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Return of artifacts to its origin and showcase of Greek artifacts at Metropolitan museum of art


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!

Ancient Greek artifacts to go on display


The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has teamed up with the Greek government to share a collection of important Cycladic antiquities. The 161-strong holdings were put together over 40 years by the businessman Leonard Stern. The artefacts, created in the Cyclades islands off the coast of Greece in the Aegean sea, date from the Bronze Age Cypriot civilisation of the third millennium BC. But the arrangement has sparked controversy with some critics, such as the Greek politician and history professor Sia Anagnostopoulou, questioning the provenance of some of the Cycladic artefacts.  Stern told the New York Post he had worked on the multi-party plan with the Greek culture minister Lina Mendoni, saying: \”My professionals worked with their professionals and that is how they structured it.  Crucially, the complex multilateral agreement stresses that \”Greek patrimony law provides that the Greek State is the sole owner of the collection.\” The deal—which was approved by the Greek parliament in September—will bring all 161 of the Cycladic artefacts to the Met for a 25-year display startingMuseum of Cycladic Art). More at The Art Newspaper.

Arcual, an Art Basel-Funded Blockchain Startup to help artists and dealers


Arcual is a new company that leverages blockchain technology to help artists and dealers in the art world. It was co-founded by Art Basel and the Luma Foundation, two Swiss institutions with different interests. A beta version of Arcual is now being offered to galleries in the network, but the real rollout will begin in December. The company plans to introduce its technology at Art Basle Miami Beach next month. The company will take a cut of less than five percent on all initial transactions, then a larger cut—five to fifteen percent—anytime an artwork is resold. Arcual emphasises privacy in contrast to other blockchain infrastructures like Ethereum, Polygon, and others, where data is intentionally recorded in a public database. The platform is not the first to use smart contracts in the art sector; it was developed by BCG Digital Ventures, a division of the Boston Consulting Group. The distribution of profits between Luma, Art Basel, and the other investors was not disclosed by the representatives. Arcual has been purpose-built to address the unique needs of the art world – including artists, galleries, institutions, and collectors. Arcual’s blockchain applications will create a trusted space for information, partnerships, and transactions within the art world. Details on Artnet news.

Manhattan Prosecutors Return 7th-Century Cambodian Statue


A Vishnu statue that passed through a disgraced dealer\’s New York gallery has gone back to Cambodia. The DA\’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit has seized more than 3,000 items, returning some of them to countries like Nepal, Cambodia, Italy, Egypt, and Indonesia. The repatriation is the latest instance of a work that was looted, stolen, or taken during colonization heading home. The Manhattan DA\’s office and Homeland Security Investigations are repatriating art looted from the Doris Wiener collection to Cambodia. The Standing Sandstone Vishnu, a Hindu statue, is part of a larger effort by the Manhattan DA to return looted art items. The U.S. ambassador to Cambodia said in a statement that \”They were looted from places where they had been situated in peace for centuries, and they belong in Cambodia\”. The repatriation of the Standing Sandstone Vishnu is part of a larger effort by the Manhattan DA’s office to return looted art items, including last year’s $15 million case investigation into more than 200 items from India. Read more on Art News.

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