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THE GREAT BEAUTY. What is better than a 16th-century villa in central Rome? A 16th-century villa in central Rome that features the only known ceiling mural by Caravaggio. That treasure is set to come to auction in January with an opening bid of €471 million (about $546.3 million), the Guardian reports. The structure was built by an Italian cardinal as a hunting lodge, and is reportedly being sold as a result of an inheritance dispute following the 2018 death of its previous owner, Prince Nicolò Boncompagni Ludovisi. The painter adorned the Villa Aurora with three Roman gods around 1597, using himself as the model for all of them, according to the Art Newspaper. The Italian government will have the option of preempting any sale, if it chooses to match the enormous sum the manse is likely to draw. One caveat: The winner will also need to shell out €11 million (about $12.8 million) for restorations, per the Guardian, but if you are forking over half a billion dollars (or more) for a property, that is probably not an issue.
FAKED OUT. Six members of a ring in Spain that was hawking (what sound like rather poor) forgeries of art by Francisco de Goya, Nicolás Falcó, and others, have been sent to prison, the Guardian reports. The sentences for fraud range from three to ten months; a seventh alleged member of the enterprise was acquitted. The government of Valencia said that the group was doing things like swapping signatures on pieces and “imitating cracked paint by burning the canvas with a blowtorch.” (Which does sounds pretty cool.) Those interested in seeing some real Goyas should make haste to the Fondation Beyeler, just north of Basel, Switzerland, where a retrospective of the master has been garnering rave reviews. It runs into January. [The Guardian]
Citing new evidence, Cambodia has said that it believes that 45 “highly significant” Khmer Empire pieces in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York were looted from the country. The Met said it has been “proactively” looking at such material and that is has a “long and well-documented history of responding to claims regarding works of art, restituting objects where appropriate.” [The New York Times and Artnet News]
In Iraq, archaeologists have uncovered what one termed “a sort of industrial wine factory” that dates back 2,700 years, to when the area was ruled by Assyrian kings. Stone bas-reliefs were also found in the area that pay tribute to a monarch who had built a neighboring irrigation canal. [AFP/ArtDaily]
After a strong Warhol news day yesterday, there is more today. The Whitney Museum is transferring its archive on the Pop artist’s film work to the Museum of Modern Art. Also, the second volume of a catalogue raisonné on his cinematic productions, published by the museum, is out this week. [The Art Newspaper]
Villa La Coste, collector Paddy McKillen’s hotel and art park in Provence, France, is now home to an ambitious new restaurant from chef Hélène Darroze, who has been racking up Michelin stars at her establishments in Paris and London. A Louise Bourgeois sculpture hangs in the dining room. [Financial Times]
Say what you will about Kanye West: The man has taste. This past weekend, he attended a New York performance of choreographer Lucinda Childs’s 1979 piece Dance, which she made with composer Philip Glass and artist Sol LeWitt. West’s group at the show included producer and collector Swizz Beatz. [Page Six]
The first production stills have been released for the upcoming Netflix series about art-world scammer Anna Delvey. Shonda Rhimes is the creator and showrunner of Inventing Anna, which is due out next year. [@Netflix/Twitter and Variety]
RIP IT UP AND START AGAIN. Architect Billie Tsien—who has long been one of our most thoughtful, and sane, builders—answered 21 questions from Curbed, and did not hesitate to speak her mind. Asked about a building or object she wants “to redesign every time” she sees it, Tsien replied, “I would like to remove Hudson Yards. I don’t even know what I would replace it with. I just feel really angry because it’s a part of the city that turns its back to the city.” She refuses to visit it, except when walking the High Line. And that is only part of her answer. Her review is worth reading in full. [Curbed]
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