Finland releases $46mn of art back to Russia; pollution threatens some of world’s oldest rock carvings

Home » Finland releases $46mn of art back to Russia; pollution threatens some of world’s oldest rock carvings
A man walks past "Untitled" by Willem De Kooning during a preview of Sotheby's impressionist and modern art evening sale in New York | Via Thomson Reuters | Via Business Insider

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!

Some of world’s oldest rock carvings threatened by pollution  

Located in western Australia’s Burrup Peninsula, Murujuga is one of the world’s most significant rock art regions, with an estimated one million petroglyphs created more than 40,000 years ago. PHOTOGRAPH BY VIKTOR POSNOV, ALAMY STOCK PHOTO | Via National Geographic

On a remote peninsula in Western Australia, a 16-hour drive from the nearest city, 30,000-year-old faces stare at the rare visitor to a wild location. Those human depictions are part of Murujuga, one of the world’s largest collections of ancient rock art — 10 times older than the pyramids of Egypt. These petroglyphs also reveal the mythology of one of the world’s oldest civilizations, Aboriginal Australians. Although this extraordinary place is little known, even to most Australians, it is now gaining recognition for two contrasting reasons. There’s excitement around the tentative UNESCO World Heritage listing of Murujuga, which could drive a tourism boom. That is tempered, however, by grave warnings from rock art scientists that Murujuga could be destroyed within a century by pollution from the massive and growing industrial precinct that surrounds it. National Geographic reports the sombre truth. 

  

The art world is blacklisting Russian oligarchs (amid fears that they will evade sanctions) 

Portrait of a Young Girl” by Nilolai Fechin at Sotheby’s 2018 Russian Art Week. Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images | Via Business Insider

Auction houses, museums, and artists are cutting ties with the billionaires in response to sanctions. In London, the world’s top auction houses canceled “Russian Art Week,” the go-to art fair for wealthy Russian buyers. In New York, Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin resigned from the Guggenheim Museum’s board of trustees. In Moscow, artists are canceling their exhibits in Garage, the museum founded by Dasha Zhukova, a socialite art collector and ex-wife of sanctioned oligarch Roman Abramovich. As the world looks to retaliate against sanctioned Russian oligarchs and their “ill-begotten gains,” the notoriously opaque art industry is attempting to cut off decades-long relationships with the foreign tycoons. Business Insider gets into detail. 

  

Art impounded by Finland released to Russia 

 


Workers unpack artworks in the presence of journalists in the main building of the Hermitage Museum as they arrive after an exhibition in Milan, Italy. Alexander Demianchuk / TASS | Via The Moscow Times

Russian art works valued at $46 million impounded by Finland last week were released and arrived in St. Petersburg. On Monday the Russian state news agency RIA reported that three vehicles containing the art works had left Finland on April 9 and arrived in St. Petersburg. The works, which included paintings, statues and antiques, had been held by Finnish authorities while they investigated their provenance and determined if they were subject to EU sanctions. The sanctions prohibit the sale, transfer, supply or export of artworks and other luxury goods to Russia. The Moscow Times tells you much more.