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GOLDEN DISPLAY. The Asante golden “crown jewels,” looted by British troops have gone on display in Ghana’s Manhyia Palace Museum in Kumasi, to jubilant celebrations, reports the BBC. The 32 items are on loan from London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) and the British Museum to the Asante King Otumfuo Osei Tutu II for three years, because British law prevents state museums from easily returning the treasures, but the loan can reportedly be extended. The artifacts, mostly looted during the 19th century Anglo-Ashanti wars, include a sword traditionally used in swearing the oath of office to the kingdom, a gold peace pipe, and golden badges worn by special officials who cleansed the king’s soul. “Our dignity is restored,” said one visitor, Henry Amankwaatia, speaking to the BBC above the sound of reveling drumbeats.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 23: People weairng masks sit on the stairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art where Yoko Ono's new art installation, Dream Together, is displayed on the facade as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on August 23, 2020 in New York City. The installation was unveiled on August 20th in preparation for The Met's reopening on August 29th, 2020 after being closed due to the coronavirus. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Metropolitan Museum of Art Signs Cultural Agreement with Thailand

Petrit Halilaj Brings Kids’ Doodles–and Balkan Memories–to the Met’s Rooftop

ART STUDENT DEBT FORGIVENESS. The Biden Administration will forgive $6.1 billion of debt for 317,000 former Art Institute students, reports Tessa Solomon for ARTnews. The now-defunct Art Institute was once a private for-profit system with about 50 US campuses, but it shuttered last year following investigations that accused the school of falsifying career opportunities and earnings for graduates, pushing them into taking large loans. “This institution falsified data, knowingly misled students, and cheated borrowers into taking on mountains of debt without leading to promising career prospects at the end of their studies,” Biden said in a statement on Wednesday.


The Philadelphia Museum of Art has named Imani Roach as its inaugural director and curator of the institution’s new Brind Center for African and African Diasporic Art. The Brind Center will expand the museum’s collection from Africa, the Americas, and the African diaspora. “This is a transformative moment for the institution and its relationship to the city of Philadelphia,” said Roach in a statement. [Press release]

The UK’s National Crime Agency will auction a 2009 Frank Auerbach painting it seized from the convicted money launderer and fugitive, Lenn Mayhew-Lewis. Investigators discovered Mayhew-Lewis privately acquired the Auerbach painting, which is from the artist’s series depicting North London’s Camden Town, and it may be worth over $6 million. [The Guardian]

Pierre Huyghe has won the Fondation Simone et Cino Del Duca Grand Prix, worth €100,000 [about $107,200]. The award is given following a recommendation by France’s Académie des Beaux-Arts and recognizes an artist’s lifelong career. [Art Review]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced it has raised $550 million in private donations for its new modern and contemporary wing. [The New York Times]

Almine Rech is opening a new space in Monaco today, adding to its existing locations in Paris, London, New York, Shanghai, and Gstaad. [Le Quotidien de l’art]


THE HOME OFFICE. What should be done about emptying office buildings in deserted financial centers, as remote working continues to settle in (or nestle in) while working in pj’s? The New Yorker takes a critical look at how celebrated New York developer Nathan Berman and his firm, Metro Loft Management, converts office buildings into hundreds of small apartments. Now Berman is working on his largest US conversion to date, the former Pfizer headquarters on East Forty-second Street, and he expects it’s roughly 1,500 future apartments to be snatched up in a Manhattan housing-crisis-minute, thanks to, or despite, their “market-rate properties,” notes reporter D.T. Max. “What he creates is élite but ordinary, luxurious but cramped, permanent but marginal,” he writes. After all, dissected former office spaces have a few significant, inherent drawbacks, particularly if they are carved out of more recently built, massive structures: like lack of light in most rooms, and surrounding neighborhoods that can feel “on the sterile side.” Without parks, and more inhabitants in Manhattan’s Financial District, Max says some of the convenient services offered in many of these converted buildings also “keep people within their confines; if you have a Tulu dispensing machine in your basement (as many do), who needs to drip by a local hardware or store or a pharmacy?”