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A plan to permanently secure a £35m painting by Rembrandt for the UK has been thwarted. The Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet (1657), which has hung in Penrhyn Castle in north Wales for 150 years, will remain in the UK under the ownership of an overseas buyer, who this week withdrew their export licence application.

The Art Fund had quietly started a campaign to try to buy the Rembrandt and present it to a major public collection, probably the National Museum Wales in Cardiff.

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Cosmetics heir and museum patron Ronald Lauder has enlisted the  Washington, D.C. lobbying firm American Continental Group (ACG) to assist in his campaign to get museums to return Nazi-looted art to the heirs of its original owners, reports O'Dwyer's, based on a public filing.

Lauder is the president of the World Jewish Congress and the founder of New York's Neue Galerie.

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On Saturday, April 18, 2015, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art celebrated the museum’s 50th anniversary at a special fundraising gala, co-chaired by LACMA trustees Ann Colgin, Jane Nathanson, and Lynda Resnick. The evening welcomed approximately 750 guests and raised $5 million, the proceeds of which will benefit the museum’s programming and acquisitions. LACMA’s 50th Anniversary Gala was sponsored by Christie’s.

In honor of the occasion, Mrs. Nathanson and Mrs. Resnick gifted significant works of art to the museum’s collection; in addition, the two trustees led a campaign encouraging other patrons to donate or bequeath major artworks to LACMA.

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Workers at the National Gallery are staging a series of fresh strikes in a row over the privatization of services.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union at the National Gallery are walking out for five days, following a strike on 2 February.

About 200 workers are campaigning against plans to switch visitor services to a private company.

A National Gallery spokesman said there would be no job cuts as a result of the transfer.

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Bright abstracts draw visitors' eyes to one wall, then life-like full sized figures tucked into a corner might startle them. On another wall, a full-sized truck is caught mid-slither. Such displays will continue to offer visual surprises during the Walker Art Center's 75th anniversary celebrations, especially tonight, when the center unwraps some birthday presents.

They are the fruits of an effort that began three years ago, when the Walker launched a campaign to seek donated art to mark the three-quarter-century milestone. Its new show, "75 Gifts for 75 years," gives insight into the importance donations play in a museum's collection.

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Monday, 26 January 2015 11:56

Tate Britain Reveals BP Sponsorship Details

Tate received annual sponsorship of between £150,000 and £330,000 from BP over a 17-year period until 2006, newly released figures show. Tate was ordered to reveal the numbers by an information tribunal last December and was given 35 days to comply. That deadline ended on Monday and Tate released the figures to the campaigning group Platform, which has argued the figures were likely to be “embarrassingly small” and proof that Tate does not need to take money from an oil company accused of trying to “greenwash” its reputation.

The figures show BP provided £300,000 in 1990, going down to £150,000 in 1991. The sponsorship stayed at that level until 1999 before rising to £250,000 for two years and rising again to £330,000 between 2002-06. In total BP, Tate’s longest running sponsor, provided £3.8m over the 17-year period.

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There will be permanent, artistic lights at the end of the tunnel — the westbound tunnel of the Bay Bridge leading into San Francisco, that is — come 2016.

After a two-month campaign, the nonprofit Illuminate the Arts announced Wednesday that it had raised the needed $4 million to reinstall the “Bay Lights” as a permanent fixture on the western end of the bridge.

Billed as the world’s largest light sculpture, the display of 25,000 LED lights turns the 1.8-mile San Francisco portion of the span into a nightly show of constantly changing abstract images.

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The Smithsonian Institution said on Monday that it planned to raise $1.5 billion by 2017 in its first institution-wide fundraising campaign and had already raised more than $1 billion of that sum from private individuals, foundations, corporations and other donors.

In an era of tighter federal funding the Smithsonian is increasing its private fundraising efforts to pay for its stepped-up ambitions at its sprawling network of museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and research centers, one of the largest collections of museum and research centers in the world.

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The Louvre kicked off its latest crowd-funding campaign on Tuesday with an appeal for a million euros to help fund the €12.5 million purchase of a jeweled piece of 18th-century furniture, known as the “Table of Peace,” which belonged to a French diplomat who negotiated the end of a Bavarian war.

After two years of budget cuts in state aid for cultural institutions, the Louvre is the second major French museum to turn to Internet fund-raising this month to pay for projects and acquisitions. For the first time, the Musée d’Orsay last week called for €30,000, or about $37,600, in contributions to help finance the €600,000 restoration of Gustave Courbet’s enormous painting of his studio, “L’Atelier du peintre.” By Tuesday, it had collected more than €20,000.

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Hundreds of people have backed a campaign to return a Barbara Hepworth sculpture to a shopping center.

"Rock Form," thought to be worth more than £1m, was removed from The Mander Center, Wolverhampton, in June.

The precinct is currently up for sale and campaigners fear there are plans to sell the sculpture separately.

Joint owners The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Delancey said they were looking at ways of allowing the statue to continue to be enjoyed.

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