Breakthrough in TEFAF Heist Case, Sotheby’s to Layoff Dozens in UK, Cleveland Museum Returns Libyan Artifacts, and More: Morning Links for May 30, 2024 - The World News

Breakthrough in TEFAF Heist Case, Sotheby’s to Layoff Dozens in UK, Cleveland Museum Returns Libyan Artifacts, and More: Morning Links for May 30, 2024

To receive Morning Links in your inbox every weekday, sign up for our Breakfast with ARTnews newsletter.


TEFAF HEIST. Police have recovered two stolen diamonds robbed in plain sight of astounded visitors at TEFAF, Maastricht in 2022, an art fair which sells Old Master, antiquities, and jewelry, reports the Netherlands Times. The armed, disguised suspects, who smashed and grabbed jewelry worth tens of millions of dollars, have now been linked to at least one newly identified woman, and all five are still at large. One of the newly recovered diamonds was found in Israel, while a second diamond from the same necklace turned up in Hong Kong. A third diamond was reportedly located in 2023. ARTnews previously reported a Balkan gang close to the notorious Pink Panthers, a group of thieves known for their daring, was suspected of being behind the theft. Police have since specified they came from Nis, Serbia, and are offering a reward of 500,000 euros for information about the crime.

Related Articles

A man behind a podium that reads "Phillips" takes bids from an audience.

SOTHEBY’S CUTS. Sotheby’s has announced it will lay off around 50 workers based in London, while similar cuts may follow at the auction house’s other locations, according to the Art Newspaper. The auction house, which is one of the largest in the world, reportedly had entered a “consultation period,” to evaluate its financial future, and did not immediately respond to requests for comment by ARTnews’ Alex Greenberger. The news follows two “slow but hardly catastrophic auction weeks at Sotheby’s,” Greenberger writes, in March in London, and May in New York.


The Cleveland Museum of Art agreed to return a Ptolemaic statue to Libya, believed to have been looted during World War II. The museum and the Libya’s Department of Antiquities signed an agreement that allows the black basalt statue to remain in Cleveland museum for “a few years,” but its label will change, listing Libya as its rightful owner. [News 5 Cleveland]

On Tuesday the US officially returned 600 antiquities to Italy worth a collective $65 million, that were looted years ago. The trove includes ancient gold coins, mosaics, manuscripts, and bronze statues recovered by extensive criminal investigation. [ARTnews]

Chanel and Shanghai’s state-run Power Station of Art museum signed a partnership agreement Monday to enrich the institution’s collection, research capacity, and “upgrade” the museum’s third floor, which will be named the Espace Gabrielle Chanel. Renovations to the space will include a new, public “Contemporary Art Library,” an “Archive of Chinese Contemporary Art,” and more. [WWD]

The German Meyer Riegger Gallery is opening a new space in Seoul in September, taking over the space formerly occupied by the Efremidis gallery, which announced that it will close and become a foundation. Tom Woo, former director at Efremidis, will transfer to the Meyer Riegger operation, along with some artists, in what has been reported as a still-unclear merging with Efremidis’ gallery commercial operations. [Monopol Magazine]

Researchers believe they have found the site where some 3000 English soldiers perished in a decisive battle during the French Wars of Religion, on southwestern France’s Il de Ré, now a popular tourist and biking spot. Known as the Battle of Pont du Feneau, the 1627 event forced British troops to retreat. A local heritage association hopes to launch archaeological digs on the site, where anything from mass graves to weapons, may be buried. [Le Figaro]

Archaeologists have discovered a series of scratched charcoal drawings by children, ages five to seven, in the courtyard of Pompeii’s House of the Second Last Supper. Their playful sketches show scenes of gladiators, hunting, boxing, a ball game, and outlined small handprints, to name a few. [Artnet News]

The proportion of French galleries at the newly named Art Basel Paris are down compared to the previous, Paris+ edition, because 40 new participants are essentially international at the upcoming, newly renovated Grand Palais venue. 64 of a total of 194 galleries have spaces in Paris, about 15 of which are headquartered abroad. [Le Journal des Arts]

Paris’ Centre Pompidou has announced plans to acquire original comic art coinciding with their new, major exhibition focused on the graphic art form. “For a century comic art has irrigated artistic creation, it has influenced major artists,” said the center’s president, Laurent Le Bon. [Le Monde]

The Art Gallery of New south Wales (AGNSW) has announced the finalists for the 2024 Archibald prize of $100,000 for a painted portrait by an Australian resident of a person “distinguished in art, letters, science or politics.” Finalists include paintings of Julian Assange, Tony Armstrong, and more. [The Guardian]


FAME! HOW TO LIVE FOREVER? What makes the Mona Lisa so famous? And for that matter, The Beatles, Taylor Swift, or Bob Dylan? Economist Cass Sunstein looks into these questions in his new book, How to Become Famous: Lost Einsteins, Forgotten Superstars and How The Beatles Came To Be. Spoiler alert: talent is only one, perhaps even small, part of it. NPR’s All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro asks Sunstein about the recipe for fame, why some names are forgotten, and where talent comes in. To start, having a “champion” or a network of people who think, “You’re amazing and I’m going to support you and we’re going to become a team,” says Sunstein, can be really important. Sounds like the work of a good gallery – art world, take note.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *