Saturday, March 14, 2015

State by State Ivory Ban - Update March 2015

This update is not meant to debate again the ivory ban. The article below from is offered as an edited unbiased status report of what's happening. Our blog will continue to cover this in the coming months as we have in previous issues of the Newsletter.

In February, Vermont introduced a key measure to completely ban its domestic elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn commerce, joining nearly 20 states taking action to eliminate the ivory trade in 2015.
In 2014, New Jersey and New York made history as the first states to pass stronger ivory trade restrictions. New Jersey's law, a full ban on all ivory and rhino horn sales in the state, took effect this past February.
As of March 1, a plethora of diverse states — including California, Vermont, Illinois, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Florida, Oklahoma, Virginia, Maryland, Washington State, Iowa and Connecticut — have all introduced similar measures to end ivory and rhino horn trade in 2015. In addition, action is underway to introduce ivory sales bans in Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the District of Columbia.

While approximately 20 states are taking action to end the ivory trade in their states, some are further along than others in the process. A few of them have key hearings this week.
Here's a summary of states taking action to end ivory trade thus far in 2015:

1. California

Bill introduced; currently in committee.
California impacts 20 percent of the US economy and has our nation's second largest market for ivory. That's why it's key that the Sunshine State bans ivory trade with no further exemptions.
Upcoming Hearing: The measure (AB 96) will be heard before the California State Assembly, Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee, at 9:30 a.m. PST March 10 at the State Capitol in Sacramento. For more info and actions on how you can show your support, click here.

2. Illinois

Bill introduced February 20.

3. Massachusetts

Bill introduced and moving quickly.

4. Hawaii

Bill introduced; currently in committee.
Hawaii has the third largest market for illegal ivory in the United States. Support for an ivory ban is strong, but the opposition is also vocal. For more information on ongoing efforts to end the ivory trade in Hawaii, click here.

5. Vermont

Bill introduced February 24.
For more information, including how to show your support, click here.

6. Maryland

Bill introduced; currently in committee.
Upcoming Hearing: The bill, HB0713, will be debated before the House Judiciary Committee in a hearing scheduled for 1 p.m. March 4 at the Maryland House Office Building, Room 100, 6 Bladen Street. For more information, including how to show your support, click here.

7. Florida

Bill introduced February 20.

8. Oklahoma

Bill introduced.

9. Connecticut

Four bills introduced by four lawmakers.

10. Iowa

Bill introduced.

11. Washington State

Introduced in January; died in committee.

12. Virginia

Introduced in January; died in committee.

13. Delaware

Action underway.

14. Nevada

Action underway.

15. Colorado

Action underway.

16. District of Columbia

Action underway.

17. Idaho

Action underway.

18. Oregon

Action underway.

19. Pennsylvania

Action underway.

My Word Winter 2015

We are delighted to welcome new interns Maria Hotovy and Codie Barry, both of whom are juniors at the University of Dallas. Maria and Codie have already made a contribution and we look forward to working with them in the coming months. Please see their bios in this issue.

The great Plains show has now opened at the Metropolitan Museum. We have covered it again in this issue and we hope you have an opportunity to see it. It is truly spectacular, containing objects that you undoubtedly will never see again in person.

Our lead story is the crisis in the Middle East, with ISIS destroying archaeological sites and the many treasures in the Mosul museum. Unfortunately, this will not change with negotiation or education or country building. I do not see anyone who can change this course stepping up in time to protect the heritage in this region. This really should be an issue that the right and the left could come together on in Washington D.C. But if beheading Christians won't do it, I guess a smashed antiquity won't either. The world should all be lobbying their politicians to isolate politically and economically anyone who does this or anyone who supports anyone that does it. How at any level you can negotiate with someone that supports this sort of brutality is apparently a question that for some is not relevant.
The renovations of the Indiana University Art Museum and reinstallation of the Raymond Wielgus collection was scheduled to be well underway by 2015. We haven't received any updates from the director; however, we shall continue to follow this story. As the appraiser on this collection I wonder in light of the success of the Myron Kunin sale at Sothebys in New York, what the Wielgus collection would be worth now.
Finally the efforts by the current administration to ban the sale of all ivory has been delayed by the Republican successes in the mid term elections. As a consequence, the environmentalists pursuing this ban have shifted their focus to a state by state ban. In this issue we have summarized what has happened to date. We shall be following this closely in the coming months. JB

