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Lord Shiva Idol Linked with Trafficked Stolen Antiquities 


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!


Lord Shiva Idol Linked with Trafficked Stolen Antiquities 

At the Korukkai Veerateeswarar temple in the Mayiladuthurai district of Tamil Nadu, India, an ancient idol of Lord Shiva has been replaced with a replica.  An ongoing audit at several temples in the delta region led to the discovery of the idol, depicting Lord Shiva as Shri Dakshinamurthy, the supreme teacher of yoga, knowledge, and music, at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio. This 2.5-foot bronze statue, which weighs about 92 pounds, dates between the ninth and 13th centuries and weighs 2.5 feet. Doris Wiener Gallery in New York City sold the idol to the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1971, according to the museum’s website. It is unclear where or when the gallery acquired the idol. Doris’s daughter and owner of an eponymous Upper East Side gallery pleaded guilty to conspiracy and “possession of the stolen property in connection with the trafficking of looted treasures from India and Southeast Asia. Read more on ARTnews

This bronze statue–Shiva as Lord of Music, c. 1000. South India, Tamil Nadu, Chola period (900-13th century)
Courtesy: ARTnews

The backdrop bridge on Leonardo’s Mona-Lisa is a small town in Tuscany: Researcher claims

A scholar in Italian art says “he had no doubt” about what bridge had been painted in the background of the Mona Lisa, the emblematic Leonardo da Vinci. The researcher Silvano Vincenti said the bridge was the Romito di Laterina, an Etruscan-Roman structure in the Italian province of Arezzo. Earlier theories on the background of an oil painting of the sixteenth century identified the bridge as the Ponte Bobbio, in the north town of Piacen. The mayor of Laterina, Simona Neri, said Vinceti’s theory about the bridge was a source of excitement for many of the residents in her town of 3,500 people, with hopes for more tourism in the area from admirers of the Mona Lisa painting. Read more on ARTnews

Mona Lisa by Da Vinci
Courtesy: ARTnews

Copyright on AI images only if there is human authorization: US Officials

The new guidelines issued by the Copyright Office and a recent decision regarding the copyright registration of a comic book, Zarya of the Dawn, authored by New York-based artist and artificial intelligence (AI) consultant Kris Kashtanova with images generated through the AI platform Midjourney. The Copyright Office granted copyright on the entire book, but not on the individual images of the book, stating that those images were not sufficient. Perhaps recognising that there is a growing number of images created by humans and modified by way of AI or generated by AI and modified by human activity and that Zarya will not be the last of its kind, the Copyright Office in March offered additional clarification of its “human authorship requirement”, some of which describes a path forward for artists in this new realm. Read more on The Art Newspaper

Detail from the cover for the comic book, Zarya of the Dawn (2023)
Courtesy: The Art Newspaper


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