Ukrainian museums try to protect their collections

Thursday, the New York Times reports on the efforts of museums in Ukraine to protect their collections against the Russian invasion. At the Museum of Ukrainian History in World War II, its staff moved its most important items to a safe place, which the director called a “great feat”. The director of the Odessa Museum of Fine Arts told the New York Times that he was doing the only thing he could do, which was moving things around in the basement. And, at the end of Thursday, reports the art diarythe organizers of the Ukrainian pavilion of the Venice Biennale have announced that they have stopped preparations for their exhibition of the artist Pavlo Makov.

Alistair Hudsondirector of the Whitworth Art Gallery and the Manchester Art Gallery, a, the Guardian reports, was asked to resign by the University of Manchester. The move comes, according to the Guardian, after complaints about an exhibition at the Whitworth last summer by Forensic Architecture, when a statement of solidarity with Palestine was first removed by the Whitworth Art Gallery and then reinstated. Jonathan Turner, chief executive of UK Lawyers for Israel, a group which complained about the statement last year, said the UKLFI had suggested the university take “appropriate disciplinary action”. A University of Manchester spokesperson said: “We absolutely respect academic freedom. Personnel matters are strictly internal to the university and we never comment on matters of this nature.

Jordanian and French archaeologists announced on Tuesday that they had found a 9,000 year old ritual complex in the desert east of Jordan. The site is near the remains of large-scale traps that were used to pluck wild gazelles (“desert kites”) and contains carved standing stones bearing anthropomorphic figures, one of which is accompanied by a depiction of the “desert kite”, as well as an altar, a hearth, shells and a miniature model of the trap. Excavation co-director Wael Abu-Azziza said “everything was almost intact”.

Last week, two activists swapped the audioguides of the Weltmuseum in Vienna for several days with a version demanding that Moctezuma’s headdress be returned to Mexico. One of the activists, Yosu Arangüena, said El Confidential that ‘Since we couldn’t steal the audio guides […] we brought our own audio guides. We […] ‘gave’ them to the museum. A museum spokesperson reiterated the Weltmuseum’s view that the crown of feathers, given by Hernan Cortes to Charles I and believed to have been worn by Emperor Moctezuma, is too fragile to make the journey: “We follow the latest technological developments.But at present, technology does not offer a way to carry the feather headdress.

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