Friday, March 13, 2015

Images From Around the World, Winter 2015

In Nigeria it’s common to ask guests to wear color-coordinated outfits, called aso ebi, at social events, such as this wedding at the Yoruba Tennis Club in Lagos.
Photograph by Robin Hammond, National Geographic

Thiksey Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery known for its resemblance to Lhasa’s Potala Palace, sits at 11,800 feet in the northern Himalayan region of Ladakh, India. The 12-story complex houses temples, a nunnery, and Buddhist artwork, including a 40-foot statue of Maitreya, or the future Buddha
 Photograph by Kavya Reddy, National Geographic Your Shot

Sunrise lights up Cathedral Cove, an iconic spot near Hahei, New Zealand. The natural tunnel is part of the Te Whanganui-a-Hei Marine Reserve on the Coromandel Peninsula. It also served as a portal to Narnia in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.
Photograph by Chris Gin

Arial Photograph of Bac Son Valley, Vietnam

Arial Photograph of Barcelona, Spain

Tribal Art Winter 2015

 Shango staff
1st quarter 20th century
Ex. Lipkin Collection, London

 Benin Hip mask
Late 18th to early 19th
Ht. 7"
Ex Franklin Collection

 Ekoi Dance Crest
19th century
Ex Lipkin Collection, London

Yoruba Divination Container
19th century
Ex Lipkin Collection, London
 Zuni kachina
20th century
Ex Foxworth Collection

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Meet the Interns 2015

Maria Hotovy is currently a junior at the University of Dallas, working towards an art degree with an emphasis in painting. Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, she has had a passion for the arts from a young age, with continued involvement in art, drama, music, and writing. By spending a semester studying abroad in Rome, Italy she was able to further her education by experiencing classical art and architecture, as well as immersion in Italian culture. She loves to travel, having been to Spain, France, Greece, Ireland, England, and yes, even Canada. She is excited for the opportunity to learn more about the world of art appraisal and authentication, and plans to pursue a career in the field of art.

Hello, I am Codie Barry, and I am delighted to be one of the Spring 2015 interns at Shango Gallery. I am a junior English and Art History major at the University of Dallas. I have always been interested in the art world, but being artistically challenged, I decided criticizing other people’s art would have to be the way to go.  I am originally from Los Angeles, California but have found myself in Dallas, somewhat unintentionally. I also lived in Rome for five months and travelled to France, Hungary, England, Turkey, Greece, and Serbia, so I am no stranger to being somewhere new. My travels have taught me that every culture is different, but are motivated by much of the same values and desires. The art of one civilization looks different from another, but the common human spirit is found everywhere. I love Art Deco, the Futurists, Dadaism, and the Cubists, and my favorite type of tribal art is the art made by the old civilizations in Russian and Eastern Europe. I am thrilled to be learning so much about authentication, restoration, and appraisal here at Shango.

