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COLLECTOR CLIPPINGS. Fashion mogul Yusaku Maezawa is back from a 12-day jaunt in space, and said he plans to invest in space-related businesses, according to the Associated Press. Seen from space, the earth is “100 times more beautiful” than in any photo, he said. The AP also followed up on the recent deal that hedge-funder Michael Steinhardt reached with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to surrender 180 looted antiquities. A 2,800-year-old inscription from the kingdom of Moab that Steinhardt has loaned to the Israel Museum, and that the D.A. did not flag in the agreement, “is of uncertain provenance,” according to the news agency. The museum said it “consistently follows the applicable regulations” for such loans. And the Art Newspaper examined the controversial creation of the newly opened Shepparton Art Museum in Australia, which was spurred on by a gift from collectors Carrillo and Ziyin Gantner. That donation came with what Carrillo called “two simple and very hard conditions.”
HISTORY’S MYSTERIES. A painting that the art historian Christopher Wright bought as a copy of a Sir Anthony van Dyck portrait more than 50 years ago for a mere £65 may have actually been made in the 17th-century artist’s workshop, according to a report from London’s Courtauld Institute of Art. The Guardian has the story. Wright now pegs the work’s value at around £40,000 (about $54,400). Across the Channel, a Bernhard Strigel panel that was found while inventorying a house in Toulouse, France, and identified as the missing part of a Strigel acquired by the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2008, will hit the block in that French city in February via the Maison Artpaugée auction house, the Art Newspaper reported. Its low estimate is €600,000—about $681,000.
INSTITUTION BUILDING. Uruguay’s “first sizeable contemporary art museum,” the Atchugarry Museum of Contemporary Art, has arrived in Punta del Este, Variety reported. Meanwhile, the New York Times looked at how the Greek government and foundations are positioning Athens as a contemporary art hub.
The legal guardian for artist Peter Max, who has dementia, has filed a defamation suit against his daughter, Libra Max, who has alleged that her father is being mistreated under the guardianship agreement. Libra Max’s lawyer called it an attempt “to silence” her. The artist’s son said that the guardian is providing “excellent care.” [New York Post]
The Saint Louis Art Museum in Missouri is the latest art institution to close temporarily because of staff members becoming infected with the coronavirus. It plans to reopen February 1. [KSDK]
Some residents of Toddington, England, are criticizing Damien Hirst for not following through on his stated plan to renovate a sprawling 19th-century manor he purchased there in 2003. For now, scaffolding surrounds the structure, which one politician described as “the biggest white elephant I have ever seen.” [The Guardian]
Petroglyphs in Big Bend National Park in Texas that are believed to date back at least 4,000 years were damaged by people who inscribed what seem to be theirs names over them. An official at the park said it will not be possible to fully restore the pieces. [CNN]
Curators, ready your résumés. Dana Friis-Hansen, the director and CEO of the Grand Rapids Art Museum in Michigan since 2011, announced that he will step down at the start of 2023. [Press Release/The Rapidian]
ONE MORE COLLECTOR ITEM. In the New York Times, reporter Jacob Bernstein profiled investor Ron Perelman, who has been selling art from his collection during the pandemic (by Miró, Matisse, and others), as stock in the beauty company Revlon that he owns most of has lost value. Bernstein asked Perelman about the perception, offered by unnamed sources, that he “had a habit of trying to get a bargain on everything,” and so he bought “good paintings by great artists . . . while missing out on masterpieces.” Perelman’s response: “There may be something to that. But I never had anything on my walls I didn’t really love.” [NYT]
Correction, 1/10/21, 1:45 p.m.: A previous version of this article misstated the slated reopening date of the Saint Louis Art Museum. It is expected to reopen on February 1, not January 1.