What We're Reading: 6/16


Interpol says its ID-Art app has access to a database of 52,000 stolen artefacts © ID-Art/INTERPOL


Interpol launches app to identify stolen art—and it has already been used to discover loot

Interpol has launched a new, free-to-download app to help law enforcers identify stolen art. It has already scored successes during pilot tests by police in Spain and Italy.

The new app, called ID-Art, allows users to check art against 52,000 works registered as stolen on Interpol’s database. It is also envisaged as a tool for collectors and museums, allowing them to create inventories of their collections. These records can be submitted to Interpol in case of theft and will greatly increase their chances of recovering stolen works.

Via The Art Newspaper


Chicago’s National Museum of Mexican Art gets $8 million from billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

The National Museum of Mexican Art announced late Tuesday that it had received a donation of $8 million, the largest single gift in the Pilsen museum’s 39-year history.

The unrestricted money came from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett as part of their well-publicized donations of $2.74 billion, given to hundreds of organizations their charity team identified as equity-oriented, nonprofit projects working in areas that have been neglected.

Via Chicago Tribune


How to Buy a Work of Art, According to the New York Times T Magazine

The sheer volume of art being sold across the world each year is far greater than at any point in human history. There was a 22 percent drop in global sales of art and antiques in 2020 — to all of $50.1 billion. Those figures, the most credible data on this topic that exist — and this alone will say a lot about the art world for the uninitiated — come from an annual report by the economist Clare McAndrew funded and released by Art Basel, a contemporary art fair, and its corporate partner UBS, the Swiss multinational financial services company and one of the largest private banks in the world, which by comparison reported $32.39 billion in revenue in 2020... For one last comparison: $50 billion is also the cost proposed by the International Monetary Fund to cover its global plan to combat Covid-19.

But the fact is that buying art is not so obvious. Having an expendable income at all in the year 2021 is a difficult proposition for the vast majority of people. But if you are someone who has been lucky enough to maintain steady employment during the pandemic... and you have some extra money lying around and have spent the last year looking at the blank walls of your home with encroaching angst — simply having that money doesn’t automatically translate into owning a work of art. Where do you begin? What should you look at?



Robert Indiana’s Estate Has Reached an Agreement With His Longtime Financial Backer After a Bitter Three-Year Legal Fight

A bitter, years-long legal dispute over the legacy of famous Pop artist Robert Indiana has come to an end. The artist’s estate, the Star of Hope Foundation, which the artist established before his death, and the Morgan Art Foundation, which holds the copyright to some of Indiana’s most famous works, have agreed to drop their overlapping claims and counterclaims. 

Via Artnet