Restorations Winter 2015

1. PARIS.- Acquired by the State through public subscription in 1920, the painting The Painter's Studio (1854-1855) by Gustave Courbet is a universal masterpiece that is part of France's cultural heritage. After surviving more than a century of turbulent history, this 22 m² canvas is now in need of restoration. As this treasure belongs to everyone in France, the Musée d'Orsay is once again calling on the generosity of the public to help finance its restoration and to enable as many people as possible to participate in this project, beyond the traditional patrons.
More Information:[/url]
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2. CAIRO (AFP).- An Egyptian conservation group said Friday it will sue the antiquities minister over a "botched" repair of the mask of King Tutankhamun that left a crust of dried glue on the
priceless relic. The golden funerary mask, seen Friday by AFP at the Egyptian Museum, showed the sticky aftermath of what appears to have been overzealous use of glue to fix the mask's beard in place. A museum official, who spoke anonymously to avoid repercussions, told AFP the beard had fallen of accidentally when the mask was removed from its case last year to repair the lighting. Museum head Mahmoud al-Helwagy denied that conservation workers had damaged the mask
More Information:[/url]
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PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Syria’s renowned Ma’arra Mosaic Museum, significantly damaged and in danger of collapse as a result of the country’s long and ongoing civil war, has undergone emergency conservation and protection efforts by Syrian cultural heritage professionals and volunteers. The emergency project, first conceived during a Syrian cultural heritage emergency workshop in the summer of 2014, was a months’ long initiative of an international group of organizations: the Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq Project (SHOSI), which is a consortium of the Penn Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Pennsylvania Museum; the Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution; the Geospatial Technologies Project at the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Shawnee State University, The Day After—a Syrian NGO; and the U.S. Institute of Peace. The consortium planned the project, coordinated necessary governmental approvals in the war-torn country, and paid for the materials required to carry out the work with support from the J. M. Kaplan Fund. “We’ve seen how the invaluable cultural heritage of Syria has fallen prey to destruction by heavy artillery, targeted explosive attacks and looting as never before,” noted Dr. Salam Al-Kuntar, a Syrian archaeologist, a visiting research scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University and a consulting scholar at the Penn Cultural Heritage Center. “We all know that what a group of dedicated Syrians have done is a small but meaningful act and a courageous act, taking difficult steps during wartime to preserve Syrian history for future generations. Let us hope that this will be the first of many more concrete efforts of preservation.” Housing one of the most important collections of 3rd to 6th century Roman and Byzantine mosaics in the Middle East, the Ma’arra Mosaic Museum is located about 50 miles south of Aleppo. The Museum was an old caravanseri, or roadside inn, that was constructed in 1595 and refurbished as a museum in 1987.

More Information:[/url]
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3. PHILADELPHIA, PA.- During a recent paper conservation treatment, the Barnes Foundation discovered two unfinished sketches - one graphite and one watercolor - on the reverse sides of two watercolors by Cezanne, which depict the landscape of southern France: The Chaine de l'Etoile Mountains (BF650) and Trees (BF655), normally on view in room 20 of the Collection Gallery. The discovery marks the first time these sketches have been seen since at least the early 20th century, most likely prior to Dr. Albert Barnes's purchase of the works from Leo Stein in 1921.These sketches provide a glimpse behind Cezanne's artistic process and their discovery highlights the importance of conservation efforts and dedicated collection stewardship. More Information:[/url]Copyright ©

4. NEW YORK (AFP).- A Picasso painting, snatched more than a decade ago from a storeroom in Paris, has surfaced in New York and will be returned to the French government, US officials said Thursday. The century-old Cubist oil was smuggled into the United States last December from Belgium with a shipping label that described the contents as a handicraft holiday present worth 30
euros ($37). The painting, known as "La Coiffeuse" or "The Hairdresser," is estimated to be worth millions of dollars, US prosecutors said. It was intercepted by US customs and subsequently seized by Homeland Security Investigations. "A lost treasure has been found," said Loretta Lynch, attorney for the eastern district of New York. More Information:[/url]
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5. PAKISTAN-In 2007, Taliban forces drilled into the face and torso of a 1,500-year-old Buddha relief in Jahanabad, Pakistan, injecting explosives. The dynamite in the shoulders of the 20-foot-tall carving failed to go off, but the charges in the face exploded, sheering off all but the lower left chin and jaw. This callous act of destruction was ideologically motivated: Muslim extremists view the Buddha as a false idol, and have been destroying and defacing artifacts and antiquities for centuries before the terrorist group came to power. More Information:

