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Closings, Lootings, and Forgeries: Art News Roundup

Happy Friday! Predictably, the recession has taken a bite out of the art world, causing the cancellation of countless museum shows and exhibitions around the country and world (The Art Newspaper puts the number at 20 and counting…). The situation is “considerably worse” in North America as compared to Europe, and our friends at LACMA have been hit extremely hard. [via The Art Newspaper]

As if times weren’t tough enough: At the Brooklyn Museum, a former employee has been accused of embezzling over $600,000. How could a sensitive art-loving museum employee be so cruel, so heartless? Oh, it was a payroll manager — dude, clearly nonprofit work isn’t for you! The suspect faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. [via ArtsBeat]

Another day, another discovery that a prized work of art was looted during the Holocaust. Seriously, this happens with insane frequency in the art world. This time it was a painting by Gustav Klimt that had been housed in Austria’s Lentos Museum. It will be returned to the family of the portrait’s subject. [via Bloomberg]

A stolen Renoir painting turned up in Venice after a quarter-century off the grid. The painting, one of Renoir’s few mythical scenes, was stolen from a Roman family in 1984. Reading stories like this is such a surreal experience — do we really live in a the same world as people who are stealing priceless works of art and being tracked by Interpol? Doesn’t this sound like a George Clooney movie? [via AFP]

Today in serials, documentarian Errol Morris wrapped up his crazy seven-part multimedia series on a Vermeer forger. We recommend starting at part one and forging (ha!) ahead from there.  [via Kottke]

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