In politics, the 100-year anniversary of the discovery of the bust of Nefertiti approaches, while the controversy between Egypt and Germany continues over ownership of the cultural treasure. A Norwegian group proceeded with plans to return Roald Amundsen's ship, Maud, by visiting Cambridge Bay in Canada to photograph the wreck. China continues to progress with developing cultural soft power abroad while implementing domestic cultural policy such as the rapid establishment of museums nationwide. On a lighter note, toilets have aesthetic appeal in Korea as evidenced by a dedicated park in Suwon.
In a crossover of politics and economics, the Tate Modern in London lends esteem to African artists by showcasing Nigerian artists. The show drew criticism of engaging in “neocolonialism” under the guise of “being nice” to disadvantaged African artists. In China, the "world's first financial center for art" is under construction in Xiamen.
In economics, as evidence of Chinese auction houses becoming competitive internationally, Poly Auction planned its first auction outside of China to coincide with Christie’s auction in Hong Kong. Specialized funds reflect Initiatives to create an asset class from fine art and collectibles. Estimates range from $960 million to $2 billion in the funds worldwide and are a fraction of the $60 billion international market for art. Malaysian art has reportedly made gains, and new wealth in Turkey increases the demand for art the local market. Canada’s art market tends to follow the United States and Britain in building a following for recent artistic movements.
In a crossover of economics and security, financial analysts warn of an impending bubble in the contemporary art market.
In security, artists in Nepal sculpted trash from Mount Everest in an effort raise awareness of the environmental impact of expeditions. New Zealand reportedly lags in establishing World Heritage Sites relative to Australia and has none of cultural significance. Similar to controversy over Turkey’s pursuit of repatriation of antiquities from abroad, domestic cultural policy draws criticism to the planned construction of a mosque in Taksim Square. A former secretary to Imelda Marcos has been charged with keeping a painting, to which the Philippine government claimed ownership after Ferdinand Marcos was deposed. The former secretary was detained in New York and pleaded not guilty to conspiring to sell the painting by Monet.
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