Art speaks out against the Mafia in Italy; in Africa, it helps reclaim looted artefacts

Home » Art speaks out against the Mafia in Italy; in Africa, it helps reclaim looted artefacts
A Looty NFT. Courtesy of Looty. | Via Artnet News

A SUMMARY OF THE MOST EXCITING ART NEWS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

While we focus on Indian art, we can’t obviously function in a vacuum. It’s a small world and everything is connected, especially on the web. So, let’s train our spotlight across the world map to see what’s going on — from art trends to socio-political issues to everything that affects the great aesthetic global consciousness. Or, let’s just travel the world and have some fun!

Digital art heists by ‘Looty’ continue to reclaim African artifacts 

‘Looty’ project launches digital art heists to reclaim African artifacts | Via NDTV

Project “Looty” has been busy reclaiming African artifacts stolen by European colonisers by creating 3-D images of them, selling them as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and using the proceeds to fund young African artists. Chidi Nwaubani, the founder of Looty, described his project as an alternative form of repatriation, by which digital technologies are used to reclaim a measure of control and ownership over artifacts still held far from Africa. The process begins with what Nwaubani called a “digital art heist”, a legal procedure in which a Looty team member goes to a museum and scans a target object using technology that can be used to create a 3-D image. Looty’s next big project is focused on an Ancient Egyptian item, Nwaubani said, declining to give further details. NDTV explores the developing story. 

 

In a former Italian mafia stronghold, art warns against history repeating itself 

Arcangelo Sassolino’s mechanical sculpture “Elisa” – an automated digger arm that slowly and loudly gouges away at its cement platform base – in Palermo, Italy on May 24, 2022. This work is part of a public art campaign bearing witness to grim Mafia years. (Gianni Cipriano/The New York Times) | Via The Indian Express

Until recently, Palermo was infamous as one of the world’s organized crime capitals. Italian judge Giovanni Falcone had pioneered new methods to combat Mafia influence in the Sicilian capital of Palermo, and had paved the way for the restoration of law and order. But the Mafia had its revenge in 1992, killing Falcone in a bombing that horrified residents and united them against the mob. To mark the 30th anniversary of Falcone’s murder, Palermo on Monday unveiled a series of art installations reminding people of the city’s grim Mafia years and encouraging local residents to resist the ever-creeping organized crime influence. The works are part of a public art program called Spazi Capaci, and they were inaugurated on a day when Palermo also hosted a remembrance ceremony for Falcone. Originally chronicled by The New York Times, the fascinating narrative is shared by The Indian Express. 

  

Prehistoric rock art threatened by laterite quarrying in Goa 

The quarrying is taking place barely 300-metres away from the heritage art, in the Pansaimol area of Sanguem, Goa | Via ToI

The haphazard quarrying of laterite stones in Pansaimol, Sanguem (Goa) is posing a threat to the prehistoric rock carvings — ones that were recently recommended by the Union government to be included in the tentative list of world heritage sites, along with the rock carvings in Maharashtra’s Konkan region. It was brought to light this week during a government inquiry that the quarrying operations taking place near Rivon panchayat area are without permission from either the forest department, state pollution control board, or the directorate of mines and geology, In the past, when quarrying of laterite stones was conducted, vigilant heritage lovers stopped it. But after a few months, quarrying resumed on a large-scale, freshly threatening the carvings. The Times of India reports. 

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