ARTFIXdaily News Feed - Breaking News from the Art World

Italian Mafia Trades Arms-for-Art With ISIS in Libya

Daily Beast / October 18th, 2016

Domenico Quirico, a journalist from La Stampa newspaper, recently went undercover as an art collector to expose how looted antiquities are being traded in support of ISIS. Italy’s Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta, working with the Neapolitan Camorra criminal gang, has an illicit art-for-weapons ring ...

Islamist Extremist Gets 9 Years in Prison for Destroying Cultural Heritage Sites

ArtfixDaily / September 28th, 2016

Judges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague sentenced Islamic extremist Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi to nine years in prison for destroying Muslim shrines in Timbuktu, Mali. The case represents the first prosecution for the destruction of a cultural heritage site as a war ...

National Gallery of Australia to Get $11 Million in Compensation for Stolen Statue

ABC / September 26th, 2016

The Supreme Court of New York has granted a motion in favour of a $11 million payment to the National Gallery of Australia (NGA), as compensation for its purchase of a stolen Indian antiquity from disgraced New York art dealer Subhash Kapoor that was later returned to India. The court has ...

Proceeds From Museum Visits in Italy on Sunday to Help Repair Quake Damage

ArtfixDaily / August 25th, 2016

The deadly magnitude-6.2 earthquake that struck central Italy on Wednesday devastated the medieval towns of Amatrice and Accumoli, the village of Pescara del Tronto, and the surrounding region. By Thursday, the death toll came to 250 with victims still being pulled from ...

Militant Who Destroyed Cultural Sites Pleads Guilty in War-Crimes Trial

NPR / August 23rd, 2016

A Malian Islamist militant who led the 2012 destruction of cultural heritage sites and ancient manuscripts in Timbuktu has pleaded guilty at the International Criminal Court.  Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. His trial for destroying cultural ...

Texan Tourists Make Archeological Discovery in Hawaii

newser / August 10th, 2016

A pair of vacationers from Texas discovered previously-unknown petroglyphs thought to be at least 400 years old on a Hawaiian island beach. Lonnie Watson and Mark Louviere made the archeological find on Oahu. They located 10 unusually large (5-foot) images carved in sandstone across 60 ...

Italy Seeks Foreigners to Head Cultural Sites

Telegraph / May 30th, 2016

Italy has launched a global hunt for new directors to run high-profile museums and archaeological sites, in the latest bid to revive the country's moribund cultural heritage sector. Last year, Italian managers of world-class museums and art galleries, including the Uffizi in Florence, were ...

British Museum Closes During Greenpeace Protest

Telegraph / May 19th, 2016

The British Museum in London closed to visitors on Thursday after Greenpeace activists scaled its entryway columns in a protest against BP's sponsorship of the blockbuster exhibition "Sunken Cities: Egypt's Lost Worlds." Police arrested about 11 people in the protest for aggravated trespass. ...

Senate Votes to Ban Art and Antiquities Imports From Syria

New York Times / April 14th, 2016

After months of delay and debate, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday to prohibit the import of all art and antiquities originating from Syria, reports the New York Times. A resolution of the United Nations Security Council will be upheld with the new law, which will possibly close a ...

Iraq to Transform Saddam Hussein's Palace Into Museum

National Geographic / April 13th, 2016

A former palace in Basra, Iraq, that belonged to Saddam Hussein will reportedly be remade into a museum this fall. The project is estimated to cost about $3.5 million and represents the first museum to open in the country for decades, according to an article in National Geographic. ...

Tomb of Jesus to Undergo Restoration

Times of Israel / March 24th, 2016

The site in Jerusalem where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected will be fully restored, church officials announced on Wednesday. Renovations of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre will begin around May 1. A team of Greek restorers will complete the project by ...

The Nefertiti 3D Scan Scandal Highlights Museum Data Security

Cosmo Wenman / March 10th, 2016

Museums around the world have increasingly opened up their digital archives to share collections with the public. Art images can be downloaded, and browsed on Google Art Project or museums' websites. Yet, 3D scans of sculpture, objects and painting are largely safe-guarded. Last week ...

Dozens of Looted Antiquities Tied to U.K. Art Dealer Returned to Italy

Independent / February 2nd, 2016

Two "priceless" Etruscan earthenware sarcophaguses and 45 boxes of “exceptional pieces of ancient Etruscan art” were taken from a Geneva freeport and returned to Rome on January 14.  “The antiquities had been brought to Geneva by a former high-profile British art dealer, whose name ...

Man Goes Missing In Search of Art Dealer's Hidden Treasure

Outside / February 2nd, 2016

Santa Fe art and antiques dealer Forrest Fenn, 85, wrote a memoir in 2010 with a mysterious poem containing clues about where he hid a $3 million treasure trove. An estimated 65,000 people have gone searching in the Rocky Mountains for Fenn's 12th-century bronze chest supposedly filled with gold ...

Italy to Put Over $300 Million into Cultural Projects

New York Times / January 6th, 2016

Italy's museums and cultural sites are set to receive a 300 million euro ($322 million) investment from the government over the next three years, reports the New York Times. In the wake of the recent theft of 17 artworks from Castelvecchio Museum, a 14th-century fortress in Verona, museum ...

Egypt Plans Ambitious Underwater Museum

Smithsonian / December 30th, 2015

A new museum proposed for Egypt’s City of Alexandria aims to bring visitors to sunken treasures not seen by the public in over 1,400 years, reports Smithsonian. Lighthouse of Pharos aims to safeguard sunken relics. “This area was one of the most important areas in the world for around 1,000 ...

British Museum Becomes World's Largest Google Street View of an Interior Space

National Geographic / December 29th, 2015

The British Museum recently unveiled the results of its partnership with the Google Cultural Institute (GCI): the world’s largest Google Street View of an interior space, covering nine floors and 85 permanent galleries of the museum.   Its public database of more than 3.5 million objects ...

2015 in Review: Art Crime

The Creators Project / December 26th, 2015

Sensational stories of art crimes were plenteous in 2015. The Creators Project has put together a list of some of the biggest headlines, ranging from ISIS destroying the ancient buildings and artifacts of Palmyra to the brazen Ukranian ultranationalists who seek an exorbitant "finder's fee" for ...

Scholar Finds 1,700-Year-Old Gospel Fragment on eBay, Starting at $99

Verge / November 27th, 2015

Geoffrey Smith, an assistant professor of early Christianity at the University of Texas, was searching eBay when he discovered a 1,700-year-old papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John offered with a starting bid of $99. Recognizing it as a rare scroll in Greek with a fragment of text from John ...

French President Hollande Offers 'Asylum' to Artworks Threatened by Islamic State

AFP / November 18th, 2015

In a speech to the UN cultural body on Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande said he would introduce "Right to asylum" for artworks and cultural objects threatened by destruction or illegal sale by Islamic State (IS) miltants. The measure is to stem the activity of militants ...