. His lengthy CV included conceiving the visual identities for the 1976 Venice Biennale and Milan’s Salone del Mobile fair. [Wallpaper]
ARTISTS IN PROFILE.Nan Goldin, the subject of the acclaimed Laura Poitras–directed documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is in the Guardian. Nalini Malani, who has a show up at the Art Gallery of South Australia, is in the Guardian, too, remarking that Presidents Trump and Bolsonaro are “totally phallic people.” William Kentridge, with an exhibition now at the Broad in Los Angeles, is in the Los Angeles Times. And Antrei Hartikainen, an inventive woodworker, is in the New York Times.
THEIR BETTER HALVES. What is it like to have a boyfriend or husband who is crazy about NFTs? Nylon asked three women , who shared tales about bearing witness to that obsession, like one guy missing bachelor-party festivities to queue digitally for a coveted token. One of the women, who voiced some interest in the field, nevertheless proposed that “now that we’re planning a wedding, I don’t think a Space Lion is really the most appropriate thing to be spending a couple grand on.” [Nylon]