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DREAM HOUSE. With a new billionaire reportedly being minted every 26 hours, you might think someone would would want to acquire a sprawling villa in Rome with the only known ceiling fresco by Caravaggio. But that, apparently, is not the case—at least at its current price. As the Guardian reports, the 30,000-plus-square-foot Villa Aurora drew not one bid at a Thursday sale with an asking price of €377 million (about $409.8 million). It also did not draw any bidding at €471 million ($511.9 million) in January. It will now be offered at €301 million ($327.1 million) in June, with a fourth round planned if that fails. The home is being sold as the result of a court order stemming from a thorny legal battle between the three sons of its late owner, Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi, and his wife, Princess Rita Boncompagni Ludovisi. If someone does step up, the Italian government will have the opportunity to swoop in and match the price to acquire it.
JOB POSTINGS. The Baltimore Museum of Art has promoted Jessica Bell Brown to curator and department head for contemporary art, Artforum reports. Brown joined the museum in 2019 as associate curator of contemporary art and recently organized the exhibition “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration” at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson with Ryan N. Dennis; it opens at the MMA tomorrow and travels to the BMA in the fall. On the other end of the United States, Camille Ann Brewer has been named director of the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Culture Type reports. Brewer has previously been curator of contemporary art at the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.
An anonymous artist-activist staged a work in Moscow that aims to commemorate those killed in the apparent massacre in Bucha, Ukraine, posing for photographs with his hands tied behind his back in front of various monuments. [The Art Newspaper]
This year’s Guggenheim Fellows include artists Mark Thomas Gibson, Ja’Tovia Gary, Josephine Meckseper, and Cannupa Hanska Lueger. [ARTnews]
While some art types have been leaving Hong Kong amid the political crackdown there, new independent art spaces have continued to open, Enid Tsui reports. [South China Morning Post]
Hew Locke will be the next artist to create site-specific art for the empty facade niches of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Locke’s works go on view in September. Wangechi Mutu and Carol Bove have previously received the high-visibility commission. [The New York Times]
When the trailblazing architect Oscar Niemeyer died in 2012 at 104, he left behind a sketch for a pavilion for the Château La Coste, the resort, winery, and art center in Aix-en-Provence, France. Now the structure, which includes an auditorium and exhibition space, has been built, and will debut in June. [Architectural Digest]
The antique dealer Vito Giallo, who was Andy Warhol’s first paid assistant, got the profile treatment. “I didn’t care for the wild parties,” he said. “But Andy did. Everybody wanted to meet him. But when they did meet him, they were very disappointed because he wouldn’t say anything. He hardly ever talked.” [The New York Times]
A MAGICAL GATHERING. The Wall Street Journal has done the fine service of asking Las Vegas locals for their favorite places in the city, and magician Penn Jillette’s responses included the spectacular outdoor sculpture Seven Magic Mountains (2016). “I think some nut went to the middle of the desert, built gigantic boulders, then painted them unnatural colors,” Jillette said. That “nut,” of course is Ugo Rondinone, who just unveiled work at Kukje Gallery ’s Seoul and Busan branches in South Korea, with a show on the way at the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista during the Venice Biennale. The Magic Mountains are really having a moment! Earlier this week, BTS member RM posted photos from a visit he made there to his art-filled Instagram. [WSJ]