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TOURISTS ALLEGEDLY BEHAVING BADLY. Columns along the Vasari Corridor, which connects the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, Italy, with the Boboli Gardens, were hit with graffiti, the Associated Press reports, and two vacationing Germans have been accused of doing it. The Uffizi’s director, Eike Schmidt, issued a forceful condemnation, saying, “Enough with symbolic punishments and imaginative extenuating circumstances. We need the hard fist of the law.” The vandalism—the name of a German soccer club, spray painted—comes amid a spat of such acts by tourists in Italy; for instance, a man was caught on camera earlier this summer carving into the stone of the Colosseum in Rome. Those found responsible for the Vasari paint could face up to three years in prison.
THE NFT WORLD. The former exec at the OpenSea NFT marketplace who was convicted of buying and selling those tokens using internal company information, Nate Chastain, was sentenced to three months of home confinement, CoinDesk reports. U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement that “insider trading—in any marketplace—will not be tolerated.” Reuters notes that the judge on the case, Jesse Furman, said it was “difficult” to determine a proper sentence, and that he suspected the government would not have pursued the case if it had not occurred in the “slightly sexy” realm of crypto. Meanwhile, the Art Newspaper has a look at OpenSea’s decision to nix its mandatory resale-royalty policy for artists; many are not pleased about that.
A massive Beverly Pepper sculpture that has been on view outside the Worcester Art Museum since 1972 was vandalized with what appeared to be chalk. A conservation removed the graffiti from its Corten surface. [Telegram & Gazette]
Artist and educator Gabi Ngcobo has been named director of the Kunstinstituut Melly in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, succeeding Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy. Ngcobo, who will start in January, is currently curatorial director of the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. [Artforum]
Philadelphia artist and arts activist Libby Newman, whose abstract works channeled natural forces, died August 8 at the age of 100. At the University City Science Center, in 1976, Newman became the founding director of the Esther Klein Gallery, whose shows bridged art and science. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
The Seoul Museum of Art will open two new branches late next year—one devoted to photography in the northern part of the city, and one in a southwestern district. Its main location in the center of the city is slated to be renovated from October 2024 to May 2026. [Korea JoongAng Daily]
Next month, Gagosian will present the first New York show for the surreal, vaguely nightmarish paintings of Japanese artist Tetsuya Ishida, who died in 2005 at the age of 31. High Line Art director Cecilia Alemani, who organized the 2022 Venice Biennale, is curating. [Artnet News]
The Joan Mitchell Foundation named the 15 artist recipients of its annual Joan Mitchell Fellowship, which provides a total of $60,000 over five years. They include Nicholas Galanin, Jayoung Yoon, and Ana María Hernando. [Artforum]
FAMILY BUSINESS. In the New York Times Magazine, Rachel Corbett has an investigation of the famously secretive art-dealing Wildenstein family, who face a tax trial next month in France. There are remarkable details about the firm’s history, like how the late patriarch Daniel Wildenstein came to own—not a typo—500 paintings by Pierre Bonnard, as well as excerpts from his memoir that describe how the art business works. Dealers should not talk about their holdings, he said. “Why? Because it’s the stuff of dreams. Every art dealer must maintain the illusion of the masterpieces he owns or does not own.” It appears that those illusions may now be fading. [NYT Mag]