Briefing

David Shrigley's Fourth Plinth commission is unveiled in London; Pompidou set to establish a Brussels outpost

David Shrigley, Really Good, Trafalgar Square, London; photograph: Philip Toscano / PA Wire/Press Association Images

David Shrigley, Really Good, Trafalgar Square, London; photograph: Philip Toscano / PA Wire/Press Association Images

  • David Shrigley’s Fourth Plinth commission was unveiled yesterday in London’s Trafalgar Square. The 23-foot tall bronze thumb, titled Really Good, is ‘about making the world a better place […] which obviously is a ridiculous proposition, but I think it’s a good proposition,’ Shrigley told those gathered for the occasion.
     
  • Two stolen Vincent van Gogh paintings have been recovered in Naples this week. Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen (1884-85), and View of the Sea at Schveningen (1882), were both stolen from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002. (Italian)
     
  • Centre Pompidou has announced that it will open an outpost in Brussels in 2020, adding to their satellites in Metz, France, and Málaga, Spain. The satellite will be located in a former Citroën garage, a 16,000 square-metre Art Nouveau building located on the banks of the city’s canal, northwest of the centre, and could bring between €2.4 million to €4.8 million per year to Brussels, based on predictions of visitor figures.
     
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has laid off 34 employees, in an attempt to prevent their deficit of USD$10 million from escalating any further. While it represents a setback, the staff reduction is not as large as the institution originally predicted – in July, after 50 employees took voluntary buyouts, the museum announced that it planned to cut at least 50 more positions. Daniel H. Weiss, the Met’s president and chief operating officer, told the New York Times: 'These are difficult decisions – we’re disappointed to be losing good colleagues – but we’re making very good progress on the process we put in motion.'
     
  • The International Criminal Court (ICC) has sentenced Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, an Islamist militant who destroyed ancient shrines in Timbuktu, to nine years in jail. Al-Mahdi admitted to leading rebel forces against historic mausoleums at a world heritage site in Mali in 2012. It is the first sentence based on cultural destruction as a war crime.
     
  • London's Cabinet gallery opens their new space in Vauxhall tonight with the first UK show of Chicago-based artist Jim Nutt. The new space, which is located in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens in the south of the city, features balconies designed by gallery artist Lucy McKenzie and windows by Marc Camille Chaimowicz.

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