Weekly Roundup: Lightning Strikes at Giotto Chapel, the Louvre Gets a Makeover and More

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Not in the know? Here’s what made headlines in the art world this week:

Giotto Chapel Damaged by Lightning
Padua’s celebrated Scrovegni Chapel, which houses exceptional frescoes by trecento painter and architect Giotto, was struck by a bolt of lighting on August 9th. The iron cross on the facade was seriously damaged and subsequently removed.

Study Links Cave Art to Neanderthals
Researchers say a cave carving in Gibraltar may be the first known example of Neanderthal rock art.

Louvre Director Plans Its Grand Revamp
Jean-Luc Martinez, who was promoted to the director of the Louvre last year, is proposing the most ambitious renavation of the Paris museum since the Grand Louvre project of the 1980s.

Rare Letter from Elizabeth Taylor to Richard Burton Emerges
The rare love letter was discovered in a book in a drawer in the bedroom of a luxury Hollywood home the couple once rented.

Why Mellon’s $250 Million Rothkos Aren’t in N.Y. Auction
Three paintings–two by Mark Rothko valued at as much as $250 million and one by Richard Diebenkorn–will be absent from Sotheby’s upcoming New York auction because they were sold privately earlier this year.

Renaissance Masterpiece Warped by Rome Museum’s Faulty Air Conditioning
Raphael’s Deposition (1507) has warped because the air conditioning in a Rome museum has not worked for six months, raising questions once again over Italy’s ability or willingness to look after its precious cultural heritage.

Millions of Historical Images posted to Flickr
American academic, Kalev Leetaru, is creating a searchable database of 12 million historical copyright-free images.

Art Moscow’s Future is in Limbo
Organizers of the city’s oldest contemporary art fair are unsure whether the fair will take place.

HBO to Air Documentary About Banksy’s Wacky Month-Long New York Residency
The documentary Bansky Does New Yorkis billed as a fan-generated chronicle of the street artist’s one-month residency in New York last October. The special will debut on HBO on Monday, November 17th.

Jude Okays Sale of Portugal’s $50 Million MirĂ³ Cache
A judge in Portugal has ruled that the Portuguese government may sell a collection of 85 works by Joan MirĂ³. Christie’s has estimated the collection is worth around $49.8 million all together.

“Art-Flipper” Bert Kreuk Sues Artist Danh Vo for $1.2 Million
The major art collector claims that Vo failed to deliver an artwork for an exhibition of Kreuk’s collection, titled Transforming the Known, at the Hague Municipal Museum.