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LEGAL AFFAIRS, PT. 1.In a courtroom in Dresden, Germany, three men accused of stealing some €113.8 million (about $123 million) in treasures from theGreen Vaultmuseum in the city in 2019 haveadmitted to participating in the crime, theGuardianreports. Last month, officials said that they had found many of the purloined items amid“exploratory talks”with the defendantsabout a possible settlement to the case. The men are expected to receive lighter sentences as a result of the admissions and recoveries. A fourth defendant is slated to admit guilt at a future hearing, a fifth has rejected a deal, and a sixth has reportedly maintained that he has an alibi. Some 40 people are still wanted in the case, according to the paper.
LEGAL AFFAIRS, PT. 2.ArtistPeter Doighas beenawarded $2.5 millionby a federal judge in a bizarre, long-running legal battle over a painting he says he did not paint, theNew York Timesreports. The backstory: A man said that he bought the painting from a young Doig in the 1970s, when the artist was incarcerated at a prison where he was working in Ontario. The superstar artist has maintained he did not make the work—a desert landscape signed “Pete Doige 76”—and that he was never imprisoned. The prison guard and a Chicago dealer had sued Doig to establish the work’s authenticity and lost in 2016. The same judge has now ruled that the pair, and their lawyer, should have known that they “stood no chance of success” and imposed the monetary sanctions. Doig has said any money he receives will go to support art-making in prisons; the dealer said he still believes the work is authentic and that he may appeal. Meanwhile, theAssociated Pressreports that theDetroit Institute of Artsasked a courtto dismissa suit overthe ownershipof aVincent van Goghit is showing in a blockbuster exhibition, arguing that the painting is shielded by a law that protects against the seizure of loaned art.
What is believed to be oldest known stone with runic writing was discovered in 2021 during the excavation of a grave near Tyrifjord, Norway, archaeologists said. The runestone, which may date as far back as 2,000 years, will soon go on view at theMuseum of Cultural Historyin Oslo.[The Associated Press/Bloomberg]
Goldin, a high-end collectibles auction house that has been backed by art-collecting hedge-funderSteve Cohenis in expansion mode: It has a new online marketplace that it hopes will compete witheBay, and it recently opened a vault in Delaware, aiming to smooth the process of storing and selling material.[Bloomberg]
Heike Munder, who has led theMigros Museum für Gegenwartskunstin Zurich for 20 years, will step down at the end of June “to take up new professional challenges.” During her tenure, the Swiss institution has hosted retrospectives forHeidi Bucher,Marc Camille Chaimowicz,Dorothy Iannone, and many more.[ArtDaily]
A firm calledArtex MTF AGis planning to launch a stock market–style platform in the first half of this year that will allow investors to buy and sell shares of high-value artworks. The first piece to be listed has not yet been announced.Prince Wenceslas of Liechtensteinis among the cofounders.[Bloomberg]
At a ceremony on Monday, theNational Museum of Cinemain Turin, Italy, gave its lifetime achievement award to actorKevin Spacey, who has faced allegations of sexual misconduct that he has denied. Spacey recently pleaded not guilty in the United Kingdom to charges that include sexual assault and indecent assault.[Hollywood Reporter]
THE VERDICT IS IN.On his website, the singer-songwriterNick Cave(not to be confused with the artist, thoughthey have met)shared lyrics that a fan apparently generatedby asking the A.I. engineChat GPTto “write a song in the style of Nick Cave.” Cave’s response: “this song is bullshit, a grotesque mockery of what it is to be human.” Tough critic! His commentsrecall the responseof the legendary animatorHayao Miyazakiwhen he was presented with some A.I.-generated animation way back in 2016: “I strongly feel that this is an insult to life itself,” he said.[The Red Hand Files]