News Recap: May 24, 2019

A weekly update of art world news.

Screenshot from Banksy’s Instagram video.

Screenshot from Banksy’s Instagram video.

Banksy’s Unauthorized Art Stall in Venice
The anonymous British street artist known as Banksy made a surprise appearance at the Venice Biennale. While concealing his face, the artist posted a video to Instagram in which he installs a stall near St. Mark’s Square in Venice. The video is captioned: “Despite being the largest and most prestigious art event in the world, for some reason I’ve never been invited.” The stall contained a multi-panel oil painting displayed in gold frames. Each canvas depicts a fragment of a cruise ship. The work is a commentary on the pollution these mammoth ships create as the cross the Grand Canal. Venetian police later shut down the stall, evicting Banksy (disguised as a street vendor) from the square for not having a permit.
Read the full story (Hyperallergic)

MFA Boston Accused of Racism Towards Middle Schoolers on Field Trip
The Museum of Fine Arts Boston has issued an apology for a number of racist encounters experienced by local middle school students and their teachers during a field trip to the museum. According to the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy’s principal, Arturo J. Forrest, the 30 seventh grade children—all of whom were children of color—the students were on the receiving end of racist comments by the MFA staff and visitors. Students reported that an MFA staffer told them “no food, no drink, and no watermelon” were allowed in the museum. Other reports include museum security militantly watching the students while disregarding white students on another field trip. The MFA has apologized for the “range of challenging and unacceptable experiences that made them feel unwelcome” and launched an investigation.
Read the full story (The Boston Globe)

The Louvre and Airbnb Launch Exclusive Tours at the Museum
In an effort to attract more local visitors to the Louvre, the museum has partnered with Airbnb to offer visitors guided tours during times when it is normally closed to the public. The new program will offer a series of intimate evening concerts and exclusive guided tours. The tours are capped at 15 people and will take place on one Tuesday morning and afternoon per month when the museum is closed. The cost of the tour is $33. The evening concerts are capped at 50 people, cost $22, and are held in the museum’s Café Richelieu. The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world and some see this new partnership as a gimmick. However, the vast majority of museum visitors are foreign tourists. The museum hopes that these events will help to reach its local audience.
Read the full story (ArtNet News)