Chicago Unveils Plan for Public Art Monuments

The city of Chicago is iconic in American history and culture and is often seen in the news for various reasons, including its historic crime rates. After removing several Christopher Columbus statues temporarily from its public parks, the mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot released a plan that outlines a plan to review the fate of many of the cities more controversial public art monuments.

The initiative is being called “a racial healing and historical reckoning project” and is designed to access the monuments, memorials, and art located within the city said Lightfoot on Wednesday. In her statement, Lightfoot said: “The project will grapple with the often unacknowledged—or forgotten—history associated with the city’s various municipal art collections, and will provide a vehicle to address the hard truths of Chicago’s racial history.”

Other cities across America are putting similar measures in place as calls for racial justice continue after the killing of several black Americans by various police forces. Last month, officials in San Francisco started reviewing monuments and statues relating to figures. Likewise, the mayor of New York, Bill Blasio announced the city was creating a new commission for Racial Justice and Reconciliation. Its mandate is to look at the monuments that populate city owned properties.

Chicago Advisory Committee to Prioritize Artworks

The advisory committee in Chicago is tasked with reviewing the various works of art that could be deemed problematic. A representative from the mayor office stated that the city will release details on the advisory committee’s finding before the end of August.

The committee is being co-chairs by Mark Kelly, Bonnie McDonald and Jennifer Scott. McDonald is the CEO and president of Landmarks Illinois, while Scott is the chief curator and director for the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. In addition to those selected to chair the committee, it will include select elected officials as well as historians and artists from Chicago.

The committee has been given four principal objectives. The first is to catalogue all public art and monuments located throughout the city, while the second is to determine through an advisory committee which requires action. The third mandate relates to making recommendations towards any new or replacement pieces that may be commissioned, while the fourth is to provide a platform that will allow the people of Chicago to speak about the cities history.

Ancient Painting Enters Virtual Reality

The Google Arts & Culture Team have worked diligently throughout recent years to create virtual reality experiences that illuminate historic paintings. The goal is to create landmark preservation of ancient & modern humanities contributions to the art community for future generations. Now one of the oldest painting’s drawn by caveman artists has been added into the Google Arts & Culture VR Experience. This painting is the Chauvet Cave Rock Drawing, which was creating 36+ thousand years ago. It’s one of the planet’s oldest known sites for rock art, with it being located in Southeastern France.

International visitors are permitted to visit the Chauvet Cave, which has been open since 1995. It was 1st discovered by a trio of Speleologists, who adeptly were named by the media as “Jean-Marie Chauvet”. It’d take twenty years for UNESCO to determine Chauvet Cave a World Heritage Site, ensuring that the 1000+ Rock drawings are protected for hundreds of years to come. Images drawn by caveman include Horses, Mammoths, Sabretooth Tigers, Horses, and Lions. These ancient paintings were preserved thanks to limestone walls in the Ardèche region of France.

Several years before UNESCO declared Chauvet Cave a World Heritage Site, the Ardèche Regional Government began a €55 Million Project that would construct the 2nd Version of Chauvet Cave, which could be easily maintained & ensure that public damage to the Palaeolithic drawings wouldn’t occur. Between 1995 & 2007, there’d been multiple tourists that purposely graffitied the ancient paintings. It required extensive restoration work that prompted the Ardèche Regional Government to begin the project. Since construction was finalized, more than two million tourists have selected Chauvet Cave Two.

The Collaboration

The Ardèche Regional Government would wait another thirteen years before contacting the Google Arts & Culture Team, requesting a collaboration that would see the creation of Chauvet Cave Three. This version of the Chauvet Cave would allow tourists unable to visit France for the coming years to witness the ancient drawing via their desktop, laptop, or mobile device.

It’s recommended that everyone witness these prehistoric paintings at least once in their life, with this form of ancient art having influenced notable artists like Pierre Soulages and Pablo Picasso. All models displayed in Chauvet Cave Three are built with 3D Mechanics, giving new insight into these ancient drawings that cannot be seen elsewhere.

