Art news / 30 May – 5 June

1. The Court of Appeal has rejected a case from Bromley council as to its ownership of Henry Moore‘s Draped Seated Women or ‘Old Flo’ as the sculpture is lovingly called, and will return once more to the London borough of Tower Hamlets. Old Flo will return from a long stint in the gardens of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where she was sent for safe keeping after the previous mayor consigned to have it auctioned off – which lead to protests from many, including director Danny Boyle. The sculpture was originally bought by the council back in 1970 for £6,000. Click here to read more.

2. Five arrests have been made in connection with the five missing Francis Bacon paintings stolen from the private collection of financier Capelo Blanco, a former friend of the artist, in Madrid last year (though news of this was only publically released in March), valued at €25 million. A British private investigation team sent pictures they’d uncovered to Spanish police, who then studied the metadata and were able to find the camera hire company, and thus, the person who’d hired the camera to take the pictures. This is one of the biggest art thefts in history. The investigation is ongoing. Click here to read more.

3. Severe floods in Paris have encouraged ducks on to the main streets of the French capital, and forced the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay to close. Massive flooding of the Seine river means the museums, which attract a combined 12.4 million visitors a year, will remained closed until Tuesday in order to protect the collections that include works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Caravaggio, Monet, Renoir, Degas – and at the Louvre an exhibition by street artist JR. (via the Independent)

4. A newly discovered painting by James Ensor, the Belgian painter of great influence to both the surrealist and expressionist movements, has sold at auction in Vienaa for €1m. The previously unknown, Baptême de masques (1925-30), had an estimate of €500,000, which it greatly exceeded. It was discovered in the collection of Simone Breton – who’d married the famous surrealist Andre Breton. The composition of the circus-esque scene in the painting is based on a photograph of the artist and a group of friends. (via The Art Newspaper)

5. According to new research the most famous King ever, Tutankhamun, had a dagger made from iron from outerspace. It has been believed for a long time that ancient Egyptians had a certain reverence for meteoritic iron, but now there is confirmation. It could also explain the hieroglyphic term that translates into “iron of the sky”, which emerged around the 13th century BC.

“As the only two valuable iron artefacts from ancient Egypt so far accurately analysed are of meteoritic origin, we suggest that ancient Egyptian attributed great value to meteoritic iron for the production of fine ornamental or ceremonial objects,” the researchers concluded. (via the Independent)