Art World Abstracts: Elgin Marbles Spur Greek Election Debate, and More!

Part of the 'Elgin Marbles', named after British diplomat Lord Elgin who took them from Greece's in 1803, has left Britain for the first time since they were taken from the Parthenon, on loan the State Hermitage Museum in Russia. (AFP PHOTO/OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

Part of the ‘Elgin Marbles’ have left Britain for the first time since they were taken from the Parthenon, on loan the State Hermitage Museum in Russia. (AFP PHOTO/OLGA MALTSEVA (Photo credit should read OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images)

The ever-controversial Elgin Marbles (also known as the Parthenon Marbles) have become a hot button topic of debate in the Greek elections thanks to a statement from lawmaker Tasos Kourakis who claimed that a popular art history book used in schools doesn’t accurately describe the history of their removal from the country by British diplomat Lord Elgin in 1803. “The Elgin Marbles, gentlemen of the ministry of education, were not ‘transported’ but ‘snatched by force’,” he said in his statement. Education Minister Andreas Loverdos is now calling for the book to be withdrawn, and Mr. Kourakis party Syriza is favored to win the election. [Art Daily]

Here’s a short Q&A with the directors of the Oscar shortlisted documentary Art and Craft, the story of American painter Mark Landis whose long-running, intricate forgery scams were revealed in 2008. Sam Cullman and Jen Grausman were given rare access into the recluse’s life as a master forger; he has donated his forgeries to nearly 45 museums, escaping prosecution for years because he never sold them. [Business Insider]

Starchitect Jean Nouvel is refusing to attend the opening of the new Philharmonie de Paris concert hall he designed because he believes it’s not finished. In an editorial for Le Monde he says the hall (slated to open Wednesday) hasn’t been subjected to the needed to make sure it’ll be a successful music venue. “The contempt these last two years for architecture, for the architect’s craft… prevents me from expressing my agreement and satisfaction with attending the opening ceremony,” he wrote. [Los Angeles Times]

We’re sad to hear that Lombard Fried gallery will be closing its doors after 20 years. Eileen Kinsella reports that gallery principals Lea Fried and Jane Lombard will be dissolving their partnership. [artnet News]

A 1926 poster painted by Montague B. Black gives a rare depiction of a futuristic that is not bleak, depressed, post-apocalyptic, and fallen to ruin. This is All in the Air shows a skyscraper dotted skyline (many of the buildings could bear resemblance to the buildings of the real city), its airspace filled with airplanes and airships (the future is always steampunk), and a golden sunrise. Jonathan Jones draws comparisons to other art historical depictions of the city far less hopeful, many influences by Europe’s wars. [Guardian]

GQ caught up with art historian Ben Street to have him weigh in on its “Bullshitter’s Guide to Modern Art.” The piece is an excellent piece of satire, and tips include “Do say: ‘This raises questions…’” and “Don’t: have (too much of) an opinion.” For the latter, he also proclaims “Art critics very rarely express an opinion about art…The best thing they will say is: ‘it’s interesting’.” So when should you use this guide? Probably never. If you find yourself seriously needing it when you’re out in Chelsea gallery hopping on a Thursday night, the art world is likely not for you. [GQ]

Art World Abstracts: Elgin Marbles Spur Greek Election Debate, and More!