6. NEW YORK - It happened at 6 on a Sunday night. Adam — a strapping, 6-foot-3-inch marble sculpture by the Venetian Renaissance master Tullio Lombardo — fell to the ground on a patio at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, smashing into hundreds of pieces. “Nobody knew what had happened — it could have been foul play,” said Jack Soultanian, a conservator who was called to the museum that night in 2002. More Information:

7. PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Syria’s renowned Ma’arra Mosaic Museum, significantly damaged and in danger of collapse as a result of the country’s long and ongoing civil war, has undergone emergency conservation and protection efforts by Syrian cultural heritage professionals and volunteers. The emergency project, first conceived during a Syrian cultural heritage emergency workshop in the summer of 2014, was a months’ long initiative of an international group of organizations: the Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq Project (SHOSI), which is a consortium of the Penn Cultural Heritage Center at the University of Pennsylvania Museum; the Office of the Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution; the Geospatial Technologies Project at the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Shawnee State University, The Day After—a Syrian NGO; More Information: Copyright ©

Auctions Around The World Winter 2015

1. LONDON.- Tonight’s evening auction realised £123,515,250 / $188,200,186/ €166,461,924 - the highest ever total for a Sotheby’s sale of Contemporary Art in Europe (est. £88.6–125.5m / $135191.2m / €119.4-169.1m). “The enormous global appetite for Contemporary masterpieces played out tonight as bidding shot up in leaps of £2 million for Richter’s landmark abstract. It is emblematic of the depth of the market that new benchmarks were set not only for rising star Jonas Wood, but also for the greats: Richter, Fontana, Bacon.
More Information:[/url]
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2. BOULDER, CO.- Fascinating relics and treasures of the Ancient World will come to life on Friday, February 13th as Artemis Gallery presents 400+ pedigreed lots in its Antiquities, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction. The carefully authenticated selection contains antiquities, ancient and ethnographic art from the most
intriguing cultures of the past, including those of Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Near/Middle East, Asia and Pre-Columbian Americas.
More Information:[/url]
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3. LOS ANGELES, CA.- Tell Me What You Want (What You Really, Really Want), a new auction taking place at Bonhams in Los Angeles on March 31, will
feature work by such pioneering artists as Richard Anuszkiewicz, Mathias Goeritz, Jim Dine and Claes Oldenburg. The auction will be introduced by a series of events, wine tastings and a preview party on March 28 with a performance by two professional players on the ping-pong table made by artist Ry Rocklen for his Trophy Modern series.
More Information:[/url]
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4. LONDON.- The Evening Sales of Impressionist and Modern Art and The Art of the Surreal that took place at Christie’s London on 4 February realised a combined total of £147,031,000/$222,751,965/€194,080,920, selling 88% by lot and 94% by value. The auctions had a combined pre-sale estimate of £92.8 million to £133.8 million. The top price was achieved by Joan Miró’s Painting
(Women, Moon, Birds), which sold for £15,538,500/ $23,540,828/ €20,510,820 against an estimate of £4 million to £7 million. In total, 36 works of art sold for over £1 million / 45 for over $1 million.
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5. NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announces Old
Masters Week in New York, which will take place from 27-29 January 2015. The sales begin on January 27 with The Abbott-Guggenheim Collection: A New York Kunstkammer, featuring a renowned collection of 120 lots of Renaissance and Baroque sculptures and clocks. On January 28, Old Master Paintings: Part I features the earliest known work by Caravaggio, Boy peeling a fruit, which leads a superb selection of Italian Baroque art. Also on January 28, the Renaissance sale features a rare portrait by Bronzino, which is the top lot of the week and heads an exceptional group of Renaissance portraiture. On 29 January, Old Master and British Drawings includes star lots by David and Rubens, and Old Master Paintings: Part II will round out the series of sales. The five sales in Old Masters Week will offer works with exceptional provenance and freshness, discoveries and new attributions and are expected to realize in excess of $ 60 million. More Information:[/url]
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6. DALLAS, TX.- Heritage Auctions' Nov. 30 Weekly Internet Comics Auction set a new record for the highest-grossing auction of its kind after reaching $256,743 in total sales. The auction was
completely sold out as 874 lots of vintage comic books, original comic art, animation art, magazines and related memorabilia changed hands.
More Information:[/url]
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7. BOULDER.- Each of Artemis Gallery's auctions reflects a deep respect for ancient cultures of all geographic regions. That's why the template for all of the company's sales is so intentionally multicultural. The 500+ lots in their December 5 Ancient Ethnographic Art Holiday Auction includes Classical Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities; as well as art and relics of Pre-Columbian, Native American and Oceanic peoples. Additionally, the auction includes Part II of the collection of William Norris Dale, an American diplomat who was stationed in Turkey in the early 1960s. Two selections from LiveAuctioneers online catalog are shown here: a circa 17th/18th century CE Spanish gold emerald pendant cross, est. $10,000-$14,000; and a circa 1st/2nd century CE Roman bronze of a satyr carrying a wineskin, est. $12,000-$15,000.
More Information:[/url]
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8. MICHIGAN-The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House kept secret its 2013 sale of an oil painting by French post-impressionist Paul Cezanne to a private buyer for $100 million to help protect Detroit-owned artworks under threat due to the city's bankruptcy. More Information:

9. HONG KONG.- Sotheby's Hong Kong Spring Sales 2015 will take place from 4 to 7 April at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Continuing its exploration the history of art within an academic context, Sotheby's Modern Asian Art category will offer approximately 150 meticulously-selected works by modern Chinese masters estimated at over HK$260 million / US$33 million* in the Modern and Contemporary Asian Art Evening Sale (4 April) and Modern Asian Art Day Sale (5 April).More Information: Copyright ©

10. DALLAS, TX.- A rare surviving broadside by Sam Houston appealing to the citizens of Texas for aid on the very day Texas declared her independence - only the second copy to ever surface - could sell for $15,000 in Heritage Auctions' March 14 Texana Grand Format Auction in Dallas. The auctions' 362 lots offer an insider's look at the Texas Revolution through unique documents and letters signed by the likes of James Bowie, Davy Crockett and Stephen F. Austin, among other notables. More Information: ©

11. LONDON.- One of the most significant collections of eastern antique weaponry in the world is to be auctioned at Bonhams Knightsbridge on 29 April. The collection, which was assembled by Rick Wagner over the course of his lifetime, includes edged weapons, antique firearms and armour in great variety. Wagner was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1935 and was raised in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. He later wrote that he inherited the "collecting gene" from his mother, Clare, a dedicated collector of antiques who encouraged her children to study and gather stamps, coins and, eventually, weapons. More Information: Copyright ©

12. SYDNEY.- Several rare Mao-era snuff bottles will be auctioned by Bonhams in Sydney later this month, part of a private collection of more than 350 exquisitely decorated bottles. With items ranging from traditional 19th century inside-painted bottles to modern takes on historical motifs, the sizeable collection was built up by the Lumsden family of New South Wales over two decades and includes several rare and unusual pieces. Bonhams Asian Art specialist, Yvett Klein, said the most unique bottles were produced during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and '70s and are adorned with propaganda images and slogans by Chairman Mao. More Information: Copyright ©

