British report says some 300 works of art in UK museums have questionable WWII provenance and could have been stolen by Nazis from their rightful owners. – The Guardian

  • NAZI LOOT: British museums and galleries announce a list of art they hold that was looted by the Nazis and never returned to rightful owners. So will the art be returned? Not necessarily. “Arts Minister Alan Howarth told the BBC’s ‘Newsnight’ program: ‘Just as it was wrong to take paintings off Jewish people in the circumstances of the Nazi era, so it would be wrong without a proper basis of evidence to take paintings off the national collections which are held for the public benefit.'” – BBC

  • WHAT’S FAIR? “It is entirely proper that stolen pictures, especially those taken in the appalling circumstances of Europe under Nazi domination, should be returned to the families of their pre-war owners, but publishing lists of this kind invites false claims made, not with mischievous intentions, but through errors of recollection after 60 years or more – one Picasso looks much like another after so long a time. It is possible, even probable, that the list will provoke false memories, and once a false claim is made it may well be difficult for the gallery in question to prove or disprove the claim, leaving ownership in limbo.” – London Evening Standard


“Arguably the third most important commercial art fair in the world after Basel and Chicago, ARCO is to Spain what the Venice Biennale is to Italy or the Documenta in Kassel is to Germany: the largest and most important art-related event in the country. I was surprised to see entire middle-class families at ARCO on the weekend; hordes of bongo-playing art students vegged out en plein air just beyond the pavilion doors, smoking hash cigarettes to their little hearts’ content. But all the optimism, booze, drugs and quick money–and of all these this year there was plenty–could not have made ARCO 2000 less of an artistic fiasco.” – New York Press


Seattle entrusted the design of its new main library to architect Rem Koolhaas, who promptly turned around and presented an idea for a building that is…what, floating glass cubes, piled together in “a bazaar for books, computers, lectures and coffee, that augments the existing library of helpful reference librarians, children’s story time and quiet reading nooks.” – Seattle Post-Intelligencer


Earlier this year Amazon sparked a book price-war by upping its discount on NYT bestsellers. Last week, in just under two hours, Bol.com gave away 20,000 books at a cost of more than £100,000. In return, it got 40,000 book buyers to register their e-mail addresses, and lengthy articles in at least two national newspapers. In terms of marketing spend it was a cheap deal. How can internet booksellers afford to undercut their prices? Six online booksellers talk about their strategies. – The Bookseller