November 2022: News Roundup


Probable Deliberate Easter Island Wildfire Causes Irreversible Damage to Moai Head Statues

The Rapa Nui Natural Park has been home to the ancient statues for over 500 years since their creation by the indigenous Polynesian tribe, the Rapa Nui. Now, the designated Unesco World Heritage Site is charred by what the island’s mayor, Pedro Edmunds Paoa, says may have been a deliberate fire. “The damage caused by the fire can’t be undone,” he said. The October 3rd fire spread across 148 acres and the exact extent of the damage is still being assessed.

Old Masters Compilation Heads to Auction After Collectors’ Divorce

               

Ten artworks from collectors Mark Fisch and Rachel Davidson’s masterful stash are set to go up for auction at the Sotheby’s Master’s Week sales in January 2023. Peter Paul Rubens’ Salome Presented with the Severed Head of Saint John the Baptist (ca. 1609), Orazio Gentileschi’s Penitent Saint Mary Magdalene (ca. 1622), and Georges de la Tour’s Saint James the Greater (ca. 1615-1620) are just a few of the proposed featured artworks. The ex-couple’s complete collection is valued at $177 million and the ten masterpieces appointed for auction will be available for viewing–prior to the January sales–from November 4-13 at Sotheby’s New York headquarters.

Civilians Killed and Cultural Institutions in Kyiv Damaged by Numerous Russian Missile Strikes

Ukraine’s Cultural Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko reported that at least 19 civilians were killed and several cultural centers were damaged in the 80 missile attack on Kyiv, Ukraine by Russia. Recorded to be the worst attack on Kyiv since the start of Russia’s 2022 invasion, President Vladimir Putin ordered the assault in response to a blast that severed parts of the Kerch Strait Bridge–a 12-mile span linking Russia to Crimea. Some of the affected institutions include the National Philharmonic and Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University.

D.C. Museum Externally Displays Large-Scale Feminist Piece by Austrian Artist Katharina Cibulka

“As long as generations change but our struggles stay the same, I will be a feminist,” reads the sizable message outside the National Museum of Women in the Arts located in the nation’s capitol. The 7,000 square-foot white mesh is part of Cibulka’s ongoing project titled SOLANGE, which utilizes construction sites as a place to house feminist-centered textual works. Additional installations from the collection have been publicly shown in France, Italy, Morocco, and other countries.

Food Fight: Climate Activists Versus Claude Monet’s Meules Painting

Meules, which is currently on loan to the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, Germany from buyer and collector Hasso Plattner, received a serving of mashed potatoes across its surface on Sunday, October 23. The two activists from the Letzte Generation group intended to convey the contrast between the “idyllic nature” within Meules and the current environmental dangers in similar, real-life sceneries. The 110.7 million dollar painting was glazed and therefore, unharmed by the demonstration.

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Ireland’s Cork Harbor Mystery Structure Identified as an Archaic Tomb

Lead archaeologist Michael Gibbons has confirmed that the once undefinable monument, Carraig á Mhaistin, is a megalithic dolmen–a single-chamber tomb, constructed by a minimum of two vertical megaliths with a flat capstone set atop. The man-made marker for the burial spot was once hidden by rising tides, measures at 82 feet long by 15 feet wide, and is even believed to go well beyond the earth’s surface. The dolmen is only one of two known intertidal tombs in Ireland.

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