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BURDEN OF PROOF LIFTED. Nations agreed to new clarifications outlining “best practices” for adhering to the non-binding Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, when it comes to sticky questions that continue to stump restitution claims and feed ongoing court battles. In the new, “best practices” text signed thus far by 22 nations, guidelines specify that promoting “just and fair” solutions to restitution requests refers to the wellbeing “first and foremost of the victims” of Nazi persecution – not, as leaders in the Netherlands thought, to the current holder of the contested art. The guidelines also help define Nazi-looted art. Notably, in the case of determining if an object was sold under duress, it specifies that art sold “by a persecuted person during the Holocaust era between 1933-1945 can be considered equivalent to an involuntary transfer of property based on the circumstances of the sale.” As a result, “now it’s up to the current holder to prove the exemption from this general rule,” lawyer Olaf Ossmann, told The New York Times.

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LOST KIRCHNER INTERRACIAL PAINTING FOUND. One of the most important paintings by the German expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), titled Dance in the Varieté (1911) has suddenly surfaced, reports Monopol Magazine, and will head to auction in Munich. The painting, one of Kirchner’s larger formats, was only known to experts from black-and-white photographs, but had eluded the art world for some 80 years. It depicts a well-dressed black man dancing with a white dancer, backgrounded by a group of white dancers, and is a stunner. The painting was in a private German collection for much of time after it was exhibited in 1920, but details of its earlier whereabouts remain unsolved.


French conservatives are in an uproar over the newly unveiled Paris Olympics poster by artist Ugo Gattoni for omitting to draw the cross on top of the Dome des Invalides monument, as well as not including the French flag in the cartoon-like depiction. Members of the far-right National Rally (RN) and Reconquete (Reconquest) called the poster an example of “wokism” and asked, “What is the point of holding the Olympic Games in France if we then hide who we are?” The artist defended the work as a “surrealist and celebratory universe” that doesn’t aim for literal accuracy. [AFP and France 24]

Collectors have removed two loaned quilts by Loretta Pettway from a current exhibition on textile art at London’s Barbican Centre over accusations of “censorship and repression.” The withdrawal in protest follows a canceled talk at the institution featuring Indian writer Pankaj Mishra, which addressed the Israel-Hamas war. [The Art Newspaper]

The Frida Kahlo Corporation (FKC) has filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement at an Illinois district court against a network of online merchants operating under fake names. The FKC demanded it be paid all associated profits, or $2 million, for each counterfeited trademark. [Artnet News]

Japanese architect Riken Yamamoto was awarded the Pritzker Prize Tuesday. The 78-year-old is the ninth Japanese person to have won the award, often called the “Nobel of architecture.” [CNN]

The French art dealer Guy Wildenstein was found guilty of tax fraud Tuesday. The billionaire gallerist and patriarch of one of France’s most famous art-dealing dynasties has been accused of hiding masterworks of his collection from tax authorities to avoid hundreds of millions of euros in inheritance taxes. [ARTnews]

Creative workers are blasting an AI-generated advertisement for the Queensland Symphony Orchestra (QSO) for its too-large, strange-looking tangled fingers, and the depiction of a man appearing in a tuxedo-part-tulle-gown get-up. There’s also the unexplainable, large black box on the woman’s lap in the center of the image. The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) said it was “the worst AI generated artwork we’ve seen.” [The Guardian]

Along with rising Paris-museum ticket prices, the Eiffel Tower is raising entry costs by about 20 percent, to about 31 euros. The hike expected for later this year was needed for “realigning the economic model of the tower” after losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to monument management, speaking on Tuesday and following recent strikes over the issue. [France Bleu Paris]


AMSTERDAM STREET ARTIST DELIGHTS. The Dutch street artist Frank de Ruwe, known as Frankey, speaks to The New York Times about his whimsical outdoor, clandestine artworks that are brightening the streets of Amsterdam. His witty pieces play with existing architectural elements, such as signs on buildings, or sculptural monuments. A miniature dragon is fastened to a steam-blowing pipe, so the beast appears to be blowing smoke itself; or a tiny surfer can be spotted catching a wave on a curved, silvery awning above a building portal. “It’s all about seeing the right thing,” the artist said. “I think everyone was searching for a bit of bright news during these dark days.”