Our daily roundup of art world news
Italian police recover stolen Van Goghs in Amsterdam | The Attorney General of Naples announced the recovery of two Van Gogh paintings stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002. The paintings – Seascape in Scheveningen (1882) and Ccongregation leaving the Reformed Church of Nuenen (1884/85) – were among the assets seized during an ongoing investigation of a local Camorra family. The theft was considered one of the ‘top 10’ art crimes by the FBI, and resulted in the conviction of two suspects in 2004. ‘The paintings have been found! That I would be able to pronounce these words is something I no longer dared to hope for,” said Axel Rüger, director of the Van Gogh museum.
Center Pompidou will open a museum in Brussels | The Center Pompidou and the Brussels-Capital Region have agreed to open a new museum of modern art in the Belgian capital, reports The Arts Journal. The new museum will be installed in a former Citroën headquarters in the northwest of the city, and should open its doors in 2020, even if the first temporary exhibition is planned for 2018. The project will be led by Yves Goldstein, director of cabinet of the Minister-President of the Brussels Region.
Diane Wilsey remains as head of the board of directors of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco | San Francisco Fine Arts Museums Group board members voted to change Diane (“Dede”) Wilsey’s title from “president” to “chairman of the board” and two vice presidents were also appointed, reports The New York Times. The decision comes after a year of controversy after Wilsey allegedly made a payment to a former museum employee without proper authorization. Wilsey, however, ceded his role as CEO to Max Hollein, the new director of FAMSF.
Stolen 17th century icon returns to Russia | A 17andA century icon that was stolen from a church in Yaroslavl in 1995 has been repatriated to Russia after being identified in a gallery in Venice, reports The Arts Journal. Resurrection – Descent into Hell (1640) was spotted by a Russian icon expert from the State Tretyakov Gallery and its return was sponsored by property developer and collector Mikhail Abramov. The icon will be examined by specialists before being exhibited at the Russian Icon Museum in Moscow, and then it will return to Yaroslavl.
Recommended Reading | The BBC reports Argentinian President Mauricio Macri’s decision to temporarily close a museum dedicated to Argentina’s presidency, in which two-thirds of the exhibits, critics say, were dedicated to his predecessor Cristina Fernandez’s late husband, President Nestor Kirchner. Elsewhere, former UK culture minister Ed Vaizey wrote about arts funding for theartsdesk.com. Meanwhile, in the United States, an $8 million sculpture by Jeff Koons has been unveiled at a basketball stadium in Sacramento. “I consider Jeff Koons to be the Michelangelo of the 21st century,” Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé said. New York Times.