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The Headlines

RESTITUTION WATCH.TheMuseum of Pontevedrain Spain hastransferred two 15th-century paintingsthat are believed to have been looted by the Nazis during World War II to Poland, theAssociated Pressreports. Once believed to be works byDieric Bouts, they are now attributed to “to a member of his school or group,” per theAP. Some 500,000 items from Poland have remained unaccounted for since the conflict. Meanwhile,Christie’sisstaging a series of projectsover the next year that are related to restitution, theFinancial Timesreports. They include an exhibition at its Paris home by artistRaphaël Denisthataddresses art that has been missing since the war, and a conference in Tel Aviv on theWashington Principles, an international agreement on returning Nazi-stolen material. This year marks the 25th-anniversary of that accord.

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ON THE MOVE.Kathy Halbreich, who has been executive director of theRobert Rauschenberg Foundationsince 2017, said that shewill depart in May,ARTnewsreports. Halbreich came to the nonprofit—which supports philanthropic efforts and Rauschenberg’s legacy—from theMuseum of Modern Art, where she was associate director.Carl GoodmanisleavingtheMuseum of the Moving Imagein New York after 34 years at the helm,Deadlinereports, and curatorAzu Nwagboguhas beennameda National Geographic Explorer at Large, a position that will see him serving as an ambassador for theNational Geographic Society. Nwagbogu is the founder and director of theAfrican Artists’ Foundation, and has previously been interim director and head curator of theZeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africain Cape Town, South Africa.

The Digest

Republicans in Congress renewed efforts to obtain records from New York dealerGeorges Bergèsabout sales of art byHunter Biden, the son ofPresident Biden, who is a budding artist. They allege the transactions could influenceWhite Housepolicy; Bergès has reportedly not responded to their requests for information.[The Wall Street Journal]

CuratorHelen Molesworthhas organized a show at theInternational Center of Photographyin New York of portraits of artists, and is at work on a variety of other projects, five years after hercontroversial firingfrom theMuseum of Contemporary Artin Los Angeles. “I love my life,” she said. “It’s hard and it’s scary, but it’s OK. It’s also more like being an artist than anything else.”[NYT]

Israeli archaeologists are investigating a newly discovered handprint that was carved into an ancient (and waterless) moat outside theOld City of Jerusalem. “It’s a mystery,” an official with theIsraeli Antiquities Authoritysaid.[AFP/France 24]

Two major archaeological finds were made in a fourth-century tomb in Nara, Japan: a bronze mirror and a seven-and-a-half-foot iron sword. Both are the largest of their type to have been unearthed, and they qualify as national treasures, according to experts.[Kyodo News]

A new film aboutScreampainterEdvard Munch—simply titledMunch—is screening as part of theInternational Film Festival Rotterdamin the Netherlands. It was directed byHenrik Martin Dahlsbakken, and it is an experimental affair, with four different screenwriters tackling different portions of his life.[Variety]

Zaha Hadid Architectswas apparently once shortlisted to design a national flagship yacht for Great Britain and its royal family. Alas, the project was scrapped, but the renderings look quite handsome.[Architectural Digest]

The Kicker

TIME WAITS FOR NO MAN.However, many people wait for years to be able to acquire an ultra-rare luxury timepiece fromMB&F. The Swiss firm’s creative director isMaximilian Büsser, and he sounds a lot like an uncompromising artist in a newBloomberg Businessweekprofile. “It’s very important for us that we do not give a damn if you like what we do,” Büsser told the magazine. “That’s the only way I could create a watch that looks like a spaceship or a bulldog.” That outlook has seemingly not hurt demand; after waiting, buyers spend north of $100,000 for a piece.[Bloomberg]