Vancouver Museum Implements Face Mask Protocol

An Art Gallery located in Vancouver has announced new restrictions onto visitors. These restrictions began on July 31st, indicating to guests that facial coverings are required going forward. New measures were enforced before a “Long Weekend” throughout Canada, worries followed for Gallery Administrators. They hope that with COVID-19 protocols, they’ll create safer environments for active personnel & visitors. It should be mentioned that Vancouver’s Art Gallery reopened on June 15th with minimal demands on guests, requiring two metres of distance from one another. That’s been scientifically proven not viable for overall protection.

The Interim Director of Vancouver’s Art Gallery emphasized that physical distancing & handwashing isn’t sustaining protective environments from COVID-19. He’d note that this scientific evidence prompted their decision for the requirement of Face Masks & Coverings. Diana Augaitis remarked that since reopening for public usage, multiple protocols had been enforced to create sanitary environments. Diana believes that for nearly two months they’ve been ready to welcome guests, with added measures like capacity restrictions & cleaning stations reasoning her belief. Medical experts would disagree with the evidence pointed out by Diana Augaitis.

Vancouver’s Art Gallery Interim Director couldn’t explain why she’s avoiding critical medical evidence that suggests COVID-19 flourishes inside indoor locations, regardless of social distancing or facial coverings. Diana Augaitis merely retorted that the safety of Gallery visitors is essential & that face masks will create an enjoyable experience. Artists throughout the Vancouver region anticipate that attendance numbers will deplete by 50% with these new restrictions. Diana Augaitis cannot guarantee safe indoor environments.

False Hope from Diana Augaitis

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control & Prevention indicated to Diana Augaitis that facial coverings limit the spread of coronavirus. Barriers are evoked whenever civilian personnel wear face masks, ensuring that droplets from the mouth don’t go past that protective wall. What British Columbia’s CDC isn’t considering is that a large percentage of the population isn’t wearing their facial coverings properly or removing them whenever viable. This is how COVID-19 flourishes inside indoor environments.

A backlash against Diana Augaitis’s decision continued when the Interim Director clarified that children below the age of five aren’t required to wear facial coverings. Anyone with medical conditions that can’t wear masks will also be exempt. This will create an inevitable outbreak in Vancouver’s Art Gallery.

Bristol Artist Mounts Undesignated BLM Statue

Marc Quinn from Bristol in the North of England made headlines on July 15th. This African descendant took his formidable artistic skillsets & mounted a Black lives Matter statue without the permission of local authorities. It was installed by Marc Quinn throughout the dead of night, taking photographs with his sculpture earlier into the morning hours. Following the lack of legal permission to position this sculpture in Bristol’s downtown sector, law enforcement removed the statue & relocated it to the local museum.

The morning of July 15th was a brisk Wednesday in Bristol, which didn’t deter Marc Quinn from erecting his sculpture of Jenn Reid. This woman is known for being an iconic activist in the Black Lives Matter campaign; her statue stood in-place of Edward Colston. This man was a slave trader from Colonial Britain & African descendants in Bristol couldn’t help emphasizing that horrific history shouldn’t be celebrated.

Marc Quinn didn’t inform the Bristol Council that he’d be erecting a statue on the plinth that held Edward Colston. Council members didn’t want to remove the statue but had to stand without the purviews of British law. However, Bristol Council tweeted that Marc Quinn could pick-up the sculpture from their museum, or they’d happily accept it to their collection.

An Auction

Marc Quinn requested that Bristol Museum hold a digital auction for his sculpture of Jenn Reid, indicating that funds garnered would be donated to two charities that support African history in Great Britain’s School Curriculum. If auctioned funds cannot be earned, Quinn remarked that he’d happily give it to the Bristol Museum. This shows that Marc was using the sculpture more to emphasize the importance of BLM Activists, not anger or disturb the Bristol Council. It appears the two parties are now working together to earn charitable donations through his Jenn Reid’s Sculpture.

Both Parties Address Bristol

An official statement from the Council was released to their minor population. They remarked their sympathies with having to remove the sculpture and emphasized that all civilians in Bristol should maintain a position on what happens with the plinth which held Edward Colston. Marc Quinn would also release a formal statement to the people of Bristol, indicating that he hadn’t received permission & is happy to know that his actions didn’t garner anger from the Council.

