Geneva Free Port: The greatest art collection no-one can see

Media captionAround a million works of art are stored at the Geneva Free Port complex

As size is an important part of this story, let me start by giving you some context.

The National Gallery in London has around 2,300 paintings in its collection - which might sound a lot, but is a piffling hoard compared to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which has gathered almost 200,000 artworks of varying types and quality.

That is properly impressive. But it's not a patch on what you will find - reportedly - in an unprepossessing, windowless warehouse complex in south-west Switzerland.

I say "reportedly" because nobody actually knows exactly how many works of art are stored in the Geneva Free Port, but its chairman talks of "a million", while the New York Times says the number is nearer 1.2 million (including around 1,000 works by Picasso). Either way, it is oceanic.

Image caption The artworks are hidden in bespoke wooden crates

It is not the property of a single institution or art-crazed individual - it belongs to an unaligned group of art dealers, collectors, freight forwarders and offshore companies (generally with opaque ownership), who appreciate the anonymity and prison-like security provided by the Swiss facility.

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The Grand Tour review: Clarkson returns in 'filmic' show

The Grand Tour Image copyright Amazon Prime Video
Image caption The Grand Tour launched on Amazon Prime on Thursday evening

Filmic is the word that sprang to my mind when watching the Grand Tour.

The scale of the production, the quality of the cameras, the epic sweeping shots and the pastiches of old movies - it seemed the show was aimed at the big screen, not the telly. Or a mobile phone, which is how I imagine a lot of people will view it.

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The most sophisticated hucksters on earth

Woman looks at Man Ray's photographs Noire et Blanche at The Radical Eye exhibition Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Modernist photographs from Sir Elton John's private collection are on show at Tate Modern

Last week I was momentarily interested in buying a Volkswagen car. It was an embryonic impulse terminated before it germinated by an unpleasant young man in an Oxfordshire dealership with sulphuric breath and a hard-sales technique that would have made Del Boy wince.

A six-month placement in the art world would sort him out. There he'd learn how to sell from the most sophisticated hucksters on earth.

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What does David Bowie's art say about him?

Media captionDavid Bowie's art on show ahead of Sotheby's auction

First things first: The Sotheby's sale of David Bowie's art collection is only partial, in that it's not all there.

His family has kept a large chunk back - maybe around a third - including a Lynn Chadwick sculpture called Teddy Boy and Girl.

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Author and art critic John Berger at 90

Media captionJohn Berger at his home in Paris

The author and eminent art critic John Berger turns 90 this week and is celebrating with the publication of a new book called Landscapes on Art.

BBC Arts editor Will Gompertz went to Paris to speak to him.

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Bruce Springsteen: More or less than The Boss?

Bruce Springsteen Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Meeting Bruce Springsteen, aka The Boss, off-stage brought an unexpected revelation as to his true subdued character

What can I possibly tell you about Bruce Springsteen that you might not already know? Certainly nothing about his attire.

He wears the standard issue rock 'n' roll three-piece: jeans, t-shirt, and a black leather jacket, accessorised - in his case - with biker boots, earrings, and stories of working class life in post-war New Jersey.

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Turner Prize: What defines a good work of art?

Helen Marten Image copyright Joe Humphrys
Image caption Helen Marten's work creates "time capsule stories containing an arrangement of clues that help the viewer solve a riddle"

I like the broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake. He poses good questions. Like the one he asked me this afternoon on BBC Radio 5 live.

We were talking about the Turner Prize, which can inspire "call that art" type cynicism. But he didn't go down that route. He asked me which of the four artists had moved me most with their work. Nice one Nihal.

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UK City of Culture: Why 2017 will change Hull for the better

Hull 2017 slogan on rooftops Image copyright Hull 2017
Image caption Hull 2017 is using the slogan "everyone back to ours"

Why on Earth is Hull spending tens of millions of pounds on a 12-month arts festival? What's the point?

Will the much-trumpeted "spectacular light shows" and opera on the Humber Bridge generate a flood of enquires from entrepreneurs looking to set up shop in the area? Probably not.

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Snack Bar painting: Right decision, wrong reason

Australian artist Hebert Badham's 1944 painting Snack Bar Image copyright Deutscher and Hackett
Image caption Australian artist Herbert Badham's 1944 painting Snack Bar

Here's why the Aussies decided Herbert Badham's oil painting, Snack Bar (1944) should not be allowed to leave the country to hang on a wall in its owner's London pad.

"The subject matter, which graphically records the interaction of different races, associating in congenial circumstances at a time of great danger for Australia is deeply impressive."

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Who will fill Nicholas Serota's shoes at Tate?

Sir Nicholas Serota Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir Nicholas Serota has overseen Tate's growth into an international art megabrand

There is one sentence in the press release announcing Nicholas Serota's departure from Tate that stands out.

It is a direct quote from the man himself and reads: "I leave an institution that has the potential to reach broad audiences across the UK and abroad, through its own programmes, partnerships and online."

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