The Mona Lisa IS Smiling! – Art News Roundup

From news about Leonardo Da Vinci’s most famous work to the discovery of a 26 feet tall Egyptian statue. Read on to catch up with the art news this week!

mona lisa feature

There’s always something going on in the art world. Every Sunday, Agora starts the new week by looking back at what happened the week before. Here are our top art news stories from March 12th – March 18th, 2017.

mona lisa

The Mona Lisa IS Smiling

The world-famous painting and the speculation that has been associated with it since forever, has finally been decoded. According to a study conducted by neuroscientists at the University of Freiburg, the expression that Mona Lisa adorns is of joy, not melancholy. The study involved participants reacting to digitally manipulated copies of the famous portrait and over 90% of the people agreed that she is actually smiling. Now that this mystery has been solved, we are pretty sure the answer to her real identity is not too far! Full Story Here →

Trump’s Next Step And Its Repercussions

Even after the strong disapproval received by the artist community, Trump’s Government made the announcement for the elimination of both the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in its federal budget plan earlier this week. According to the New York Times, Donald Trump if the first President to take this drastic step. “We are greatly saddened to learn of this proposal for elimination, as NEH has made significant contributions to the public good,” NEH chairman William D. Adams said in a statement yesterday. Full Story Here →

As was expected, the artist community rose up again in protest. Over 200,000 individuals, including artists like Barbara Kruger, Jasper Johns, Marina Abromovic and Cindy Sherman, have already signed a petition from PEN America opposing the budget plan. The petition says that the NEA and NEH “promote innovative and creative expression, cultural and artistic understanding, and scholarly research as a basis for an informed democracy.” Full Story Here →

mona lisa

The Poop Protest

Speaking of protest, the highly anticipated Damien Hirst show in Venice, that opens to public on 9th April, has been dealing with its own opposition from the Animal Rights Group. Earlier this month, the exhibition venue was actually attacked with 40 kilograms of animal dung and a banner that read, “Damien Hirst Go Home! Check Out This Work of Art! 100% Animalisti.” Full Story Here →

26 Feet Tall Statue Uncovered

Archaeologists have uncovered a 3000 year old Egyptian statue in a wasteland in Cairo. The 26-foot tall statue, which may have been an installation in a temple dedicated to the Sun God is made of quartzite and depicts Pharaoh Ramses II who ruled during the 19th dynasty (1314–1200 BC). Full Story Here →


These are just some of the many news stories that caught our eye this past week. For more stories as-they-happen, be sure to also follow our Facebook and Twitter. You can also sign up for our newsletter for news about Agora Gallery, our exhibitions, and our artists!

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