Banksy Returns in London’s Underground

Rarely does an artist obtain viral posts on social media, which isn’t the case for Banksy, an unidentified street painter that’s created notable works witnessed by millions worldwide. Located in the United Kingdom, Banksy will find unexpected locations to stuff & dazzle passersby. Nobody has ever uncovered the identity of Banksy, often supporting the concept of his secret character. Banksy’s paintings frequently relate to political statements that’ve angered members of parliament.

After not being seen since drawing painting for the National Health Service in Southampton General Hospital, the unidentified artist would’ve been remaining indoors under lockdown protocols to guarantee personal safety. British, American, Australian, Canadian, and First-World Nations not wearing face masks during the COVID-19 Pandemic prompted the return of Banksy. This became evident with his recently released video on Instagram, which captions “If You Don’t Mask Up, You Don’t Get It”. Since being uploaded to his profile, there have been 1+ million views, with this post becoming more popular than the majority. It’s because for the first-time supporters of Banksy have witnessed his physical frame, noting that this unidentified artist is male.

Video Shows Banksy in London’s Underground

Banksy walks through London’s Underground onto an arriving train, covered in medical gear to assist from COVID-19. This included a White-Pandemic Infection Suit, Gasmask, and Blue Surgical Gloves. While walking onto the train, a spray can & canvas are displayed by Banksy. He quickly begins working throughout the underworld train car, depicting rats from the ceiling. These rodents carry face masks for parachutes & dispense hand sanitizer from bright-blue skies down onto a darkened humanity. His image is meant to define how humanity has become higher carriers of disease & urban waste than the rodent.

The social media posting ends with Banksy walking from the underground train car & back onto the roads of Great Britain. The sounds of “I Get Knocked Down from Chumbawumba” is playing in the background. Banksy is highlighting here that that masking-up against the intolerant will always return to fight another day, inevitably acquiring victory. The final image become the post cuts out are the words “I Get Locked Down, I Get Up Again”. It’s suspected that Great Britain’s Underground will permit this painting to resume in the unidentified train car for months to come.

Michigan Home Raided for Selling Fake Art

The Federal Bureau of Investigations confirmed that they’d raided the home of Donald Henkel in Michigan. This follows after the known artist became creating a “Forgery Ring”. Donald masterfully sold fake paintings & sports memorabilia to American civilians. The FBI detailed evidence against Donald Henkel, who sold forged copied of paintings from three noteworthy artists. The forged artists include George Copeland Ault, Ralston Crawford, and Gertrude Abercrombie. All three are infamous for designing geometric compositions that display simple shapes & objective outlines. 

Forged artwork isn’t the exclusive crime committed by Donald Henkel. The 60-Year-Old Thief also counterfeited sports memorabilia from notable legends in Major League Baseball. Counterfeited items include signed baseballs, gloves, bats, hats, and jerseys. Players represented on illegal memorabilia included Willie Mays & Babe Ruth. Lou Gehrig and Alex Rodriguez.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations identified that Donald Henkel operated this forgery ring between March 2016 – April 2020. Law enforcement became aware of the criminal proceedings of Henkel through online forums. Progression in their case against Henkel wouldn’t move forward until the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s because Donald was forced to resume all criminal proceedings through digital databases. FBI Personnel swept through these databases, obtaining necessary information that garnered a search warrant from a Michigan Judge.

Arriving on-scene, FBI Agents noted an immediate influx of forged products within the confines of Donald Henkel’s home. This included forged copies of historical Mickey Mouse Drawings. Evidence shows that Henkel was mastering the signature of Walt Disney, and members of the Beatles. Agents remarked that it’s rare to see a forger go to extensive lengths to master their art, indicating that Henkel is proficient with this level of crime. FBI Agents will interrogate Donald Henkel on his former lifestyle before March 2016, possibly revealing other forgery scams.

