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The Museum of Modern Art and its striking PASTA-MOMA union have scheduled new negotiations for early September, more than 18 weeks after the strike began on Apr. 28. MoMA agreed to new talks after the Manhattan Borough Board voted last week to deny the museum the zoning variance it needs to complete its $650-million expansion, expressing concern over the ongoing labor dispute. Though the museum downplayed the significance of the vote, traditionally the full New York City Council -- which is to decide the zoning issue in October -- defers to the borough board. The announcement of new talks came after an Aug. 28 rally in which labor leaders attending the New York State AFL-CIO convention joined the picket line and addressed the strikers.

The National Gallery of Canada has cancelled two important exhibitions for next year because of mounting financial problems, reports the Ottawa Citizen. The shows are "Master Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art" and "Diana Thorneycroft: The Body, Its Lesson and Camouflage," which was to run at the gallery's subsidiary, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography. Adding to the fiscal crunch was an income shortfall from the gallery's expected summer blockbuster, "Monet, Renoir and the Impressionist Landscape," which is yielding only 166,000 visitors, 25 percent less than the estimated attendance. The museum's deficit for the 1998-99 fiscal year was $5.4 million Canadian; this year's figures will be available in October.

A stonemasonry scandal has engulfed London's British Museum. The Heritage Lottery Fund in London is withholding £2-million due to the British Museum for its £97-million renovation, according to Brit news sources, after it was revealed that a stonemason used a cheaper type of stone for the museum's south portico that differs in color and texture from the rest of the building. The museum reportedly let the work carry on despite the surprising discovery a year ago that Anstrude Roche Claire stone was substituted for the Portland stone used for the rest of the 150-year-old edifice. Museum officials claim to have been hoodwinked by their contractor and await the decision of the Camden City Council, which could demand that the stone be removed and the work begin again -- a course of action that would cost the museum an estimated £3 million. The British Museum has suggested the cheaper option of using an opaque wash to tint the portico's surface.

We all knew The Roving Eye packed a punch, but we didn't know Anthony Haden-Guest himself did as well. The New York Post reports that the author of True Colors: The Real Life of the Art World (Atlantic Monthly, 1998) knocked out two-time Golden Glove champ Domenico Monacho in three rounds at a bout promoting founder Josh Harris' Box Opera, which will pit celebrities against each other this fall. "The only explanation is that I got lucky," Haden-Guest modestly tells Artnet Magazine. "I certainly would not want a rematch."

New York's oldest alternative art space White Columns presents "Concerted Compassionism," Sept. 8-Oct. 15, 2000, an exhibition of work by three artists who have devised practical solutions to urban homelessness. The show, curated by Paul Ha, features shelters and mobile carts designed by Bradley McCallum, Michael Rakowitz's portable beds that inflate with the hot air expelled from building vents, and Christoph Büchel's Homeless Depot installation, which turns the gallery into a one-stop shop featuring "money-earning aids" and things like toys and games.

Attention Po-Mo Francophiles, October is Jacques Derrida month at New York University. Marking the deconstructionist's fifth annual visit to the university and his 70th birthday, NYU celebrates with the Oct. 2 American premiere of Ailleurs Derrida, a new film by Saffa Fathy; a series of lectures, including Derrida's annual address, dubbed Le Parjure (Perjury), on Oct 17; and "Celebrating Deconstruction," at the Orensanz Foundation on the Lower East Side on Oct. 26, featuring the exhibition "the Art of Deconstruction" and a live concert featuring avant-jazz composer John Zorn with DJ Roz and DJ Marklee.

The Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Oh., has appointed contemporary art curator and critic Carlos Basualdo as its new chief curator of exhibitions. Basualdo, a regular contributor to Artforum, is currently co-organizing Documenta 11, which opens in 2002 in Kassel, Germany.

The Swiss Institute has named Marc-Olivier Wahler artistic director and Mary Rozell managing director of the nonprofit cultural center. Wahler was previously artistic director of the Center for Contemporary Art in Neuchâtel and was the director of "Transfert," the 10th installment of the Swiss Sculpture Exhibition held this summer in the city of Biel. Rozell, an art historian specializing in modern and contemporary art, was most recently an art consultant and the German correspondent for the Art Newspaper.

Chilean artist Alexander Del Re and colleagues have launched Perfonews, an email bulletin covering the latest in performance art, new media and related cultural news. The free newsletter, currently available only in Spanish, collects listings, stories and notices from hundreds of subscribers across the world. To subscribe, send an email to with "suscribir" as its subject line.

-- compiled by Giovanni Garcia-Fenech
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