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THE WAR IN UKRAINE. As the conflict continues on, UNESCO has once again thrown its support behind Ukraine. The organization’s leader, Audrey Azoulay, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week, and told him that it will be “necessary to invest $6.9 billion in the cultural sector in Ukraine over the next ten years,” the Art Newspaper reports. NBC News took a deep dive into the full scale of the art theft happening in Ukraine now, noting that works are being stolen “on a scale not seen in Europe since the Nazi plunder of World War II.” The looted goods range widely, and many are still taking full stock of the situation. And Deutsche Welle reports that a Russian girl who drew a pro-Ukraine drawing and was subsequently separated from her single father has now been collected by her estranged mother.
A HIT IN LONDON. Artist Steve McQueen’s latest exhibition, at the Serpentine Galleries, may have only just opened, but already, the show is being hailed as something truly great. The sole work in the show is Grenfell, a 2019 film that pays homage to the Grenfell Tower fire two years earlier that killed 72 people. McQueen’s work mainly features shots of the high rise’s charred remains. “The approach is almost beautiful and mesmerising, just as any view of a city is at the end of a flight,” writes Guardian critic Adrian Searle in a five-star review. Curator Mark Godfrey notes in Artforum that McQueen makes the tower “insistently and materially present.” In the Art Newspaper, Tom Seymour calls the work “as good as anything McQueen has ever created.” And while the show is already being praised as one of the year’s best, it’s not the only McQueen creation coming soon—he also is at work on a new feature film called Blitz.
Adam Platt took a plunge into the strange world of immersive art exhibitions, noting their “easy, dreamy, slightly addictive quality”—and the high cost of attending them. [Curbed]
Atlanta’s art scene is undergoing a renaissance, according to Ayanna Dozier, who notes that the city is host to “museum-quality exhibitions” from galleries such as Jackson Fine Art and Johnson Lowe Gallery. [Artsy]
Ben Aleck, who’s the subject of a just-opened Nevada Museum of Art show, discussed why his work “tells the stories of the Great Basin Tribes and gives visual form to not only Indigenous stories, but environmental issues that impact Indigenous people in the Great Basin, like water use.” [Nevada Today]
As Germany prepares to return its Benin Bronzes to Nigeria, some German publications are questioning whether they will be housed properly at home. Nigerian officials have countered these claims, saying they wouldn’t take these works otherwise. [The Art Newspaper]
Burning Man’s famed Mayan Warrior art car is no more. The car was on its way to an event in Mexico when, according to its organizers, it “burned to ashes.” [Billboard]
UNDER THE SEA, TAKE IT FROM ME. It’s not every day that a restaurant puts out a notice about stolen art, but this was what happened a few days ago when, on social media, the Manhattan bar Holywater put out an urgent call for a work resembling a pilfered mermaid. Have you seen this mermaid? If so, get in touch with Holywater, and a free round may be in order. [Eater]