BY Frieze News Desk in News | 22 FEB 19

Police Clear Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum Following Bomb Threat

In further news: V&A’s Dior show sold out; San Francisco’s Jewish Museum accused of ‘pinkwashing’

BY Frieze News Desk in News | 22 FEB 19

Police car outside the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia, 2019. Courtesy: Getty Images/TASS; photograph: Peter Kovalev

Police evacuated Saint Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum on Thursday afternoon due to a bomb threat. Museum staffers received the anonymous threat over email, with other arts institutions also receiving the message, including the city’s Mariinsky Theatre. A brief social media post from the Hermitage stated that members of its staff had received a message claiming that the premises had been ‘mined’. The museum remains closed, Artnet News reports.

The ‘Dior: Designer of Dreams’ exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is on course to be the museum’s most successful exhibition of all time – all pre-bookable tickets have now sold out, the Art Newspaper reports, with one museum attendant claiming: ‘Many people are buying membership just so they can get in.’ The show traces the impact of the Paris couture house across more than 70 years. Don’t miss Amber Butchart writing for frieze on the politics of postwar couture and Christian Dior’s love for British tradition.

The Jewish Museum in San Francisco has been hit by protests, with activists accusing the institution of ‘pink-washing’. Demonstrators have taken issue with the Jewish Museum’s current exhibition ‘Show Me as I Want to Be Seen’ which explores the fluidity of identity and the ‘unfixed self’, alleging that LGBTQ issues have been coopted to paper over human rights abuses in Israel. Demonstrators converged on the museum carrying signs that read ‘Unmask Israeli Apartheid’ and ‘Unmask Zionism’, calling for it to align with the BDS movement.

New research shows that young people are under-represented in the arts. 2% of those working in cultural professions are aged 16-19, despite this demographic making up 3.2% of the UK’s working population: creating a representation gap of over a third, Arts Professional reports. The charity Creative and Cultural Skills said that this meant ‘thousands’ of young people were being missed out, with CC Skills programme director Sara Whybrew commenting: ‘Young people, from all backgrounds and regardless of prior educational achievement, must be given options and opportunities to develop the skills they and we need for jobs in the sector.’

In appointments and gallery news: artist Serwan Baran will represent Iraq at this year’s Venice Biennale, with a new project ‘Fatherland’ which delves into conflict in the region; Naiza Khan will represent Pakistan in Venice, marking the country’s first ever participation at the biennale; Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York has named Stephanie Gabriel as director; and Hauser & Wirth gallery now represents Roberto Cuoghi.