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Art Insider Roundup: Events That Shook 2023: Part 3

Here is the last part of the series that covered the biggest events that rocked the art world in the year 2023:

Also Read: Art Insider Roundup: Events That Shook 2023: Part 2

AI Art continues making us ask: What’s Real Art?

Like the previous year, artificial intelligence continued to remain a hot topic of debate in the art world in 2023. Much of the discussion revolved around the usage of Generative AI tools to create artworks and whether they could be termed as ‘real art’ – particularly because of how these tools were trained on existing works created by other artists.

In April, Boris Eldagsen won the Sony World Photography contest – only to reveal that the winning photograph was actually AI-generated. In May, artists sued GenAI platforms like Dall-E and MidJourney for infringing on copyrighted artworks by using them for their training corpus. However, in a major blow, a California court dismissed the class action lawsuit in October.

But AI was not always in the news for bad reasons this year. For instance, AI helped identify that an unknown work had contributions from the master Raphael. Researchers also developed a new tool that could ‘poison’ digital artworks, thus rendering them useless for GenAI models.

The British Museum Loses Thousands Of Objects

At the face of it, it looked like a giant work of irony. The British Museum has long endured (somewhat justified) taunts of being home to stolen artifacts. But it still shocked the entire art world in 2023 when the museum announced that some of the uncatalogued items from its inventory had gone missing. While a major slip-up in itself, things would turn much worse as further details were revealed in the following days.

New reports claimed that around 1500-2000 objects were actually stolen over the course of 30 years. It was also the handiwork of one person – curator Peter Higgs, who was fired before the British Museum made the announcement. The museum was actually warned of this ongoing theft as long back as 2021, but the authorities chose to ignore it.

Since then, the British Museum has taken some corrective measures. Both director Hartwig Fischer and deputy directory Jonathan Williams stepped down, while the museum plans a 5-year project worth $12 million that would catalog its entire inventory.

Also Read: Art Insider Roundup: Events That Shook 2023: Part 1

Of course, a lot more happened in the art world in 2023. Stay tuned for more roundups!