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All hail the Monday round-up


by Jerome Weeks 10 Feb 2008

 Last year, the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth returned a Nazi-stolen painting by J. M. W. Turner to its rightful owners and then bought it back at auction. It’s only one, local example of the well-established trend of returning stolen artworks — with many government prosecutors finally fighting the black market in stolen antiquities. But now […]

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Adolf Hitler inspecting stolen art, photo from US National Archives

  •  Last year, the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth returned a Nazi-stolen painting by J. M. W. Turner to its rightful owners and then bought it back at auction. It’s only one, local example of the well-established trend of returning stolen artworks — with many government prosecutors finally fighting the black market in stolen antiquities. But now some prominent scholars are drawing a line in the sand, saying that objects belong where they are. The repatriation movement, they argue, actually may damage the world’s cultural inheritance.
  • The Tate Britain is the national gallery of British art from whence came many of the artworks in the current Turner exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art. To give some idea of its size, it has 300 Turner oil paintings and thousands of his watercolors. It also has some rather strange stuff in its natural history collection as the new book, Dry Store Room No. 1 makes clear: stuffed girafffes, fossil imprints from ancient spiders, that sort of thing. And then there are the curators themselves: An odd bunch, definitely. 
  • The arts and arts funding have not been much of a political football this campaign — despite the recent budget proposal by the Bush administration to halve the funding of the NEA. But it’s worth knowing in case they do, and worth knowing in case, you know, there’s an election or something: Here’s a helpful guide to the candidates’ positions on the arts.
  • Because many paint dyes are organic, x-rays can damage them if scientists try to examine the undercoats of an antique painting. But University of Michigan researchers have found that T-rays or tetrahertz rays can work the same magic without harm.
  • Remember several years ago how Dallas lost to Chicago when it came to wooing Boeing to move its headquarters here? Here’s the kind of thing we lost out on: Boeing has transformed jazz in Chicago.
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