Grand Palais Ephémère
A view of the Grand Palais Ephémère in Paris.

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New Paris fair reveals branding

The owner of Art Basel and Masterpiece London has announced the new name and details of its planned fair in the French capital. The Contemporary and Modern art fair debuting in October will be called Paris+, par Art Basel (Paris+, by Art Basel).

It has taken the slot of FIAC (the Foire Internationale D’Art Contemporain) at the Grand Palais. But while the Grand Palais undergoes a major renovation, the fair will take place at the Grand Palais Éphémère on the Champ-de- Mars this year and next.

It is being staged from October 20-23, with a preview day on October 19.

Paris+ will be directed by Clément Delépine (previously co-director of Paris Internationale) who will work closely with general manager Virginie Aubert and deputy director Maxime Hourdequin.

Kauffman portraits blocked from export

A pair of group portraits by artist Angelica Kauffman (1741- 1807) have been temporarily blocked from export in the hope a UK buyer will pay the £1.5m needed.

The oil on canvases are of Mr and Mrs Joseph May and their children. They were painted in 1780 and had been commissioned by Joseph May (1730-96), for Hale Park in Hampshire. The Mays were a wealthy merchant family based in Portugal and later came to live in Hampshire.

The portraits remained in the family until they were sold in 1886. More recently they changed hands in 1995 at auction and were offered again at Sotheby’s on December 4, 2013.

The current owner applied for an export licence but it has been temporarily refused by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest committee. The committee stated the departure of this pair from the UK would be a “misfortune because of their outstanding significance for the study of 18th century portraiture”.

The decision on the application will be deferred until July 24. A total of £1.5m plus VAT of £300,000 is needed to buy the paintings from the current owner.

Nepalese looted items returned

Looted Nepalese artefacts were handed back to the ambassador of Nepal to the UK by Met Police Det Supt John Roch.

The items were a 16th century carved wooden torana and an 18th century carved stone sculpture. The torana had been taken from Kumari Baha in Kathmandu in the 1980s or 1990s while the sculpture was stolen from Manjushri Temple in Kathmandu in the 1980s.

The Met’s Art & Antiques Unit recovered the items from a dealer who said he did not know they had been stolen. Once the police informed him of the evidence he volunteered to disclaim the items so that they could be given back.

They will be returned to their original locations via the department of archaeology of the government of Nepal.

Christie’s shakes up a senior team

Christie’s has made a series of changes to its senior team in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.

It has promoted Anthea Peers to the role of president of EMEA. Current EMEA president Dirk Boll has moved to a newly created role of EMEA deputy chairman of 20th and 21st century art.

Peers was formerly global managing director for Christie’s private sales (since 2019) and joined the auction house in 2006.

She is based in London and will work with Christie’s regional presidents, alongside Bonnie Brennan, president Americas, Cécile Verdier, president France, and Francis Belin, president Asia Pacific.

Boll joined Christie’s in 1998 and held a number of roles and became president of EMEA in 2017. Alongside his new role, Boll will continue to lead Christie’s Education globally as well as the EMEA equity, diversity and inclusion programme, and also will join the Christie’s team focusing on sustainability efforts.

Richard Aronowitz

Richard Aronowitz has joined Christie’s.

Christie’s has also hired Richard Aronowitz to lead its restitution team as global head of restitution, reporting to Marc Porter, chairman of Christie’s Americas.

Aronowitz comes to Christie’s after 15 years at Sotheby’s, where he led the restitution department in Europe from 2006-21. He also worked at Bloomsbury Auctions, the Ben Uri Gallery and was head of research in the Impressionist and Modern art department at Sotheby’s earlier in his career.

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