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Art and morality collide at the North Van's Polygon Gallery – North Shore News

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A North Vancouver father says the Polygon Gallery has gone too far, hosting a children’s event when one of the exhibits inside features an illustrated penis.

Alex Goldkind was with his four-year-old daughter in Lower Lonsdale Feb. 1 when a gallery staffer invited them in for their monthly Kids First Saturday event on the upper floor.

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On the main level, however, they were given a booklet that accompanies the current collage exhibition called I Spy, by Vancouver artist Elizabeth Zvonar, and were asked to circle images inside as they found them in the large collage on the wall. The first one Goldkind saw on the wall was an 18th century political cartoon depicting French Queen Marie Antoinette and general Marquis de Lafayette, who is riding an ostrich shaped like male genitalia.

“Well, it’s a penis and balls. It’s pretty obvious, right? This is not rocket science here. I was just floored,” he said. “I just grabbed my daughter quickly before she saw it and I walked around the corner, just livid. I tore into all the staff there. I said ‘Are you guys insane? You’re inviting children into this?’”

Staff were so frightened by the outburst, they called the RCMP.

Goldkind said he takes no issue with nudity in art and he has no problem with adults coming to view it, but he said he feels the collage image should be considered pornography.

“It’s one thing to see the statue of David or something with a non-erect penis — because I think that’s art — but this is a situation where it is like an erotic piece of art, which should not be displayed to children.”

Reid Shier, director of the Polygon Gallery, wrote to Goldkind after to apologize, saying staff unintentionally failed to post a warning sign for visitors about the imagery they may see.

“And we take full responsibility for that. We dropped the ball,” he said in a later interview.

The political cartoon was not one of the images in the seek-and-find booklet.

He also invited Goldkind to the gallery so he could apologize in person. Goldkind said he was “absolutely not” satisfied with the apology and wants the gallery to stop inviting minors in when they might see images like he saw in I Spy.

While Shier apologized for the warning not being posted, he makes no apologies for the art itself. Anyone who fixates on any one image in I Spy is going to miss the entire point Zvonar is making with it, he said.

“Her interests are in the proliferation of visual imagery, particularly now, and certainly across the internet – our ability to deal with all of that, which often comes at us in unrelated ways, and in torrents at times,” he said.

“She’s interested in the representation of women and the idea of why it’s OK to show female nudity and sometimes it’s not [OK to show] male nudity.”

The collage itself is three and a half metres by two and a half metres, made up of more than 100 images taken mostly from lifestyle magazines. The cartoon featuring the penis is more than two metres from the ground.

Shier said the warning sign for parents will stay in place but the exchange won’t impact how they curate exhibitions in the future.

“The responsibility of the gallery is to show challenging material. We really regret that there was no adequate warning and context to the parent and complaint,” he said. “The variety of our programs and activities allows for diverse communities to enjoy all kinds of art, yet everything is not for everyone.”

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Tehran unveils Western art masterpieces hidden for decades – CityNews Toronto

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Tehran unveils Western art masterpieces hidden for decades  CityNews Toronto



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Fake psychics helped woman steal $180M in art from elderly mom, police say – Global News

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A Brazilian woman was arrested Wednesday after police found that she orchestrated an elaborate scheme to defraud her elderly mother out of precious works of art.

Sabine Coll Boghici, 48, is accused of using a ring of fraudulent psychics to swindle her mother, Genevieve Boghici, 82, out of around 724 million reais, or $180 million, in art, jewelry and money, according to a statement by police in Rio de Janeiro.

Police say the racket began in January 2020, when Genevieve, the widow of renowned Brazilian art collector Jean Boghici, was contacted by someone claiming to be a psychic who had seen a vision of her daughter Sabine’s death.

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The phoney psychic then introduced her to other seers, who used personal information provided by Sabine to convince the elderly woman that their claims were real. The ring of psychics used their leverage to get money out of Genevieve for “spiritual treatment,” in order to save her daughter from her prophesied death, according to NBC News and the BBC.

The suspects were later alleged to have physically threatened the elderly woman and Sabine eventually kept her mother confined to the house after she became suspicious of the scheme.

Sabine and a psychic then began to take artwork from Genevieve’s house and told her that the paintings were cursed with negative energy that needed to be “prayed over,” said police officer Gilberto Ribeiro, according to Reuters.

Eventually, Genevieve sought help from the police, who uncovered the scheme.

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At least 16 paintings were stolen from the elderly woman, police said, including works from celebrated Brazilian artists Cicero Dias, Rubens Gerchman and Alberto Guignard.

Three of the stolen paintings were works by famed modernist Tarsila do Amaral. Those three paintings alone were worth a reported 700 million reais, or just under $175 million.

Police say they have recovered 14 of the stolen paintings, having found 11 during a raid of the home of one of the accused psychics and three that were sold to an art gallery in Sao Paulo. At least two paintings have yet to be recovered, though, including pieces that were sold to a museum in Buenos Aires.

A video posted on Twitter by a local media outlet shows the moment one of Amaral’s paintings, Sol Poente (which means setting sun), was found inside a bed frame hidden under a mattress.

At least seven people were involved in the years-long plot, Reuters reported. Police said four were arrested, including Sabine, on Wednesday but the others remain at large.

The accused are facing charges of embezzlement, robbery, extortion, false imprisonment and criminal association.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Community meetings planned for massive Rodman Hall art collection – Niagara Falls Review

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A series of community meetings next month will help decide the fate of Rodman Hall’s 1,000-piece art collection.

The massive collection is in the hands of a registered charity called the Rodman Art Institute of Niagara after the historic St. Catharines gallery closed in 2020. Earlier this year, it was revealed the 19th-century building on St. Paul Crescent would be converted to a 13-room boutique hotel.

The community meetings will be held with the aid of international planning firm Lord Cultural Resources.

The meetings are scheduled for:

  • Sept. 13 via Zoom at 6:30 p.m.

  • Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at a location to be announced.
  • Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. at Salem Chapel BME Church, 92 Geneva St., St. Catharines.

The Rodman Art Institute was created with the purpose of protecting and supporting the gallery’s collection, with a goal of creating a new public art gallery.

Opened in 1960 as an art centre, Rodman Hall struggled financially in the ’90s before it was purchased by Brock University in 2003 for $2 — with a commitment to continue running it as an art gallery for 20 years.

Brock ended its ownership in 2015, having opened its Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.

The 2.88-hectare property was sold to developer Nino Donatelli in October 2020. Donatelli has previously restored the 19th-century Lybster Mill in Merritton, now called Stone Mill Inn. He also rehabilitated a former rubber plant on Glendale Avenue into a Keg restaurant.

Rodman Hall and its grounds are designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. No major alterations or additions are planned for the building.

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