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US returns stolen Picasso to France
  22nd Aug 2015

U.S. authorities returned the stolen $15 million Picasso painting La Coiffeuse to France last week, nine months after it was found in a FedEx shipment. US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana turned over the 1911 cubist oil painting to French officials in a ceremony at the French Embassy. La Coiffeuse or The Hairdresser was last displayed in 1998 in Munich, Germany, and then returned to the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris. The museum reported it stolen from its archives in 2001.

The fine art of illegal surveillance

British artist and anti-surveillance activist James Bridle is illuminating Germany with artwork exploring the darkest state secrets, cover-ups and information blackouts. Bridle's The Glomar Response, showing this month at the newly opened Nome gallery in Berlin, resonates in a country where revelations by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden caused widespread outrage. The 34-year-old artist, who exhibited in London's Victoria and Albert Museum this year, named his first German solo show after the Cold War-era CIA rebuttal that it could "neither confirm nor deny" sensitive information leaked to a journalist.

A Chinese copycat of Kapoor's The Bean?

British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor said last week that he would take legal action based on copyright concerns after noting a close similarity between a huge stainless-steel, globe-like sculpture in China and his Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago. The sculpture, in the far northwestern Chinese city of Karamay is said to resemble an oil bubble, inspired by the rich oil fields of the region. Kapoor's sculpture is known in Chicago as The Bean. It was erected in 2006 and reflects the city's skyscape. In photographs, it bears a strong resemblance to the Chinese work.

FBI learns a lesson from epic art heist

Days after a surveillance video from the 1990 Stewart Gardner Museum heist was made public, FBI officials on Tuesday said they are investigating a "handful of tips," including one identifying a mystery man let in to the museum the night before it was robbed of $500 million worth of art. Attorney George Burke of Quincy, Massachusetts, said he told federal authorities one of his clients identified the grainy video's mystery man as a businessman who dealt in antiques. The video shows a security guard letting a man through a rear museum entrance on 17 March, 1990. 24 hours later it was robbed of works like Rembrandt's Storm on the Sea of Galilee.

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