Director at Uzbekistan’s Savitsky Art Museum dismissed

Marinika Babanazarova, director at the Savitsky Art Museum in Nukus, Uzbekistan, has been abruptly dismissed for unknown reasons. As head of the museum since 1984, the former director was blindsided by the decision. The former director believes that the termination is a result of allegations that she replaced original artworks throughout the museum with forgeries. In a show of solidarity, museum employees are protesting the government’s decision to remove her from staff. The Savitsky Art Museum [named after Russian artist Igor Savitsky] has a collection of over 90,000 exhibits, including Russian avant-garde artists. The museum opened in 1966, and is considered to be one of the finest museums in Uzbekistan and all of Central...

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Protests after Nicolas Bourriaud’s Dismissal

The French Ministry of Culture announced the ousting of Nicolas Bourriaud Officer of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris (ENSBA) on July 2nd , 2015. Since then, a feeling of disbelief has been expressed through multiple protests against the decision of Minister Fleur Pellerin, both internationally and in France. The National Association of Directors of Art Schools (ANDEA) describes this measure as “outrageous, unjust and irresponsible” while on social networks, a petition set up by students of the ENSBA was circulated. Among Fleur Pellerin’s complaints against the former director, is the is the resistance to make the institution more “internationally influential”, with Nicolas Bourriaud defending himself in an interview given to Télérama, recalling collaborations with various schools in Tokyo, Beijing, Buenos Aires, and Reykjavik. ANDEA also supports the open door policy – as well within the international market – led by Nicolas Bourriaud. For its part, the Committee of Professional Galleries said in a statement: “All the players in the world of contemporary art today are disadvantaged by this decision.” As for the possibility for the director of the Villa Medici, Eric de Chassey to retrieve the post, the Ministry of Culture denies any favoritism through the eviction of Nicolas Bourriaud. Le Canard Enchaîné propagated the rumor that Eric de Chassey had gained access to the position thanks to his proximity to actress Julie Gayet. Nicolas Bourriaud, born in 1965, is a historian and art critic. He co-led the Palais de Tokyo with Jérôme Sans, until 2006, in Paris, before taking up the post as Gulbenkian curator for contemporary art at the Tate Britain until 2010. That same year, he assumed the functions as Head of Inspection of artistic creation to the Ministry of Culture. He was appointed director of the National School of Fine Arts in...

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Fleur Pellerin dismisses Director of the National School of Fine Arts, Paris

On 2 July 2015, French Minister of Culture and Communication Fleur Pellerin dismissed the Director of the National School of Fine Arts in Paris Nicolas Bourriaud. Fleur Pellerin fired Bourriaud after a 45-minute-long meeting, where she justified the dismissal by saying that she had a “change of direction” in mind. After their meeting, Bourriaud posted a message on his Facebook page, stating that “not a single factual argument” was mentioned by the Minister during their exchange. According to certain sources — including the journalist Roxana Azimi —, and despite the launch of a call for applications by the school, Bourriaud is to be replaced by Éric de Chassey, current Director of Villa Médicis. These same sources claim that the potential nomination could be linked to the fact that Chassey is approaching the end of his contract at the Villa Médicis, and his close relationship with Julie Gayet, French President François Hollande’s alleged companion. Indeed, actress Anne Consigny, wife of Éric de Chassey, is one of Julie Gayet’s close friends. Some people in the art world, like Stéphane Corréard, have refuted the information, claiming it is defamatory and inexact. Born in 1965, Nicolas Bourriaud is an art historian, critic and curator. From 2000 to 2006, he co-founded and co-directed the Palais de Tokyo in Paris with Jérôme Sans before being appointed as the Gulbenkian curator for contemporary art at the Tate Britain from 2008 to 2010. He ran the National School of Fine Arts in Paris...

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Controversy surrounding the dismissal of Sana Tamzini, Director of Tunisia’s Centre d’Art Vivant

Tunis, 26 August 2013, Art Media Agency, (AMA). Sana Tamzini, former director of Tunisia’s Centre d’Art Vivant, was recently dismissed from her post without prior warning. Sana Tamzini was appointed director of Tunisia’s Centre d’Art Vivant immediately after the Tunisian revolution which marked the beginning of the Arab Spring. During her brief time as director, she was credited with hosting exhibitions which stimulated much needed dialogues between Tunisia and international artists, injecting dynamism into the region’s arts scene, and transforming the centre into a window on international contemporary art. Her role was particularly vital in a country which has no contemporary art museum, and which lacks education facilities for young artists — many of whom only encounter art through books. Her dismissal is viewed as a further example of the inadequacy of cultural Policy in the region. The cultural minister being Mehhdi Mabrouk. AMA interviewed Sana Tamzini to better understand recent events. How did you learn that you had been dismissed? It was towards the end of July. I noticed that I hadn’t received my salary, as I normally do around 20 July. At first, I thought it was simply late, but I waited for a week and nothing happened. I had had problems with Mehdi Mabrouk, the Minister for Culture, following an exhibition held in June which featured photographs documenting life at Choucha, a series of refugee camps on the Libyan border which close on 30 June. The exhibition was a way to celebrated the world refugee day — which takes place on 19 June — and was organised in collaboration with The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. I had no idea that there were as many as 300 refugees living on the street in Tunisia, who protested against the decision to close the camps at a...

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Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass dismissed

Cairo, 22 July 2011, Art Media Agency (AMA). Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s Minister of Antiquities, has left his country’s government for a second time. However, this time, Hawass did not resign, but was sacked in a cabinet reshuffle that should prove to be definite. In February of this year, the former Minister of State for Antiquities was forced to resign under mounting pressure about his close relationship with the former head of state, Hosni Moubarak. He regained his position one month later. On 21 July, the Prime Minister Essam Charaf announced a cabinet reshuffle, excluding Hawass from the government. The archaeologist reacted immediately by stating that he was leaving as he is of the opinion that the government is a shambles. He has stated his intention to dedicate himself to writing books and has received offers from the United States, Ireland and Japan. His unexpected dismissal will thus allow him to take on new projects. The Egyptian government has not named his successor and could do away with the post...

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