International News Digest

JANUARY 3

Kevin Holden Platt reported in Der Spiegel that one of architect Zaha Hadid's designs is being pirated. Her Wangjing SOHO building—a grouping of three towers that resemble curved sails—is now being replicated in the Chinese city of Chongqing. Oddly enough, the construction of the copied Chongqing building may go up before the original, which is set to be completed in 2014. Platt noted that Hadid took a “philosophical stance” toward the rip-off, stating that it “could be quite exciting” if her designs were to undergo innovative mutations.

The Kunsthalle Zürich and Zürcher Kantonalbank will be forming a new partnership in 2013, following the kunsthalle’s two-year period of construction, which was completed in August of last year. This is the first time the Zürcher Kantonalbank—Switzerland’s fourth-largest bank—has collaborated with an art institution. Funding from the bank will support the kunsthalle’s cultural programming and the transition into its new, larger site at Löwenbräu.

The Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum in Egypt officially closed its doors two days ago, after seven years of exhibitions and projects. Discussing their decision to shut down the institution, organizers Bassam El Baroni, Mona Marzouk, and Mahmoud Khaled wrote, “We have come to the conclusion that . . . a balancing act between an open-minded approach to education, a quality-based presentation of art, and a context-based criticality is no longer sustainable as Egypt and Alexandria shifts and fluctuates both positively and negatively in a period of heightened political and social transitions.” They added that they hoped, “one day . . . [to reemerge] with fresh and strong ideas that would form the basis for a new and bold institution.”