What Happened in Museums this Week?

What Happened in Museums This Week? March 2 – March 8

Collections Dispute

Tacoma Art Museum’s Sale of Chinese Artifacts a Thorny Issue

What happens when cultural history comes up against modern museum practices?

In Tacoma’s case – a controversy.

In December, Tacoma Art Museum sold 100-year-old Chinese robes and jade at auction, one step in the museum’s ongoing efforts to refine its focus on the Northwest. The appraised value of the collection – described as “tourist keepsakes” – was less than $70,000. To read more, click here.

UPDATE: Tacoma Art Museum Settles Dispute Over Donated Collection – to read more, click here.

Devastating Fire

Blaze Leaves Naples Science Museum in Ashes

A fire broke out on Monday night at Città della Scienza, an  interactive science museum and conference centre in Naples, Italy, destroying most of the complex.

No injuries were reported, but the damage was said to be devastating. The fire broke out at around 9:30 p.m. local time and raged on most of the night before firefighters finally managed to stop it. To read more, click here.

Lucas Museum?

George Lucas Proposes Presidio Museum

“At this scale, there’s nothing that has ever been done like this,” said Lucas during a recent two-hour interview at his 6,000-acre Skywalker Ranch in Marin County.

He submitted a 20-page proposal to the Presidio Trust on Friday, the deadline for bids on the former commissary site at Crissy Field now occupied by Sports Basement, which will relocate. Finalists will be announced in April, and an ultimate decision will be made this year or next, said Craig Middleton, the trust’s executive director. To read more, click here.

Major Merger

Could Two Major LA Museums Be Merging?

Two of the biggest art museums in California may soon become one. According to the Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has made a proposal to acquire the Museum of Contemporary Art, a smaller institution that has lately been unstable with mounting budget problems and controversy over Jeffrey Deitch‘s tenure as director. To read more, click here.

Masterpiece Returned

Stuttgart Museum Returns Looted Medieval Masterpiece

The Staatsgalerie Stuttgart has returned Virgin and Child, a 15th-century painting attributed to the Master of Flémalle (1375-1444), to the estate of Max Stern, a German-born Jewish dealer who fled the Nazis and later operated the Dominion Gallery in Montreal. To read more, click here.

What headlines caught your eye this week?

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