Goya masterpiece discovered, Facebook censors Richter, Jeff Koons TV and a new High Line billboard
Phaidon's Eye on the Art World looks at stories in the US, Italy, Switzerland and France
Goya masterpiece is discovered in a private collection, unrecognised for 80 years Paintings by the great Francisco Goya are incredibly rare (according to the Telegraph's Colin Gleadell fewer than 10 have appeared on the market in the last two decades). Imagine the collective art world delight, then, when it was announced this week that one of Goya's early religious paintings is to be sold in Zurich next month, having spent 80 years hanging in a private collection completely unrecognised. The painting is likely to fetch up to £520,000 at auction – a much smaller price tag than those attributed to the artist's better known works, but still a huge (and unexpected) haul for the as-yet-named current owner.
The High Line gets a new billboard The Los Angeles-based artist Elad Lassry has just installed a new commission across a 75-feet-wide billboard next to New York's ever popular High Line. Lassry's work, a monumental image titled Women (065, 055), is the fifth to be commissioned for the site that has also featured pieces by John Baldessari, Anne Collier and British artist David Shrigley. It's installed in advance of Lassry's exhibition at New York gallery The Kitchen, where he'll present a new 30-minute performance as well as new photographs from the beginning of September.
Facebook removes Richter painting and provokes questions around censorship Facebook caused controversy this week by removing a painting by Gerhard Richter published on the site by the Pompidou, currently running a Richter retrospective. As soon as the Paris museum complained, Facebook reinstated the image, citing a misunderstanding over whether or not the art work, Ema, was a painting or a photograph (nude paintings and sculptures are allowed on the site, nude photographs are not). It's not the first time the social network has been at the centre of a censorship row (it's previously removed Gustave Courbet's painting The Origin of the World), and it most probably won't be the last, as long as its stringent regulations remain in place.
Spencer Tunick gets involved but keeps his clothes on American artist Spencer Tunick, famous for creating photographic works that involve huge crowds of naked volunteers, has announced plans to join a mass clothed floating event in the Dead Sea, in a bid to raise awareness of the dangers posed by its shrinking shores. The event is being sponsored by Save Our Sea, a group of skin disease-suffering activists who, according to Bloomberg, "rely on the Dead Sea waters and mud for treatment and relief." It's not the first time Tunick has visited the site: last year he photographed a group of naked Israelis in the area. This September, though, he'll be part of the action, not the man photographing it.
Rome's Coloseum about to undergo much-needed restoration On Tuesday Italy's culture minister, Lorenzo Ornaghi, unveiled extensive plans to restore the Coloseum, Rome's great, ancient structure. It's about time, too. Recent reports have included growing concern over an increasing partition between the northern and southern portions of the monument (a gap as big as 40 centimeters has appeared), and its underground passageways are in serious need of extra support. Work is due to begin in December and will continue for around three years, but don't worry, the site will remain open to visitors throughout.
Lichenstein painting discovered in a New York warehouse It's something of a big week for discoveries in the art world. First, the Goya painting was miraculously unearthed, and now a painting by legendary pop artist Roy Lichtenstein has surfaced at a New York warehouse. Electric Cord was created in 1961, bought by the art collector Leo Castelli in the same decade and declared lost in 1970. Lawyers say the painting is now worth $4m, a staggering amount of money, albeit a cool $40m less than the figure one of Lichtenstein's masterpieces, Sleeping Girl, fetched at auction in May.
And finally. . . Jeff Koons described as "the world's most exspensive birthday clown" Further proof, if we needed it, that Jeff Koons doesn't take himself too seriously was provided this week when the American artist appeared on late-night satirist Stephen Colbert's show Comedy Central. Koons and his work was the subject of immediate, although gentle, mocking, but he appeared relaxed throughout. On the revelation that the artist got paid "around $3,000" for his 1985 piece One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank, Colbert seemed visibly shocked. "$3,000 you got for that?" he asked, pointing at an on-screen picture of the piece. "My kids do that they get grounded!"