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Artnet News
New York investment advisor and "broker to the stars" Dana Giacchetto, indicted for securities fraud after allegedly stealing a total of $6 million from celebrity clients like Matt Damon and Courtney Cox, also handled investments for several well-known art-worlders, including painter David Salle and SoHo gallery owner Marianne Boesky. According to press reports, both Boesky and Salle may have lost as much as $200,000. What's more, some of Salle's money was transferred into the account of whiny Canadian singer Alanis Morrissette to hide the shortfall there. Giacchetto -- described by one insider as "Charles Nelson Reilly on drugs" -- faces up to ten years in prison and $1 million in fines if convicted.

The tornado that slapped down in the center of Fort Worth, Tex., on Mar. 28 missed most of the art institutions in the city's cultural district -- with two unfortunate exceptions. A spokesperson for the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth informs Artnet News that the storm blew out eight windows during a reception for the American Institute of Architects at the Modern at Sundance Square, the museum's annex. None of the 60 people attending the function were hurt, and the twister spared the current exhibition, which features works from the Absolut Vodka collection. Not so lucky was the Carol Henderson Gallery, located two miles west of downtown. The only business on its street to suffer extensive damage, the eclectic gallery lost its windows and a number of small items were destroyed, though a show featuring work by New Zealander painter Stephen Lawrie escaped damage.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art officially unveiled its new Cypriot Galleries on Apr. 4 with a selection of some 600 works from the Cesnola Collection, dating from ca. 2500 B.C. to ca. A.D. 300. The hoard is named after General Luigi Palma di Cesnola, the Met's first director, who acquired the works for the museum between 1874 and 1876. The installation, on the museum's second floor above the Greek and Roman galleries, marks the end of the second phase in the Met's current ten-year plan for the total overhaul of its Greek and Roman collections.

Spanish police have seized 612 lithographs depicting Salvador Dalí's Los Caprichos de Goya and 80 copper plates used to print them from a warehouse owned by John Peter Moore, the late artist's former personal secretary, according to a report in Madrid's El Pais newspaper. La Fundación Dalí has analyzed the nabbed works and found indications that they don't belong to the original edition of 1977.

Last year Moore faced accusations that he forged thousands of prints and paintings by the late Surrealist artist and sold them for about $1,000 each, to which he responded, "I was Dalí's assistant for 20 years and I don't need to do a forgery. I have all the real Dalí I need."

Britain's culture secretary Chris Smith wants to slash museum entry fees to £1 by next September, the BBC News reports. The plan, which would cost the government an estimated £7.1 million, is a compromise from the Labor party's original promise to make museum and gallery entrance free for all. Critics of the plan are blaming the new Tate Modern for eating up the arts budget -- £5 million the first year and £6 million annually after that.

Hollywood jailbird Robert Downey, Jr., stuck with a three-year sentence at California's Corcoran State Prison for drug-related parole violations, has turned to easel painting, according to Fashion Wire Daily. The star of Wonder Boys and the just-released Black and White has been making drawings and paintings filled with cryptic religious imagery and esoteric phrases, which his former actor pal Josh Richman (his casting credits include "2nd Heavy Metaller in Parking Lot" in the movie Heathers) has been successfully selling to a number of rock stars, including the lead singers of Bush and Sugar Ray. Word is also that the Deftones' front man is considering incorporating a piece of the actor's work on the cover of the band's upcoming third album.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art's exhibition catalogue Ghost in the Shell: Photography and the Human Soul, 1850-2000 has been awarded the prestigious George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award for publications demonstrating excellence in art publishing. The 336-page tome, authored by LACMA photo guru Robert A. Sobieszek, traces the modern photographic portrait over the past 150 years and served as a catalogue for the exhibition on view at LACMA, Oct. 24, 1999-Jan. 16, 2000. This is Sobieszek's second Wittenborn award.

The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Pacific Design Center have announced plans for an upcoming MOCA Gallery at the PDC, a 3,000-square-foot exhibition space specializing in architecture and design. The gallery will be located in the building known as the Feldman Gallery, a freestanding part of the 16-acre Pacific Design Center designed by Cesar Pelli that housed last year's MOCA exhibition "Art in the Age of the Consumer." The gallery is expected to open in the fall.

Attention artists: the Texas Fine Arts Association in Austin is inviting emerging and mid-career artists living in the U.S. to submit slides for its upcoming New American Talent: The Sixteenth Exhibition to be organized by Anne Umland, associate curator in the department of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. To request an entry form send a self-addressed stamped #10 envelope to "NAT-16," Texas Fine Arts Association, 700 Congress Ave., Austin, Tex. 78701. Call (512) 453-5312 for more info. Slide entries must be postmarked by June 9, 2000.

-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech