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'Nkisi Nkondi' - The Oath Taker

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In the movie Black Panther a black visitor confronts a white curator over African artifacts in a fictional British museum. "How do you think your ancestors got these?" the visitor asks. "You think they paid a fair price? Or did they take it — like they took everything else?"
 
A similar discussion is happening in museums around the world over the volume of African art in their collectionsAccording to UNESCO, 90% to 95% of sub-Saharan cultural artifacts are housed outside Africa.
 
The question is, is it normal that such a large part of the African cultural heritage is in Europe or in Western museums? Many argue that it is not. They contend that the country of origin has the right to possess its own cultural artifacts and exhibit them in museums located in the homeland. 
 
Others claim international museums provide scientific research on these precious objects, along with a venue that allows more people to view them. Many directors from major international museums have declared that kowtowing to claimant countries and giving everything back is ill- advised. They insist artifacts need to be shared with a world audience, and their museums are the best places where this can happen. 
 
Salvador Mundi on Exhibition at Christies

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The Salvador Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci sold at auction in 2017 at Christies New York for $450 million that smashed all previous records and absolutely stunned the art world.

 

At the time, the buyer's identity was shrouded in secrecy, but it was later revealed that, after very heated bidding,  Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (alias 'MBS') was the new owner.

 

Ben Lewis, who wrote The Last Leonardo has stated that the Saudis paid such a high price because they thought that they were bidding against another rival royal family from Qatar. The defeated under-bidder, however, was Chinese billionaire, Liu Yiqian.

 

After the piece sold, scholars have continued to debate the attribution of the portrait of Christ as merely "from the workshop" of Leonardo.

 

Soon after the sale of the painting, the Louvre announced that it asked to exhibit the Salvador Mundi in its retrospective show marking the 500th anniversary of da Vinci's death. Privately, however, the museum decided to label it as "from the workshop" of Leonardo. In so doing, it would leave the Saudi owner publicly humiliated, as its value would go down to somewhere in the range of $1.5 million.

 

Mr. Lewis continued to say, "If a picture cannot show its face, that is really damning for the art world. It is almost like it has become the Saudi's latest political prisoner."

 

We still cannot unequivocally  answer our former blog question: Who In The World (actually) Painted The Salvador Mundi?  We can, however, answer our blog question: Where In The World Is The Salvador Mundi?  The painting is said to be currently in a storage facility in Switzerland.

Salvator Mundi

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                 A da Vinci made $450.3 million at auction. Now it has vanished without a trace.     When we last wrote about this piece in 2018, we talked about how excited we were to visit an old friend again at the Louvre Abu Dhabi whom we had previously visited at Christie’s Auctions New York in the Fall of 2017.

Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum

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"Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum,"  a manuscript discovered 21 years after the author's death,  is expected to be released this fall. According to the publisher, it follows an "affable horse as he takes a group of students on a guided tour of an art museum." In a press release the publisher added that it will show how everyone sees the world through art differently, adding "there is no one right way to interpret the beauty we encounter every day."
News flash: Be on the lookout for some familiar characters, such as the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, and the Grinch, to make cameo appearances in this new book.
Jacqueline au Chevalet, 1956. Painted ceramic plate. Courtesy Park West Museum

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Did you know  Picasso created more than paintings and drawings? In his later years he discovered ceramics during a trip to Vallauris, France which inspired a whole new chapter in his career
The face of a feminine muse seen above makes many appearances in Picasso's ceramics which captures his second wife, Jacqueline, standing in his studio. The couple married in Vallauris in 1961 and remained together until his death in 1973
The ceramics Picasso produced during this period of time are to be found in some of the most noteworthy private and museum collections around the world. One of the largest museum collections of Picasso ceramics on display anywhere in the world is located at the Park West Museum in  southeastern Michigan
How To Start Collecting Art In Your Twenties

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For many in their twenties, art collecting can seem like a far-off pipe dream. But the art market isn't all $450 million Leonardo da Vinci paintings and snooty evening auctions. Many in the industry are taking steps to lower barriers and bring in newer collectors, including young people.

A collection doesn't have to start with a da Vinci. For example, young collectors can support artists who are just getting started themselves. Buying the work of an emerging, or even unknown, artist isn't about bringing home a $450 million trophy for your wall.
So the next time you see a work that you like and it fits your budget, go for it! Owning a unique creation from the hand of an artist is something you'll enjoy for a lifetime.

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Salvador Mundi on Exhibition at Christies The Salvador Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci sold at auction in 2017 at Christies New York for $450 million that smashed all previous records and absolutely stunned the art world.   At the time, the...
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