Archaeology Winter 2015

1. MEXICO CITY.- This past Wednesday, December 17th, marked the 224th Anniversary of the discovery of the emblematic monument currently on display in the Mexica Hall of the National Anthropology Museum. After more than 200 years of being buried, the Aztec Sun Stone, the colossal monument that synthesizes the astronomical knowledge that the Mexica society (also known as Aztecs) developed before the Spanish conquest, was fortuitously found on December 17th, 1790 in the southern part of the Plaza Mayor (today known as the Zócalo) of Mexico City.
More Information:[/url]
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2. JERUSALEM.- Archaeologists from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Institute of Archaeology have discovered a monumental entryway to the Herodian Hilltop Palace at the Herodium National Park. The unique complex was uncovered during excavations by The Herodium Expedition in Memory of Ehud Netzer over the past year, as part of a project to develop the site for tourism.
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3. MADRID (AFP).- Researchers looking for the remains of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes said Monday they found part of a casket at a Madrid convent bearing the initials of the "Don Quixote" author. The team made the find over the weekend inside an alcove in the crypt at the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians during excavations aimed at solving the mystery of the writer's final resting
place.  "Remains of caskets were found, wood, rocks, some bone fragments, and indeed one of the fragments of a board of one of the caskets had the letters 'M.C.' formed in tacks," forensic anthropologist Francisco Etxeberria, who is leading the search, told a news conference. Cervantes is recorded as having been buried at the convent's chapel in the centre of the Spanish capital a day after his April 22, 1616 death -- the same week that William Shakespeare died -- but the exact whereabouts of his grave are unknown.
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4. MEXICO CITY.- A linen that protected for more than a century the remains of Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes was restored by specialists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) of Mexico. This piece, elaborated with white linen and black silk embroidery, belongs to the National Museum of History (MNH) of Mexico, at Castillo de Chapultepec.
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5. ATHENS (AFP).- Bones from at least five people, including a baby and an elderly woman, were identified in a massive tomb in Greece dating back to the era of Alexander the Great, the culture
ministry said Monday. "A minimum number of five people have been identified from bone remains, four of whom were buried and one of whom was burned," the ministry said in a statement.
More Information:[/url]
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6. PARIS (AFP).- A tomb from the fifth century BC, likely that of a Celtic prince, has been unearthed in a small French town, shedding light on Iron Age European trade, researchers said Wednesday. The "exceptional" grave, crammed with Greek and possibly Etruscan artefacts, was discovered in a business zone on the outskirts of Lavau in France's Champagne region, said the National Archaeological Research Institute, Inrap.
More Information:

7. MIAMI (AFP).- A piece of jawbone with teeth attached, uncovered in Ethiopia, is the earliest known fossil of the genus Homo, to which humans belong, researchers said Wednesday. The discovery suggests that humankind's ancestors were living in what is now the Ledi-Geraru research area of Afar Regional State, Ethiopia, in open grassland environments, near lakes, rivers, and active volcanoes, about 2.8 million years ago, or 400,000 years earlier than previously thought. "It is the first fossil we have on the branch that leads toward us," said Brian Villmoare, assistant professor at the University of Nevada, lead author of the study in the journal Science.More Information: Copyright ©

8. SYRIA.- Syria has seen damage to hundreds of historically significant cultural heritage sites since the outbreak of war three years ago, according to a new report released this week by the United Nations. The study finds that 290 culturally important areas in the Middle Eastern country have sustained damage or have been totally destroyed. More Information:

9. BAGHDAD (AFP).- Islamic State militants armed with sledgehammers and jackhammers have destroyed priceless ancient artefacts in Iraq's city of Mosul, a video released by the jihadists Thursday shows. The destruction sparked widespread consternation and alarm, with some archaeologists and heritage experts comparing it to the 2001 demolition of the Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan by the Taliban. The United Nations' cultural agency immediately demanded an emergency meeting of the Security Council, arguing that heritage protection was an integral part of Iraq's security. The video shows IS militants knocking statues off their plinths and rampaging through the Mosul museum's collection, which includes artifacts from the Assyrian and Hellenistic periods dating back to several centuries before Christ. More Information:[/url]
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10.BAGHDAD (AFP).- The Islamic State group began bulldozing the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud in Iraq on Thursday, the government said, in the jihadists' latest attack on the country's historical heritage. IS "assaulted the historic city of Nimrud and bulldozed it with heavy vehicles," the tourism and antiquities ministry said on an official Facebook page. An Iraqi antiquities official confirmed the news, saying the destruction began after noon prayers on Thursday and that trucks that may have been used to haul away artefacts had also been spotted at the site. More Information:[/url] Copyright ©

