Man Claims Graceland Foreclosure Scam, Legendary Wu-Tang Clan Album to be Displayed, Flooding Threatens Brazilian Museums, and More: Morning Links for May 29, 2024 - The World News

Man Claims Graceland Foreclosure Scam, Legendary Wu-Tang Clan Album to be Displayed, Flooding Threatens Brazilian Museums, and More: Morning Links for May 29, 2024

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GRACELAND SCAM. A man has claimed he used identity theft to threaten foreclosure on Elvis Presley’s former home and museum, Graceland, in an attempt to steal millions. The self-described identity thief wrote a confession to The New York Times full of descriptive commentary, claiming he was a leader in a dark web network of “worms” that use personal information to scam people. “We figure out how to steal,” he wrote. “That’s what we do.” The NYT has reason to believe the message was authentic, because it came in response to their request for comment from the so-called Naussany Investments & Private Lending LLC company, which now appears to have been entirely fabricated. The company had been threatening to sell Graceland over an alleged unpaid $3.8 million loan to Lisa Marie Presley, whom they said had used the family property as collateral. Graceland’s current owner and Presley heir, actress Riley Keough, fought back in court, arguing the loan was fictional, leading a judge to block any immediate foreclosure. “I had fun figuring this one out and it didn’t succeed very well,” said the self-proclaimed scammer, who wrote in a mix of English and sometimes “clunky” Luganda, noting he was based in Nigeria. However, the NYT has reasons to doubt even that. At any rate, the message conceded: “She beat me at my own game.”

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Legendary Wu-Tang Clan Album to be Displayed—and More

LIKE A PICASSO. The Wu-Tang Clan’s legendary hip-hop album only heard by a few, likened to a Picasso by some, and believed to be the rarest of its kind, is going on display for 10 days in June, at the Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) in Tasmania, reports the BBC. Small groups will get the chance to listen to a 30-minute sample of the album called “The Wu—Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” which is kept in an ornate silver box, has only one CD copy, and was secretly recorded in New York, and produced over six years in Marrakesh. The musicians included a legal condition to the record, which stipulates that its owner cannot release the tracks for 88 years. It also holds the title as the most expensive record ever sold at $2 million in 2015 to the notorious pharma baron Martin Shkreli. It is currently owned by the cryptocurrency collective PleasrDAO, which purchased it for some $4 million. The Wu-Tang Clan “had a bold vision to make a single copy album as a work of fine art,” said the Pleasr collective in a statement. Their “intention was to redefine the meaning of music ownership and value.”


Record rainfall and flooding has severely damaged museums and heritage sites in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state. A task force set up by Brazil’s ministry of culture found more than 50 of 378 museums in the area have suffered structural damage from flooding, while nearly 100 towns reported damage to archaeological sites, libraries, galleries, theaters, art, and historical collections. [The Art Newspaper]

The ARCO art fair in Lisbon saw “less dynamic” sales, according to reports, despite more visitors from the US and Brazil. Held May 23 to 26, “timid” sales reports come amid concerns of an overall market slump. Taylor Swift fans flocking to the city at the same time also made hotel reservations tougher to snag at the last minute, which may not have helped the fair. [Le Quotidien de l’Art]

Switzerland has restituted three Mesopotamian artifacts to Iraq, including a statue and two bas-reliefs. The Assyrian objects dating to the 8th century BC were first discovered in the ancient city of Nimrud and were illegally exported at an unknown time. [Tribune de Genève]

Art fair Tokyo Gendai has announced its programming just over a month before the second edition of the fair kicks off July 5 to 7 at the Pacifico Yokohama. [ARTnews]

A Detroit non-profit is launching the world’s first queer art biennial. Mighty Real/Queer Detroit (MRQD) is organizing the exhibition titled “I Will Be Your Mirror: Reflections of the Contemporary Queer,” from May 31 to June 30, including 11 galleries and art venues across the city, and is supported by Detroit’s Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship. [The Art Newspaper]

Christie’s has announced its new Hong Kong headquarters will host its first 20th and 21st Century Art sale September 26 and 27 at The Henderson venue, a new office building in Central district, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. [ArtAsiaPacific]


MAKING HER MARK. The artist Tracy Emin talks to The Guardian’s Simon Hattenstone on the occasion of her new exhibition at Xavier Hufkens in Brussels, comprised of paintings she made since being diagnosed with cancer four years ago. More prolific than ever, the 60-year-old artist’s exhibit is titled “By the time you see me there will be nothing left,” in reference to her illness, for which the artist is in remission. Emin discusses how a “massive bout of near-death cancer” made her realize “how good time is now. The present. Cancer changed everything for me.” As well as reflecting on all that she has worked to change and reassess about herself since. While reviewing her life in intensive care, Emin told herself: “The biggest thing was I didn’t want to die being some mediocre YBA artist from the 90s. I thought: that’s not me. What have I been doing?”

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