Estonia Removes Soviet Monument—and More Art News –

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The Headlines

ON THE MOVE. Estonia said that it is dismantling a Soviet-era monument outside the city of Narva that honors Soviet soldiers who fought in World War II, the Associated Press reports. “We will not afford Russia the opportunity to use the past to disturb the peace in Estonia,” the nation’s prime minister, Kaja Kallas, said. The AP also has a story about a rare mural that was painted in 1910 in a Vermont synagogue and almost lost. A Lithuanian immigrant, artist Ben Zion Black, made the work in the style of his homeland for a Burlington synagogue that was converted into apartments in the 1980s. Luckily, the building’s owner agreed to cover it with a wall. Now it has been uncovered, restored, and sent to a new synagogue home. “When I learned about the mural and what it is and the story behind the artist, I was completely amazed,” Josh Perelman, the chief curator of Philadelphia’s Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History , told the wire service, adding that “there is nothing like this elsewhere in this country.”

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MORE FROM BERLIN. On Tuesday, the Berlin Biennale apologized to three Iraqi artists who had objected to its inclusion of a 2013 Jean-Jacques Lebel installation that features enlarged versions of the notorious images of prisoners being abused at Abu Ghraib. Now, Alex Greenberger reports, those artists have decided to pull their work from the show, deeming the apology insufficient. Lebel, for his part, has said the “aim of this project is to provoke the viewer to meditate on the consequences of colonialism.” 

The Digest

This week, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art repatriated to Nepal two looted artifacts that had been in its collection—a 13th-century wooden temple strut and a 10th-century sculpture. [The Art Newspaper]

The studio of architect Kisho Kurokawa is auctioning off the rights to rebuild Tokyo’s iconic Nakagin Capsule Tower, which Kurokawa designed. Constructed in 1972, the modular building is currently being taken down.

The art-book translator Alice Sedgwick Wohl has penned a new memoir that is, in part, about her sister, Andy Warhol acolyte Edie SedgwickAs It Turns Out: Thinking About Edie and Andy “is beautiful, if not exactly joyful,” book critic Alexandra Jacobs writes. [The New York Times]

For a package in Harper’s Bazaar, photographer John Edmonds shot artists Qualeasha WoodOscar yi HouElla EmhoffJadé Fadojutimi, and many others. [Harper’s Bazaar]

Billionaire Oracle cofounder and art collector Larry Ellison has listed an estate in North Palm Beach, Florida, for $145 million, after snapping up a larger property nearby for $173 million two months ago. Ellison bought the place he is selling for $80 million last year. [The Wall Street Journal]

The Kicker

ROW YOUR BOAT. To draw attention to how runoff from chicken factories is polluting the Wye river in Wales, artist Philip Chatfield and parish priest Richard Williams have embarked on a kind of performance-protest, carrying a wooden statue of Mary along the river for 75 miles, the Guardian reports. The biblical figure symbolizes “purity, cleanliness, and fruitfulness,” Williams told the paper. While describing various environmental and religious angles of the project, Chatfield said, “It can be a lot of things to a lot of people. If nothing else, it’s a nice statue floating down the river.” [The Guardian] 

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