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A COURT IN IRAQ has overturned a verdict that led to a 15-year sentence for a British man charged with antiquities smuggling, BBC News reports. He had been accused of trying to take a dozen stones and pottery shards out of the country. The man, Jim Fitton, and his representatives have maintained that he intended to keep them as souvenirs, and that he had been encouraged to take them by a tour guide. Fitton was stopped at Baghdad International Airport in March. The sentence had generated international outcry. The court has reportedly declared him innocent and ordered his release.
DECISION DAY. Holders of a Damien Hirst Currency NFT have until 3 p.m. today (BST) to decide whether to trade it in for the dot-covered artwork linked to it, or to keep the digital token, the Guardian reports. Precisely 10,000 of those tokens were minted, and as of yesterday, some 4,180 have been switched, the real replacing the virtual. The plan is for Hirst to destroy all the uncollected works—paintings on paper—by burning them in September at his Newport Street Gallery in London, according to the Art Newspaper reports. In other NFT news involving famous artists, holders of Takashi Murakami’s Murakami.Flower token as of July 10 will get a special T-shirt, per NFT Culture.
Incheon Airport in South Korea has nixed efforts to establish a satellite of a major European museum, following a feasibility study that highlighted budget constraints. The airport had reportedly considered partners like the Centre Pompidou, Tate Modern, and the Louvre. [The Korea Herald]
For a retrospective of artist Glyn Philpot (1884–1937) at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, England, curators changed the titles of some of the closely observed portraits that Philpot made of Black sitters (an unusual subject for a white artist of his time), in order to elucidate who they were. [The New York Times]
A 41-year-old Chinese artist who goes by the name Nut Brother “has developed a knack for highlighting overlooked environmental and social issues in China using quirky, social media-ready performance art that can slip through the cracks in China’s tightly controlled media environment,” Christian Shepherd and Vic Chiang write in a profile. [The Washington Post]
A Sotheby’s sale of space memorabilia from astronaut Buzz Aldrin hauled in $8 million, with a jacket that he wore for the Apollo 11 mission going for $2.7 million. The house termed that garment “the most valuable American space-flown artifact ever sold at auction.” [Associated Press and The New York Times]
Artist Devin Kenny released a digital artwork that was commissioned for the Whitney Museum of American Art’s artport. The piece “explores artificial intelligence (AI) in the context of art institutions, creativity, collaboration, and labor,” the museum says. [artport/Whitney]
Socialite and art collector Libbie Mugrabi alleged that she had half a million dollars worth of clothes, jewelry, and other belongings stolen from her while staying at a resort in Ibiza. [Page Six]
DECISIVE MOMENTS. The storied Italian photographer Ferdinando Scianna was profiled by the Guardian , and he uncorks so many great quotes that it is almost impossible to select a single line. But here is one. Discussing what he views as a crisis in photography that emerged in recent decades, Scianna said, “Today we all take photos with our phones, but they are background images. Even a selfie is not a self-portrait but a kind of neurosis about a moment of existence that must immediately supplant another, and so on.” In any case, these days he’s “thinking about new books, exhibitions, working on my archive,” he said. [The Guardian]