Pandora Papers Reveal Artworld Money Laundering – Windrush Sculpture Unveiled – LA’s Academy Museum Opens

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The Pandora Papers which came to light over the weekend have released over twelve million documents revealing systematic tax-dodging by fourteen firms utilising offshore bank accounts to hide the assets of hundreds of wealthy clients, including over 100 billionaires. The papers also highlight wealthy corporations and individuals using shell companies and trusts to hide assets ranging from art and antiquities to yachts and property portfolios. 

According to the Washington Post, Douglas Latchford, an accused antiquities dealer, linked to looted Cambodian artefacts and his family set up trusts in tax havens shortly after US investigators linked him to stolen Cambodian artefacts. It has now been revealed that he clearly falsified invoices and other records. He and his associates are suspected of using offshore companies to conceal wrongdoing in the global art trade.

Latchford, whose art collections have been displayed at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum allegedly used the offshore accounts to conceal profits from underground art trading. He was charged in 2019 with illegally offering important ancient Khmer Empire artefacts.

The British Museum in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City were subject to criticism after purchasing several objects from the dealer. The BM stated that they take many precautions to ensure the items they acquire weren’t stolen and that standards for provenance have changed over the years.

A Banksy mural has also turned up in the files, as have several paintings by Picasso, Modigliani and Monet. Brussels-based Vedovi gallery have been found to have filtered business through a company registered in Hong Kong, making certain deals tax-free. The gallery has not been accused of wrongdoing. This is “The tip of the iceberg”, an inside source revealed.

Veronica Ryan Unveils First Windrush Commission Monument
Veronica Ryan

Veronica Ryan Unveils First Windrush Commission Monument

The unveiling of Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae) (2021) by Veronica Ryan OBE, the UK’s first permanent public sculptures to celebrate and honour the Windrush Generations. The works installed in Narrow Way Square by St. Augustine’s Tower, East London, are commissioned by Hackney Council, curated and produced by Create London and supported by Art Fund with additional funding from the Henry Moore Foundation.

Ryan’s series of large-scale marble and bronze sculptures represent and respond to Caribbean fruit and vegetables while alluding to movement, memory, and cultural exchange ideas. Speaking of the inspiration for the works, Ryan said: ‘I have memories of going to Ridley Road Market with my mother as a child to buy fruit and vegetables, fabrics and sewing materials. Little did I know, those early experiences would become an essential material for my practice as an artist.’

Located on a pedestrianised flank of Mare Street, Custard Apple (Annonaceae), Breadfruit (Moraceae) and Soursop (Annonaceae) will stand as a permanent expression of solidarity with the Windrush Generations. The works are both a recognition of the community’s significant contribution to life in the borough and the UK and reflect the borough’s ongoing commitment to providing refuge and welcome to worldwide migrants. ‘I like the idea that there are public works that define a different history’, Ryan noted recently. ‘Seeing representations of one’s cultural heritage in a public space is an affirmation – evidence that you belong here.’

LA's Academy Museum Opens
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo: Iwan Baan/©Iwan Baan Studios, courtesy of Academy Museum Foundation

LA’s Academy Museum Opens

Los Angeles, September 30, 2021—Officials representing the Academy Museum, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the City and County of Los Angeles, the State of California, and the Tongva community gathered this morning before an invited audience of cultural and philanthropic leaders to dedicate the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and declare it open to the public.

The Academy Museum is the largest museum in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. The museum advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives, and collections. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum’s campus contains the restored and revitalised historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—and a soaring spherical addition. Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theatres, an education studio, restaurant, retail store, and beautiful public spaces.

Joining leadership of the Museum and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the ceremonial ribbon-cutting were Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Councilmember (District 4) Nithya Raman, California Film Commission Executive President Colleen Bell, Tongva Spiritual Leader Jimi Castillo, and Tongva Community Leader Virginia Carmelo.

Representing the museums were Academy Museum President and Director Bill Kramer, Academy Museum Board Chair Ted Sarandos, Academy Museum Inclusion Advisory Committee Chair Effie T. Brown, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson, and Academy President David Rubin.

In his remarks, Mayor Garcetti announced that landmark buildings would be bathed at night in gold illumination to welcome the Academy Museum to Los Angeles. The Ferris Wheel at Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, Union Station Los Angeles, the US Bank Tower, the GRAMMY Museum®, and the Petersen Automotive Museum will be lit in gold.

Initially constructed for the May Company department store, Albert C. Martin, Sr. Designed the Academy Museum’s 1939 Streamline Moderne Saban Building. He was also the architect for the 1928 Art Deco Los Angeles City Hall.

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