Thursday’s Art Notes

BY Molly Finnegan  December 1, 2010 at 5:41 PM EST

A Russian restoration specialist works on a sculpture adorning the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on December 2, 2010. Photo credit should read Natalia Kolesnikova/ AFP/ Getty Images

A Russian restoration specialist works on a sculpture adorning the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on December 2, 2010. Russia’s legendary Bolshoi Theatre shut its doors in 2005 for a major reconstruction, due to be completed in October 2011. Russia sought to woo the hearts of FIFA’s grandees today with the promise of a ‘new Russia’ in their final pitch to host the 2018 World Cup in the controversial absence of Vladimir Putin. Photo credit should read Natalia Kolesnikova/ AFP/ Getty Images

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Transformer Gallery in Washington, D.C. is protesting the removal of an art work by David Wojnarowicz from an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery by playing the four-minute video in a monitor in their window (which is visible 24 hours a day), and organizing a march for Thursday evening, via The Washington Post.

Later on Thursday, we’ll have a conversation with National Portrait Gallery director Martin Sullivan.

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The U.S. will return the Degas painting “Laundry Woman with a Toothache” to France, which was recently recovered after being stolen from a French museum in 1973, via The Wall Street Journal.

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In Spain, bandits stole a truck that contained nearly 30 valuable works of art that was parked at a warehouse outside of Madrid, via the Associated Press.

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Ai Weiwei was prevented from leaving China minutes before he boarded a plane to Seoul, via The Guardian. The artist, who also had plans to visit Germany and Denmark, was told that his departure was seen as a potential risk to national security.

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Claiming the most dire financial straits, Fisk University plans to appeal a court order that would allow the struggling university to sell a share of its Alfred Stieglitz collection but only under rigorous restrictions, via The Tennessean.

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Eminem, Lady Gaga, and Arcade Fire were among the Grammy nominees named Wednesday for Best Album of the Year, via the Los Angeles Times.

Art Beat recently talked to Song of the Year nominee Ray LaMontagne, and the NewsHour profiled Esperanza Spalding, who was nominated for Best New Artist.

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CNN previews the Haiti Art Expo in Miami this weekend.