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THE FUTURE IS NOW. After eight years of restoration that included the use of gel infused with grime-destroying bacteria, Michelangelo’s marble Medici chapel is officially back on view in Florence, the Guardian reports. For the bacteria connoisseur: Three strains were used, including Serratia ficaria SH7. Cleaning was apparently extra difficult because liquids from Alessandro Medici’s remains had stained the stone. Meanwhile, an AI program has been developed by DeepMind (of Alphabet, née Google) that aims to restore missing text in ancient Greek inscriptions, and date that material, the Verge reports. And “Virtual Veronese,” an exhibition at London’s National Gallery that uses virtual reality to set works by that maestro in their original settings, is “thought-provoking, touching, fun, and free,” Jackie Wullschläger says in the Financial Times.
FINANCIAL LITERACY. Today’s papers bear two stories about artists who address money in their work. The Guardian chatted with Rachael Clerke, who is staging a project at a community center in Bristol, England, called “Transactionland” that includes a kind of shoplifting roleplaying game and a “Debt Gala,” inspired by the luxe Met Gala. Speaking of the Met, the New York Times spoke with Emilie Lemakis, a guard at the museum who has made buttons for some of her colleagues that state the length of their tenure at the museum and their hourly rate. “I had this fantasy of everyone who worked in the museum wearing a button,” she told journalist Colin Moynihan, explaining that a “lot of people feel ashamed by what they make and I think that’s wrong.”
Three galleries are joining forces to show work from the 1970s through the ‘90s by Robert Rauschenberg that is coming from the artist’s foundation: Thaddaeus Ropac (in Salzburg, Austria), Gladstone (New York), and Mnuchin (ditto). The foundation’s advisor, Allan Schwartzman, termed the artist “the most undervalued artist of the postwar period.” [Financial Times]
An exhibition at the Museum of the Liberation of Paris, “Women War Photographers,” looks at eight of them, including Gerda Taro, who was killed during the Spanish Civil War in 1937, and Lee Miller. “We felt it was important to feature women photojournalists who were underrepresented in research, catalogs, and museum exhibitions,” said art historian Anne-Marie Beckmann, who organized a version of the show in 2019 at the Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf, Germany. [The New York Times]
Are you an art leader interested in living in beautiful Baltimore, Maryland? This is your moment. No fewer than three august institutions in Charm City are looking for directors: the Baltimore Museum of Art, the American Visionary Art Museum, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. AVAM may announce its pick within a month, while the BMA’s search to replace Christopher Bedford (tapped in February to lead SFMOMA) “could be a yearlong quest,” journalist Mary Carole McCauley reports. [Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun]
Fourth-generation art collector Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza got the profile treatment from Hilarie M. Sheets. “Collecting is not an indulgence,” Thyssen-Bornemisza said. “You may think you own something that is indeed seductive, interesting, beautiful, but it is your responsibility to protect it, to nurture it, to bring it back out of the cobwebs, to revisit it, to republish it.” [The New York Times]
Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova (who made an appearance in yesterday’s “Breakfast” due to her crypto endeavors) has curated a show of public art on advertising spaces in the United States. [The Art Newspaper]
An update: The rare Harry Potter first edition that was defaced with incredible drawings by an unknown youth, and purchased for £0.50 in a charity shop (as mentioned here recently), sold for £15,500 (about $20,400)—more than five times its top estimate!—at Hansons in Staffordshire, England. “What a battle for the battered and bruised Potter,” said auctioneer Charles Hanson, who mused that the volume “deserves to be in a museum.” (It went to a U.S. collector.) [BBC News]
THE SOUND OF SUCCESS. A 1714 Stradivarius violin known as the “da Vinci, Ex-Seidel” (no relation to Leonardo, apparently) will be offered at an online auction from Tarisio (a fine-instruments specialist), with a top estimate of $20 million, Bloomberg reports. That figure is quite a bit higher than the $25,000 that a prior owner, Russian-American musician Toscha Seidel , paid for it in 1924. (Adjusting for inflation, that would be around $413,000 today.) “From the musician’s standpoint, it’s definitely priceless,” Tarisio director Carlos Tomé told the outlet. “From the audience point of view also it’s priceless, but you have to put a monetary value to it.” [Bloomberg]