Art News – weekly round-up

  • 15 August 2014

Robots reveal Tate after dark, a Guernica masterpiece is stolen and stamps celebrate British prime ministers – we round up the top art stories of the week.

After Dark robots roam Tate Britain

After Dark robots roam Tate Britain

Robots in disguise

Remote-controlled robots can now allow art lovers an unobscured, after dark viewing of Tate Britain's collection. Members of the public can control the robots – which are fitted with a camera and lights – and enjoy an up-close view of the art from the comfort of their own home. The project, After Dark, was winner of the Tate’s inaugural £70,000 IK Prize for digital innovation. Watch the Telegraph’s video here.

Masterpiece stolen from Italian church

A Renaissance masterpiece worth up to £5 million has been taken from a church in Modena, Italy. The large oil painting of the Madonna with St John the Evangelist, measuring approximately 10ft by 6ft, is by the Baroque painter Guercino. According to the Telegraph it was stolen in the middle of the night from the church of San Vincenzo, where alarms were not working due to lack of available funding for their repair.

Northampton Museum’s Sekhemka sale

Arts Council England has stripped Northampton Museum of its accreditation status after it sold an Egyptian statue known as Sekhemka in its permanent collection to a private buyer for £15m. The Financial Times quotes Art Fund director, Stephen Deuchar: ‘It is difficult to imagine a scenario in which we – as a body funding museums and their collections – would fund a museum which has so little regard for the integrity of its collection.’

Stamp of approval

A new series of eight stamps celebrating British prime ministers, including Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, have been released to mark the 200th anniversary of government office. The Guardian notes that this is the first time a whole series of stamps have been dedicated to prime ministers.

And finally…

The Grain Tower Battery, a Victorian fort with 20th-century red brick barracks and concrete gun tower, lies off the Isle of Grain where the river Medway meets the Thames estuary. According to the Independent it is completely surrounded by water at high tide and is being sold with a guide price of £500,000, and has the prestigious address No.1, The Thames.