International News Digest

APRIL 8

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Dresden’s Gemäldegalerie will be conducting a new experiment with its old masters collection. When on display, the collection’s thousand-plus works will no longer divided by the traditional categories of country and school, but instead will be organized by genre, as well as by stylistic and thematic reference. With renovations scheduled to extend through 2018 in the museum’s east and west wings—where the collection is usually displayed—the works will be exhibited on three floors of Dresden’s baroque Semper building in what Gemäldegalerie director Bernard Maaz has described as an “enchanted forest” of European art. Paintings by Raphael and Dürer will, for the first time, be hung side by side in an experiment that might become a model for the museum’s future exhibitions.

The BBC reports that the Tate has removed prints by artist Graham Ovenden from display, both in the museum and online, following his conviction for six counts of indecency and one of indecent assault. The charges were filed by women who, as girls, posed for his photographs in the 1970s and ‘80s, and who have since then come forward with accusations that the artist had forced them to commit lewd acts. Said the museum, “Following his conviction at Truro Crown Court, Tate is seeking further information and is reviewing the online presentation of those editioned prints by him that are held in the national collection. Until this review is complete, the images will not be available online and the works will not be available to view by appointment.” A museum spokeswoman also stated: “Graham Ovenden is an artist of note, whose work has been widely shown over more than forty years.” The Tate received thirty-four prints by Ovenden as part of a larger 1975 gift of 3,000 pieces.

There are Sins, like Ovenden’s crimes. And then there are sins—like the recent theft of a taxidermied pachyderm’s tusk from the Natural History Museum in Paris. According to Der Standard, a twenty-year-old burglar broke into the museum after hours, where he sawed off the left tusk of a taxidermied elephant that had belonged to Louis XIV. The culprit was caught on foot not far from the scene; authorities say he had injured himself during his escape. Oddly enough, the very next day, thieves hit up the National Etruscan Museum in Rome in an unrelated burglary. Setting off smoke bombs to blind security cameras after having breached the doors of Vignola’s Villa Giulia, which houses the Etruscan Museum, the criminals then proceeded to hack away at vitrines with what police think was either an iron rod or axe, escaping a short time later with several items of jewelry dating from the nineteenth century. The stolen objects come from the Castellani collection, which comprises more than a thousand ancient and modern works given to the Italian state in 1919. According to the museum, the purloined items will not fetch particularly large sums.