Stories Around the World Winter 2015

1. NEW YORK This past July, a real-estate listing caught our eye - not so much because it promised a "classic six" in the Upper East Side's star-studded Beresford building, but more importantly, because this particular apartment was covered floor to ceiling with taxidermy. And we mean covered - check out Emily Andrews's eerie accompanying photo-spread, in which one end table alone boasts two birds and three rodents beneath a gapless array of moose, ram, and deer heads. More Information:

2. This morning President Barack Obama announced that long strained relations with Cuba would be mended, and full diplomatic relations with the island nation restored. However, an embargo on Cuban goods, both imports and exports, will remain, though travel restrictions will ease and some imports will be allowed. So what does all this mean for the art world and its institutions? More Information:

3. Artists were among the earliest activists in the protests that erupted across the US in December over the grand jury decisions not to indict either of the policemen responsible for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed black men.
More Information:

4. WARSAW- Aleksandra Wasilkowska, the vice-president of the Polish Architectural Association in Warsaw, doesn't care much for skyscrapers. At 36, the most promising architect in Poland is making a name for herself by focusing instead on the small-scale constructions of the so-called informal economy. Street stalls, collapsible tables, carts, and makeshift homeless shelters are but a few typologies of what the designer, artist, curator, and writer calls "shadow architecture" - the urban phenomena that follow the rise of an informal shadow economy. More Information:

5. Does quilting count as art? In Four Centuries of Quilts, an expansive new survey published by Yale University Press, authors Linda Baumgarten and Kimberly Smith Ivey say yes. Many quilts actually take the viewer into the sublime, they write. They make you feel something you might not have felt otherwise. This is what makes quilts a form of art and not simply a craft with the function of providing warmth. More Information:

6. The Rhydymwyn Valley works, near Mold, which housed mustard gas shells in World War 2, had been earmarked. Whitehall's Property Services Agency wanted assurances that the site could withstand flashes or blasts. But the Welsh Office changed its mind about needing an emergency storage base for the nation's "few valuable items". Fears of nuclear war with the Soviet Union had prompted government departments across the UK in the 1980s to plan for the worst, papers released by the national archives have revealed. More Information:

7. PARIS.- Within hours of a terrorist attack that decimated the staff at Charlie Hebdo, copies of the latest issue of the satirical French weekly were drawing bids of more than 70,000 euros ($82,400) online.  The 60,000 print run of issue number 1177 sold out nearly instantly following the assault on the magazine's headquarters that killed 12 people, including some of its top journalists.  By midday Wednesday, scores of the three-euro magazine bearing a cartoon likeness of controversial French author Michel Houellebecq on its cover were popping up online at astronomical prices. More Information:[/url]
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8. NEW YORK (AFP).- Forty years after the end of the Vietnam war, US bombs dropped along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos have become expensive jewelry worn by American fashionistas. Delicate bracelets encrusted with diamonds, bronze pendants, necklaces and drop earrings -- all made from ordnance left over from America's deadliest war -- are on display on the sidelines of New York Fashion Week. Crafted by artisans in Laos, who smelted shrapnel in straw-roofed workshops, they are distributed by Brooklyn startup Article 22 and now sold in nearly 40 countries.  Inscriptions such as "love is the bomb" and "dropped + made in Laos" are engraved into the metal, a play on modern slang in which "bomb" means "cool," not just a lethal weapon of war. More Information:[/url]
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9. MUMBAI (AFP).- The Mumbai neighbourhood made famous by the film "Slumdog Millionaire" is set to host its first "biennale", aiming to promote health through creativity, although it will be very different to some of the world's grander art fairs. The three-week festival, opening Sunday, will
showcase works created by residents of Dharavi, the densely populated settlement in the heart of India's financial capital that is known as one of Asia's biggest slums. From hand-painted pots arranged to show how sexually transmitted diseases spread, to a quilted map marking known locations of domestic violence, the Dharavi Biennale is designed to raise awareness without being "preachy", say the organizers. More Information:[/url]Copyright ©