Italian art restorers used bacteria to clean Michelangelo masterpieces. Researchers deployed microbes to remove stains and grime from the marble sculptures in Le Cappelle Medicee (Florence’s Medici Chapels Museum). 🔬 Over the centuries, stains and dirt have accumulated on the statue-lined mausoleum in the Florentine San Lorenzo complex’s Medici Chapels, leaving its once-spotless sarcophagi the worse for wear. Luckily, a team of scientists, art conservators and historians has identified an unconventional tool for removing this grime from Michelangelo’s sculptures: bacteria. 🔬 As Jason Horowitz reports for the New York Times, researchers dedicated much of the past decade to cleaning the chapel—but a few obstinate spots remained. To finish the job, the team turned to several strains of bacteria, including Serratia ficaria SH7, Pseudomonas stutzeri CONC11
Fingerprint found on 500-year-old statue may belong to Michelangelo. A small wax statue may have brought us closer than ever to Michelangelo, after museum experts found what they believe to be the Renaissance master's fingerprint, or thumbprint, pressed into the material. Specialists at London's Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) discovered the mark on a dark red figurine, which was an initial sketch model for a larger unfinished marble sculpture. The 500-year-old waxwork, titled "A Slave," was part of Michelangelo's preparations for Pope Julius II's elaborate tomb in Rome. It depicts a young naked figure with its arm thrown across its face. According to a museum listing, the proposed statue was among over 40 life-size figures once being planned for the pope's final resting place. Michelangelo
The Rosetta Stone – the key to deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs – was discovered on this day in 1799. It is currently housed at the British Museum, but there have been calls to repatriate it back to Egypt, alongside other artefacts acquired from all over the world during Britain's colonial past.
Made in 196 BC, the Stone is inscribed with a decree written three times – in hieroglyphs, Demotic (the cursive Egyptian script used for daily purposes), and Ancient Greek (the language of the Ptolemaic Greek administration in Egypt). Scholars were able to use the Greek inscription to decipher the hieroglyphs.
Otzi the Iceman's dagger with scabbard. It is 13 cm long and was carried by Otzi in 3,300 BC.
Otzi and his artifacts are on display at the Ötzi - the Iceman / South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy. The iceman was nicknamed Otzi because he was found in the Otztal Alps of South Tyrol.
The Museum of Bad Art's stated aim is "to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum".
According to Wikipedia, this has been their approach to exhibit thefts:
MoBA staff installed a fake video camera over a sign at their Dedham branch reading (in Comic Sans): "Warning. This gallery is protected by a fake security camera".
Despite this deterrent, in 2004 Rebecca Harris' 'Self Portrait as a Drainpipe' was removed from the wall and replaced with a ransom note demanding $10, although the thief neglected to include any contact information. Soon after its disappearance the painting was returned, with a $10 donation.
Museo Guggenheim Bilbao is asking for €100,000 through crowdfunding to restore Jeff Koons’ puppy sculpture, because the flowers wither twice a year!
The museum just launched its first crowdfunding campaign asking for public donations to repair the structure of the US artist’s 13-metre-tall west highland terrier.
The puppy has been at the entrance of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao for 24 years. Its vibrant 38,000 plants, which include petunias, impatiens, marigolds and begonias, are replaced twice a year.
German museum repatriates Lakota chief’s shirt, citing ‘moral and ethical reasons’. The Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, said this week that it had repatriated the leather shirt of Chief Daniel Hollow Horn Bear (Mato He Oklogeca), of the Teton Lakota, to his great-grandson Chief Duane Hollow Horn Bear. Chief Daniel Hollow Horn Bear was a well-respected leader and politician who advocated for the rights of his people and was often a chief negotiator with the U.S. government. The Weltkulturen Museum came into possession of the shirt in 1908 through an exchange with the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In a press release, the museum cited “moral and ethical reasons” for the return. The deputy mayor of Culture and Science for the City
Brooklyn Museum returns 1,305 artifacts to Costa Rica.
Railroad tycoon Minor Cooper Keith had brought the artifacts to the USA more than a hundred years ago; they were looted during the construction of his railway in Costa Rica.
Recovered Picasso Painting Falls to the Ground! 😮😲😵
After recovering two paintings by Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondrian that were stolen in broad daylight in 2012 from Athens' National Art Gallery, the Picasso slipped off the police's presentation stand and fell onto the ground in front of the press.
The painting, titled 'Head of a Woman', was presented as a gift from Pablo Picasso to the National Art Gallery in 1946 to honour the nation's four-year resistance against Nazi German occupation. It is inscribed on the back 'For the Greek people, a tribute from Picasso'.
'Rock ‘n’ Roll with Me: David Bowie / Geoff MacCormack 1973-76' At Brighton Museums 18 May 2021 to 23 January 2022 'Rock 'n' Roll with Me' is an exhibition of unique photographs taken by David Bowie’s close friend and travelling companion Geoff MacCormack between 1973-76. From Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and the ground-breaking Diamond Dogs’ tour across the USA, Japan and the UK via Russia (on the Trans Siberian Express) to Bowie’s first major film The Man Who Fell to Earth, and the recording of Station to Station, this exhibition of intimate photographs, gives a glimpse of a close friendship, and life on the road with one of the greatest rock stars of all time. The exhibition includes recently rediscovered and never previously seen images
More than 30 pre-Columbian artifacts have been handed over to Mexico’s embassy in Germany.