The Community Reacts

The Managing Director of Herschel Adler Museum spoke on the forging of their artwork. Elizabeth Field emphasized that regardless of these forged paintings being fake or note, they display true beauty for whoever holds them. Elizabeth did note that mastering forged artwork on this level is the nightmare forever dealer, defeating their stronghold of maintaining exclusive painting’s that most cannot obtain.

President Trump Angers Art Community

Thousands of Americans are shocked & angered by the recent announcement made by President Donald Trump. The National Garden of American Heroes was commissioned by America’s leader, with the President remarking this monument will tell the incredible story of the United States. Task Forces governing over the construction of this garden has been provided sixty days to locate a property & modern design blueprints.

The National Garden of American Heroes will replace dozens of statues that have been vandalized & removed from cities across the United States. Vandalism of these statues began after the George Floyd Incident, with many disputing the actions of protestors & activists. They’re destroying the history of America, whether it’s positive or negative. President Trump is demanding that all statues be manufactured realistically & accurately display the individual it’s representing.

Nationwide protests for the Black Lives Matter Movement prompted Americans to destroy monuments of slave owners during the Civil War. These actions weren’t warranted by Donald Trump, with the US President claiming the Confederate Flag stands with America’s heritage. That Donald isn’t incorrect with his sentiments; the culture associated with the Confederate Flag is sadistic & horrifying. After receiving notable criticism towards his issued views during the 2020 Campaign Rally, President Trump commissioned the “National Garden of American Heroes”.

The Arriving Statues

Condemning Anti-Racism protestors during July 4th at Mount Rushmore, it was clarified that all statues vandalized & removed throughout America from the Confederate Era will be recreated at “The National Garden of Heroes”. Hoping to avoid backlash, Trump clarified that Martin Luther King Junior & Harriet Tubman would also appear in this garden. It’s this very action that prompted a significant backlash against Donald Trump’s commission. Placing two iconic figures that stood for African American Anti-Racist Movements with leaders during the slave era is extensively disrespectful. Trump has avoided all questions that ask if this decision was based on racism.

Additional “Historical Figures” that will appear in the National Garden of Heroes include Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ronald Reagan, Douglas MacArthur, Billy Graham, George Patton, Davy Crocket, Junipero Serra, Christopher Columbus, and Marquis de Lafayette. All these individuals have disrupted African American lifestyles in their lifetimes.

Louvre Museum Reopening on July 6th

The Musée du Louvre in Paris has announced it will reopen on the 6th of July. The largest art museum in the world, it will be the first time in almost four months that visitors will be allowed to view the priceless art and artefacts that are on exhibit within the museum.

However, those who have visited before will find the experience to be much different than in the past. For starters, all victors who enter the 227-year-old institution will need to call in advance to schedule a time slot. They also will be required to wear masks if over the age of elven. Guests arriving at the Musée du Louvre will be met with signs that direct pedestrian traffic in one direction and those hoping to make use of its cloakroom will find it closed. Therefore, as a result, the Musée du Louvre will not be allowing in any large bags, suitcases, or knapsacks.

Additional Restrictions in Effect

In addition to the restrictions relating to travel within the Musée du Louvre and the mandatory mask requirement, only roughly 70 percent of the museum will be open for public access. However, to the benefit of those who book an appointment, they will be able to view many of the museums’ prized venues including its Roman and Greek Roman antiquities galleries, its English, Spanish and Italian paintings halls and those areas that are dedicated to 19th-century French painting. In addition, visitors will be able to see the top attractions such as the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory of Samothrace.

In some respects, the new rules in place will benefit those hoping to catch a glance of the Mona Lisa, a painting that is often difficult to appreciate due to the large number of guests that pose to take selfies in front of the painting. The new rules will require that those wishing to view the masterpiece form in ques that respect social distancing and only allow two victors at a time will be permitted to view the Mona Lisa for 10-15 minute increments.

The Musée du Louvre welcomes the reopening, especially the chance to begin once again generating revenue. It is estimated that the museum has lost $45 million since March when it was forced to shut down amid the pandemic. Ticket sales are a substantial part of the museums’ estimated yearly revenue of $100 million, the remainder being part advertising, part sales from souvenirs.

