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British filmmaker opens Moscow show under Ukraine shadow

It was meant to be a highlight of a year-long British-Russian cultural exchange, but a huge multi-media exhibition by British filmmaker Peter Greenaway has failed to escape tensions over the Ukraine crisis. The event, which showcases the short-lived but powerful Russian Avant-Garde movement of the late 19th-early 20th century, opened Monday -- with British officials conspicuously absent.

London opens 'most beautiful' show of Matisse cut-outs

London's Tate Modern will on Thursday open a blockbuster exhibition celebrating the cut-out works of French artist Henri Matisse, which made even Picasso jealous. Tate director Nicholas Serota boasts that the much-anticipated show, which brings together more than 100 works from around the world, "will be the most evocative and beautiful show that London has ever seen". Of the vibrant cut-outs, Serota said: "People sometimes say these could be done by a child, but it's only an old man that has this incredible freedom of mind."

Muscovites, architects fight to save Moscow's 'Eiffel Tower'

Thousands of Muscovites and several top international architects have launched an unprecedented campaign to save an elegant steel tower that has loomed over Moscow's skyline since 1922. The Russian communications ministry says it will dismantle and relocate the Shukhov tower, a masterpiece of design often compared to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. But campaigners fear the tower will simply be demolished because it will be impossible to dismantle it and put it back together again.

Germany, heir reach accord on Nazi-looted art stash

The heir of a Nazi-era art dealer said Monday he had struck an accord with the German government setting a one-year deadline on provenance research for his vast hoard of paintings. The agreement more than two years after their shock discovery in a customs probe means that Cornelius Gurlitt, 81, will likely get back many of the hundreds of artworks that were seized by German authorities.

Rival claim staked on Matisse from Nazi-looted art stash

The heir of a Nazi-era art dealer said Monday that a priceless Henri Matisse painting he aims to return to its rightful owner is now the subject of a claim dispute. A spokesman for Cornelius Gurlitt, 81, in whose homes hundreds of works by European masters have been discovered, said a second, rival claimant had come forward for the Matisse portrait "Sitting Woman". Gurlitt had said last month that he was prepared to hand back artworks stolen by the Nazis from Jewish families that he had stashed for decades, beginning with the Matisse canvas.

Rival claim staked on Matisse from Nazi-looted art stash

The heir of a Nazi-era art dealer said Monday that a priceless Henri Matisse painting he aims to return to its rightful owner is now the subject of a claim dispute. A spokesman for Cornelius Gurlitt, 81, in whose homes hundreds of works by European masters have been discovered, said a second claimant had come forward for the Matisse portrait "Sitting Woman". Gurlitt had said last month that he was prepared to hand back artworks stolen by the Nazis from Jewish families that he had stashed for decades, beginning with the Matisse canvas.

US lawsuit targets Swiss expert over $7.2 mln 'Rothko'

A Las Vegas billionaire is suing a respected Swiss curator accused of standing behind the authenticity of a painting purportedly by American artist Mark Rothko which turned out to be fake. Several people are accused over the "Untitled (Orange, Red and Blue)" that Frank Fertitta III paid $7.2 million for in 2008 from the Knoedler gallery in New York. The gallery has since closed after it was found to be selling dozens of forgeries of several painters.

Italian retiree 'happy' to have lived with stolen Gauguin

The retired autoworker who unknowingly bought stolen paintings worth millions of euros by Paul Gauguin and Pierre Bonnard and hung them in his kitchen for 40 years said he was "proud" of his taste in art. "As a simple factory worker, I am proud of having been able to appreciate and buy two masterpieces even though I did not know what they were," the 70-year-old Italian man was quoted by the La Stampa daily as saying Thursday.

Italian retiree 'happy' to have lived with stolen Gauguin

The retired autoworker who unknowingly bought stolen paintings worth millions of euros by Paul Gauguin and Pierre Bonnard and hung them in his kitchen for 40 years said he was "proud" of his taste in art. "As a simple factory worker, I am proud of having been able to appreciate and buy two masterpieces even though I did not know what they were," the 70-year-old Italian man was quoted by the La Stampa daily as saying Thursday.

Angolan movie financier bids for 85 works by Joan Miro

An Angolan-born Hollywood movie financier has reportedly offered to buy 85 paintings by Catalan artist Joan Miro from the cash-strapped Portuguese government. Rui Costa Reis, 46-year-old Angolan-born son of Portuguese emigrants who made his fortune in cereals and expanded into the movie business, has offered 44 million euros ($60 million) for the collection owned by the Portuguese state, the Diario business daily said.
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