Variations on a Theme: Falling Through the Cracks

24290014_b887f07b90.jpg1. In art news today, it seems the crack in the Tate has struck once again. The BBC reports that  Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth 2007, the eighth
exhibit in the museum’s Turbine Hall series has now claimed as  many as
15 victims. The installation, which features a large crack in the floor
meant to symbolize racial hatred and division in society, appears to be
a magnet for what some commentators have deemed “stupid people.”

The Guardian reports:
“We saw the first poor victim, a young woman who went into it with both
feet up to just below her knees. She had to be dragged out by her
friends,” said one onlooker. “Unbelievably,
as we watched to see whether she was OK, an older woman deliberately
stepped on it (she later told us, amazingly, that she thought the crack
was painted on the floor) lurched forward and landed on the ground. She
had a sore wrist to show for it.”

2. It appears as though there are cracks as well in the Smithsonian, though they’re a result of shoddy maintainence and repair, rather than an artist’s vision. NPR reports
that “Chronic leaks, poor climate control, and outdated electrical
systems threaten both the collections and visitors.” And it doesn’t
seem as though Congress will be rescuing the museum anytime soon.
Listen to the story here. Fundraising ideas? The Hope Diamond has to be worth something.

3. How does the theft of 51 works of art, including a Rembrandt and a Guido Reni, slip through the cracks? You’d have to ask the municipal art gallery in Catania, on Sicily, though it’s unlikely they’d have a very good explaination. The theft took place 13 years ago and was only discovered recently. The Guardian reports that the Catania councillor responsible for culture stumbled upon the theft she calls “the robbery of the century,” after being assigned to overhaul the art gallery, which is housed in a medieval castle. Perhaps moats aren’t as effective as they once were.

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