Nazi Submarine Factory Becomes Digital Art Venue

The Third Reich was destroyed by the Allied Forces 75 years ago, with their acts forever being remembered in history. People still use fallen vehicles, submarines, and ships that were used by the Nazis for a variety of reasons that would’ve angered Adolf Hitler. The latest comes in the form of the U-Boat Nazi Submarine Factory, with forty-one thousand square metres being used to showcase a digital art centre. It’s now considered the most prominent digital art centre worldwide & is located at the Bordeaux Docks in France.

German Nazis occupied France throughout 1941 & 1943; it’d be this occupation that saw North America enter World War II. Their assistance alongside the British Armed Forces allowed to Nazis to ultimately be deterred from Frances borders, allowing freedom to resume after a horrendous period of history. While occupying French Territory, the Nazis built a submarine factory that consumed 40+ thousand square metres of space. Its unique environment combines dark areas & ominous flowing water throughout this digital art venue.

This art venue is located inside “The Bassins” of this factory, which is where U-Boats would be launched after production. It’s 110-Metres and has significantly sized pools that would hold sixteen Nazi Submarines—implementing this space to showcase “The Kiss by Adele Bloch-Bauer”, which is a famous painting that’s been transferred into the digital era. Once stolen by the Third Reich in the 1940s, this painting can now be viewed in a manner never-before-seen. All while eighty hidden speaks play classical music from Beethoven, Mahler, and Wagner.

Coronavirus Restrictions

The COVID-19 Pandemic forced this art venue to be delayed by two months. Initially slated to arrive in late May, it wouldn’t first be seen by public attendees until June 12th. Those that wanted to witness this incredible digital art venue were informed that multiple social distancing measures are being enforced. Wearing protective face equipment was required, including temperature checks upon the attendee’s arrival.

Potential attendees were also informed that bookings must be made pre-emptively, lasting a maximum of half-an-hour. These measures haven’t stopped hundreds in France from making their bookings. Lockdown restrictions in France have forced many to remain indoors for prolonged periods. This’ll be the first event where they can escape, with The Kiss by Adele Bloch-Bauer Digital Art Venue being a perfect choice.

Spanish Archaeologist Arrested for Falsifying Findings

Roman artefacts have now been documented as falsified, prompting the arrest & imprisonment of the Spanish Archaeologist that deface priceless artworks from the Roman Era. This defacing was accomplished in hopes of becoming famous in the Archaeologist field. Several artefacts were destroyed by Eliseo Gil, with this man obtaining 2+ years in prison for falsifying hundreds of records. Charges also included the defacing of Roman artefacts.

Evidence from Archaeologist experts noted that details in Eliseo Gil’s findings weren’t possible, including the Basque Language being written 600 years before its creation. Gil hasn’t appeared remorseful for committing these crimes, which are now considered the most substantial manipulations in Roman Archaeology.

Law enforcement contested in court that this man should see the maximum prison time available. However, evidence was circumstantial & didn’t prove that Eliseo himself had conducted these acts. The defence claimed that other members in the community had tampered with these Roman artefacts before Eliseo Gil located them. It’s what prompted the two years & three months prison sentence.

The History

Eliseo Gil made international headlines in 2006 when unveiling his excavation findings. Located in Velia, the artefacts found would rewrite history books in the region for a short period. Experts noted by 2008 that multiple discrepancies were found with these artefacts. That included modern glue being found in lab samples, and then “RIP” was located on Christian artefacts. Considering that Christian faith doesn’t believe in using this acronym on their tombstones, experts knew this to be falsified.

The crucifixion design & RIP letterings were drawn onto a broken Roman vase, which would be tested through lab samples. Modern glue designed from China was traced & then the manufacturer located. Their manufacturing recipe was identical to the adhesive used by Eliseo Gil. It’s this evidence that prompted a decade-long investigation into this Archaeologist, with him continuously protesting any involvement with this matter.

It’s suspected that his license to headline Archaeologist Dig Sites won’t be permitted moving forward. It should be mentioned multiple other men involved with assisting Eliseo Gil in his criminal actions were arrested as well. These individuals knowingly were aware of what the Archaeologist had done.