The Leaning Tower of Pisa is apparently “slowly reducing its lean.”
Photo: Flickr/Roderick Eime

Galerie’s Weekly Art and Design Industry News Brief

Here’s the week’s news you need to know, from the theft of a Renoir painting to Airbnb’s exciting new venture

Here are this week’s must-read news stories in the fields of art and design.

1. Airbnb to start designing houses in 2019

Airbnb announced Thursday that it will begin testing prototype homes as soon as next year to accommodate the needs of owners or occupants who rent and share living spaces. The new project, called Backyard, is “an initiative to prototype new ways that homes can be designed, built, and shared,” the company said in a news release.

The Dorotheum auction house in Vienna, where a Renoir was stolen earlier this week. Photo: Dorotheum

2. Renoir painting stolen from auction house in central Vienna

Austrian police are searching for three suspects after a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir valued at up to $181,000 was stolen from a Vienna auction house during opening hours. Golfe, Mer, Falaises Vertes, a lesser-known landscape by the prolific French Impressionist, was taken from its frame on Monday evening while it was on display ahead of a planned sale at the Dorotheum auction house, police said.

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3. Louvre launches a free admission night to attract new visitors

The Louvre in Paris has announced it will open its doors for free one Saturday night per month in a bid to attract younger, less wealthy visitors. The new openings, set to begin on January 5, are to include activities such as a board-game area and reading corner to lure families.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is slowly reducing its lean, restoration monitors say. Photo: Flickr

4. Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning less

The tower’s Surveillance Group, which monitors restoration work, said the landmark is “stable and very slowly reducing its lean.” The 186-foot-tall medieval monument has been straightened by 1.5 inches over the past two decades, the team said. “It’s as if it’s had two centuries taken off its age,” professor Salvatore Settis explained to the BBC.

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5. Collective Design will not present a 2019 fair

Collective Design will not host a fair in 2019, the founder and creative director Steven Learner announced today. “In this rapidly changing design market, it is vital to think critically,” Learner tells Galerie. “Postponing the 2019 fair will allow us to evaluate the current landscape and evolve our approach to best engage and support both our designers and our audience.”

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