Art Industry News is a daily digest of the most consequential developments coming out of the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Monday, January 31.
NEED TO READ
California University Returns Massacre Remains to Wiyot Tribe – The remains of at least 20 members of the Wiyot tribe who were believed to have been killed during the Indian Island Massacre of 1860 have returned home after nearly 70 years. The remains were uncovered in 1953 along with 136 artifacts by a team from University of California, Berkeley. The university’s Hearst Museum of Anthropology, where the remains were held in storage, denied requests for repatriation for years, citing lack of evidence. But a recent policy change cleared the way for their return. (Los Angeles Times)
Jeff Bezos’s Smithsonian Deal Has No Moral Clause – The Smithsonian Institution may not be able to terminate naming rights if the Amazon founder is caught behaving in a way that would ruin the institution’s reputation because his donation agreement does not contain a “moral clause.” (A similar issue arose with the Sackler family.) The e-commerce tycoon’s name will be displayed on a new building at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, as well as in several other places, for at least 50 years in recognition of his $200 million gift. (MarketWatch)
Art Cologne Chief Criticizes Art Basel’s Move to Paris – Daniel Hug, the outspoken director of Art Cologne, said that he was “sorry” for Paris over Art Basel’s controversial takeover of the Grand Palais from FIAC. “Loving how everybody just thinks Art Basel will make their city the center of the world,” the fair director, who once described Art Basel’s expansion as “colonialism,” said on Instagram. He laid out the previous “flops” from MCH Group including Art Basel Cities Buenos Aires, the India Art Fair, and Art Düsseldorf. “I hate to break this news to you, but MCH Group is only interested in making money and keeping Art Basel the number one fair in the world,” he wrote. “Ultimately, it means Paris will never have an art fair of equal stature to Basel, ever.” (Monopol)
OpenSea Reverses Course on NFT Limit – The NFT marketplace made waves when it announced that it would limit the number of NFTs OpenSea users could create in an attempt to prevent theft. The plan was to restrict users to no more than five collections, each containing a maximum of 50 NFTs, or 250 in total. But the announcement sparked an immediate outcry from users and OpenSea reversed the decision within 24 hours. (ARTnews)
MOVERS & SHAKERS
Frieze L.A. Cancels Public Sculpture Show – Frieze has cancelled …….