“Two German citizens approached our embassy in Berlin to express their interest in returning archaeological pieces that were in the possession of their families,” said Alejandro Celorio to DW news. Celario is the legal consultant to Mexico’s foreign minister.
According to a statement released by Mexico’s Culture Ministry, the items include a three-legged Maya vessel, an Olmec-style anthropomorphic mask carved from stone, and other bowls and figurines.
The oldest known map: The Map of Nippur. This ancient clay tablet dates to the 14th-13th century BC. It shows a map of the countryside around the Mesopotamian city of Nippur, and its complex irrigation system. Nippur was located in the middle of the southern Mesopotamia floodplain, near the modern city of Diwaniyah, Iraq. The map cannot be viewed in its original location, as it is in the USA at Penn Museum. The map’s central section, identified in cuneiform writing as a “field of the palace,” suggests that the tablet served as a guide to estates belonging to the recently established Kassite Dynasty, which was based in the city of Babylon, around 70 miles northwest of Nippur. At this time, the region’s new Kassite rulers
Tipu's Tiger is an 18th century automaton created for Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in India. The carved and painted wood casing represents a tiger savaging a near life-size British soldier. Mechanisms inside the tiger and the man's body make one hand of the man move, emit a wailing sound from his mouth and grunts from the tiger. The tiger was created for Sultan Tipu and makes use of his personal emblem of the tiger and expresses his hatred of his enemy, the British of the East India Company, who had invaded India on Britain's behalf and were looting the land. The tiger was discovered in his summer palace after East India Company troops stormed Tipu's capital in 1799, murdered the
Italian authorities have recovered nearly 800 archeological finds from a Belgian collector worth a combined €11 million (around $13 million). The oldest pieces in the collection date as far back as the sixth century BC. The trove of artifacts includes painted vases, amphorae, black glazed ceramics, and several terra-cotta figurines. They were illegally excavated in Puglia, a region in southern Italy, according to Carabinieri’s police division in charge of protecting cultural heritage. Among the works recovered is a funeral tablet made of limestone that is known as a Daunian stele. The Daunians were an Iapygian tribe, a mixed Illurian-Cretan tribe that inhabited what is now Puglia from the late 8th century BC onwards. The team behind the recovery had been plotting the operation since 2017,
Gottfried "Götz" von Berlichingen (1480 - 1562), also known as Götz of the Iron Hand, was a German mercenary and poet who was born in 1480 into the noble family of Berlichingen in modern-day Baden-Württemberg. ⚔️ As a soldier for hire in the early 1500s, he and his rogue crew of rabble-rousers fought on behalf of whichever Bavarian dukes and barons had the biggest beefs and the fattest wallets. 🛡️ In a 1504 siege, a cannonball hit Berlichingen’s sword and its force cut off his right arm. Shortly after his unfortunate encounter he had an iron prosthetic arm made for him. It was equipped with joints at each of the knuckles, allowing for a tighter grip. Berlichingen could use his left hand to maneuver the
'Prince Charming' (1981) outfit worn by Adam Ant — plus other Adam Ant outfits from Victoria and Albert Museum's Theatre and Performance Collection.
Adam Ant was the idiosyncratic front man of the British New Wave band Adam and the Ants. He spearheaded its artistic direction and designed all his own costumes. Now iconic, these costumes are indebted to historical, military and tribal dress.
The one worn in the video for the 'Prince Charming' single is perhaps the most widely known of all.
A 7th Century BC bronze helmet from Crete, Greece, showcasing workmanship that is associated with late medieval European armour some two thousand years later. 🤯😯 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York doesn't know the exact place where it was excavated from, their website assuming Afrati (ancient Arkades) in Crete. It was in the collection of Norbert Schimmel, New York, since at least 1967, and was given as a gift to the Met in 1989. 🙄🤔 The helmet is inscribed above its visor with the name of its owner, Neopolis. It depicts two winged youths on each side who flank and grasp a pair of entwined serpents. They are dressed in short kilts, wear winged sandals and have wings on their backs that appear to
Opening at Kensington Palace this summer is the new exhibition 'Royal Style in the Making' (June 2021-Jan 2022), exploring the intimate relationship between fashion designer and royal client, revealing the process behind the creation of a number of the most important couture commissions in royal history.
On display will be the wedding dress of Diana, Princess of Wales, on show for the first time at Kensington Palace in 25 years, in addition to a rare, surviving toile for the 1937 coronation gown of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother; consort of King George VI.
The USA has just returned two looted ancient stone carvings to Thailand, believed to have been stolen from Thailand and smuggled to the US during the Vietnam War. The carvings were originally lintels (support beams) at Nong Hong Sanctuary, which dates back 1,000 years. They feature the Hindu deities Indra and Yama. For decades they have been on display in San Francisco's Asian Art Museum. The museum had disputed investigators' allegations that the artefacts were stolen, and insisted it had long planned to return them. State-funded institutions in Europe and the USA, such as the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum, have been under pressure to repatriate looted items, such as the Benin Bronzes and the Parthenon Marbles. The carvings are due to
The dog has spilled the gilded wine flask and has a timeless guilty look on his face - a Ptolemaic floor mosaic from Alexandria, Egypt, c. 200-150 BC. The dimensions of the mosaic are 3,25m x 3,25m.
The Ptolemaic dynasty was a Macedonian Greek royal family, which ruled Egypt in the Hellenistic period following Alexander the Great's conquest of the Near East. Their rule lasted for 275 years, from 305 to 30 BC ending with Cleopatra's death and the country's conquest by the Romans.
The mosaic is now located in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum in Alexandria, Egypt.