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RETURN OF THE REAL. Last month, the National Gallery of Art said that, after careful study, it believed one of its four Johannes Vermeer paintings, Girl With a Flute (1665–70), was not, in fact, a Vermeer, but instead the work of someone with “a profound understanding of Vermeer’s techniques,” as ARTnews reported. However, at its hotly anticipated Vermeer retrospective in February, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum plans to exhibit the work as a Vermeer, the Guardian reports. Its director, Taco Dibbits, told the paper, “Attribution is not a hard science but we feel that Vermeer is such an innovative artist who took so many directions in his art that we feel that for us as yet the painting is by Vermeer.” Meanwhile, the full list of pieces for the show has been released, the Art Newspaper reports, and it includes some 28 of his roughly 35 paintings.
ARTIST UPDATES. Painter Arghavan Khosravi talked with CNN about her poignant, surreal, and occasionally discomfiting, depictions of women, some of which are now on view at Rockefeller Center in New York. Artist duo Zheng Mahler spoke with the South China Morning Post about a Kyungah Ham sculpture that they loved so much that they named their daughter after it. And June Leaf is about to open a show at Ortuzar Projects in Manhattan and answered some questions—but only some!—from T: The New York Times Style Magazine. When she starts a new artwork, where does she begin? “Who thought of these questions?” Leaf said. “I can’t answer that.”
A court in Kumbakonam, India, sentenced art dealer Subhash Kapoor to 10 years in prison for receiving stolen property and other charges in a case concerning the 2008 theft and illegal export of antiquities from the Sri Varadaraja Perumal temple in the Ariyalur district. [The New India Express]
The Paris auction house Millon delayed the sale of a 19th-century Vietnamese imperial seal after the Southeast Asian nation’s government said that it wants to engage in talks about its repatriation. The piece, which weighs 24 pounds, is estimated to sell for as much as about $3 million. [Bloomberg]
The Chinese artist Lu Shengzhong, who won acclaim for his “little red figures,” which he cut from paper and assembled into awe-inspiring installations, has died at 70, after being hospitalized following an asthma attack. [ArtAsiaPacific]
Philadelphia arts advocate Blake Bradford—who said he aimed to “make arts and culture institutions, collections, and experiences more rewarding for more people”—has died at 52, of lymphoma. Bradford founded Points of Entry, which works to have cultural groups hire young people from underserved communities. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
Betty Fung, the leader of Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, which oversees the M+ museum, called on city officials to allow newly arrived foreign tourists to visit museums while they undergo the three days of mandatory medical observation that bars them from crowded venues. [South China Morning Post]
The late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen was fairly tight-lipped about the masterpiece-filled art collection that he built, Katya Kazakina writes in a column that tracks where he loaned some of his holdings over the years. Now Christie’s is set to sell more than 150 works he owned with a record estimate of $1 billion. [Town & Country]
DOUBLES CHAMPIONS. The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., is about to unveil portraits of filmmaker Ava DuVernay and tennis greats Serena and Venus Williams, by artists Kenturah Davis, Toyin Ojih Odutola, and Robert Pruitt, respectively. In the New York Times, Hilarie M. Sheets spoke to everyone about how the process of making the pieces played out . Said Serena Williams: “Toyin’s perspective as an artist is unparalleled and to be able to say Toyin Ojih Odutola painted my portrait feels surreal.” [NYT]