International News Digest

APRIL 10

Sometimes, a thirty-two-second apology is just not enough: Maria Miller, Britain’s culture secretary under David Cameron, has stepped down after an ongoing public uproar. Under investigation for allegedly inflating expense claims, Miller had demonstrated a “minimalist show of contrition,” in the words of the New York Times’ Stephen Castle, which only further incensed her critics. In an editorial released by the Daily Mail yesterday, the affair was described as a “slow-motion car crash,” and Cameron acknowledged that public anger in the face of parliamentary expenses was “still very raw.” Miller has repaid nearly $10,000 of the expenses she claimed, and has been cleared of allegations that she financed her parents’ home using the public’s money.

Ekaterina Degot’s been elected artistic director at Academy of the Arts of the World, according to e-flux. Elke Moltrecht has been named the CEO. The nonprofit cultural institution was founded in 2012 by the city of Cologne, which wanted to foster “a society of artists and scholars” that “seeks to move beyond Eurocentrist doctrines of cultural history.” Degot teaches at the Rodchenko Moscow School of Photography and Multimedia. The former senior editor of Openspace.ru, she also cocurated the first edition of the Bergen Assembly, a triennial in Norway.

Curator Leah Abir has been named the new chief curator at the Haifa Museum of Art in Israel. A recipient of the Artis Curatorial Fellowship with Creative Time in 2011, Abir has worked as associate curator and director of programming for Museums of Bat Yam. She’s independently organized exhibitions throughout Israel and written extensively for publications on visual art. Her appointment follows the departure of former chief curator Ruti Dirketor.

Cornelius Gurlitt, son of a Nazi-era art dealer, has reached a deal with the German government regarding the trove of looted artworks he’d held for years. According to Melissa Eddy in the New York Times, a task force of experts from around the world will have one year to investigate the works seized from Gurlitt’s apartment in 2012. Noting that the agreement “bypasses the thirty-year statute of limitations that applies to stolen property in Germany,” Eddy commends the recent developments as a sign that the German government’s motivated to resolve ongoing claims pertaining to Nazi-looted art.