Arts industry news: Brazil’s new president vows to rebuild culture ministry dismantled by Jair Bolsonaro + other stories

Art Industry News is a daily round-up of the most momentous developments in the art world and art market. Here’s what you need to know this Tuesday, January 3rd.


TikTok is considered “digital fentanyl” – The Chinese-owned short-video app, seen as an important platform for many artists, is “highly addictive and destructive,” like the pain reliever fentanyl, and has a “corrosive effect” on young people in America, Mike Gallagher told a new US Chairman of a new House of Representatives committee on China. The app has been accused of spreading misinformation, such as the recent spread of the “Fake Rome” theory, and has raised security concerns about sending data to Beijing. The House of Representatives has already banned the app from all of its devices. (Daily Mail)

US returns ancient sarcophagus from Egypt The US has returned to Egypt an ancient sarcophagus that has long been on display at the Houston Museum of Natural History after it was found to have been looted a few years ago. The sarcophagus, which may contain the remains of Egyptian priest Ankhenmaat, was retrieved from the Abu Sir necropolis near Cairo before being smuggled through Germany and the US in 2008. (Guardian)

Brazil’s new left-wing president restores cultural investments – The return of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was sworn in for a third term as Brazil’s president on January 1, has brought hope to the local arts and cultural community. Lula has promised to revitalize the culture ministry, which was slashed by former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, and has already appointed Bahian singer Margareth Menezes as the new culture minister, who will work with a team to revitalize culture policy and funding. (The art newspaper)

British Museum aims for “net zero CO2” despite oil production – The London institution’s chairman, George Osbourne, vowed to make the museum an “example of a climate solution” with the Rosetta Project, a plan to address the building’s numerous energy and structural inefficiencies. Nevertheless, the museum continues to be funded by British Petroleum. (hyperallergic)

movers & shakers

Ethereum Transactions Outperformed Bitcoin in 2022 Despite NFT Winter – Total transactions of the cryptocurrency essential to the NFT market were 338 percent higher than Bitcoin over the past year. (coin telegraph)

Japanese architect Arata Isozaki has died aged 91 The architect, famous for his unique blend of Western and Japanese styles, died at his home in Okinawa on December 28, according to Tokyo-based Misa Shin Gallery, which has just completed a solo exhibition of the architect’s designs. His famous designs include the Art Tower Mito in Japan and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. (Washington Post)

Richard Dadd painting returns to London psychiatric hospital Portrait of a young man, which was executed by the Victorian artist during his stay at Bethlem Royal Hospital in south London, will return to where it was painted for the first time in 170 years as part of a mental health exhibition at the hospital’s Bethlem Museum Ghost. Dadd was taken to the hospital after stabbing his father, and he remained there until his death in 1886. (Guardian)

American artist Dorothy Iannone has died aged 89 The Boston-born artist, who has created work that revolves around female sexuality and themes of love, romance, eroticism and spirituality, died December 26. (Guardian)


Comic artist Enki Bilal is one of the few cultural figures to receive the highest French award – The Yugoslav-born French comic artist was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor this month. A total of 18 personalities from the fields of art and culture were honored with this year’s Order of the Legion of Honor on the recommendation of the Ministry of Education, a dramatically low representation among the 340 award winners. (The Journal of the Arts/Update BD)

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