Vénus de Milo copy

The 7ft (2.15m) tall plaster of paris copy of the Vénus de Milo, bought by the Louvre at Artcurial for a hammer price of €44,000 (£38,000).

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Vénus de Milo cast secured by Louvre

The Louvre Museum has used its pre-emption right to successfully secure a 19th century cast of the Vénus de Milo at an Artcurial auction in Paris.

The cast was owned by diplomat Viscount Lodoïs de Marcellus (1795-1861). Marcellus negotiated the acquisition of the original Vénus de Milo by France from Greece’s Ottoman rulers and it was installed in the Louvre in 1821. The famous armless Greek statue, dating to 130- 100BC, is one of the museum’s most popular exhibits.

Twenty years after its acquisition, King Louis-Philippe ordered a plaster copy to be made and presented to Marcellus. The cast was being sold by the descendants of Marcellus, alongside the contents of the library in the family’s chateau near Bordeaux.

Estimated at €40,000-60,000, it was hammered down at €44,000 (£38,000) or €57,728 including premium at Artcurial’s Souvenirs Historiques sale on January 24.

Painting and statue given TEFAF grants


Ludovico Mazzolino’s The Crossing of the Red Sea (1521).

An Old Master painting and a marble statue are beneficiaries of the latest TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund.

A €50,000 grant will be split between Ludovico Mazzolino’s The Crossing of the Red Sea (1521) in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland and Pietro Francavilla’s marble Venus with a Nymph and a Satyr (1600) at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Connecticut, US).

Mazzolino worked for the Este court in Ferrara and Bologna. This picture, showing a scene from the biblical book of Exodus, has been part of the National Gallery of Ireland’s collection since it was acquired in 1914.

Francavilla’s marble was commissioned for the gardens of the Villa Zanobi Bracci in Florence and sold to Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1750. After being in storage at the royal estates of Kew and Windsor, it returned to the market and was sold to the Fogg Museum, Harvard in 1925. It was then acquired by Everett Austin, then-director of the Wadsworth Atheneum.

The Restoration Fund was established in 2012 to support and promote professional restoration and scholarly research of significant museum artworks.

Art week talks to be held a month earlier

London Art Week (LAW) is moving its programme of educational art talks a month earlier this year. Art History in Focus will run from February 20-29 rather than March, with the second instalment still taking place in October.

The programme comprises a series of online talks in which international curators and academics discuss different themes in the history of art. All events are free on registration, and previous talks can be viewed on LAW’s YouTube channel.

The flagship summer event runs from June 28-July 5. It is set to coincide with the second edition of Treasure House Fair (June 26-July 2), thanks to that event running a week later than in its inaugural run.

Several LAW participants have already been announced. Among them are Charles Beddington, Abbott & Holder, Guy Peppiatt Fine Art and Nonesuch Gallery.

Hall joins the Henry Adams saleroom

Nick Hall

Auctioneer Nick Hall.

Nick Hall has joined Henry Adams Fine Art Auctioneers in Chichester, West Sussex, as a director in its fine art team.

He was previously at Bentley’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Kent and prior to that at Frank Marshall of Knutsford (which later merged with Wright Manley to form Wright Marshall).

Hall is a regular on BBC TV shows such as Bargain Hunt.

He has been an auctioneer and valuer of antiques, fine art, 20th century design and collectables as well as valuations for probate, insurance and family division.

Boost for digital authentication

Engineering and technology firm Bosch has launched a digital authentication tool for auction houses, dealers and collectors. The new technology is called Origify and stores a ‘tamper-proof digital fingerprint’ for artworks.

It works by using a camera system to capture selected unique features of the artwork that are not normally visible to the human eye, stores the data set in a tamper-proof cloud, and then enables authentication using a smartphone app.

No additional marking of the item is required.

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In Numbers


The number of years since a late portrait by Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) that has emerged at Vienna auction house im Kinsky was last seen in public. Believed to be lost, it has come to auction following an agreement between the Austrian owners and the legal successors of the family who commissioned the work, It is estimated at €30m-50m on April 24.