Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 July 2019

London gallery chief steps down because of links with Israeli cyber-weapons company

Yana Peel, CEO of the Serpentine Galleries, claimed she was victim of “a lobbying campaign”

Yana Peel, the chief executive officer of London’s Serpentine Galleries has resigned after a British newspaper revealed that her husband is co-owner of an Israel cyber weapons company whose software has allegedly been used to spy on dissidents. The National
Yana Peel, the chief executive officer of London’s Serpentine Galleries has resigned after a British newspaper revealed that her husband is co-owner of an Israel cyber weapons company whose software has allegedly been used to spy on dissidents. The National

The chief executive of London’s Serpentine Galleries has resigned after a British newspaper revealed her husband is co-owner of an Israeli cyber-weapons company whose software has allegedly been used to spy on dissidents.

On Tuesday, Yana Peel announced she was stepping down so the Serpentine would not be undermined by what “misguided personal attacks on me and my family”.

Ms Peel said she was at the centre of a lobbying campaign after "toxic personal attacks" relating to her involvement with Novalpina Capital Group, the private equity firm co-founded by her husband.

“I have decided I am better able to continue my work in supporting the arts, the advancement of human rights and freedom of expression by moving away from my current role,” she said.

An investigation by The Guardian last week revealed that Novalpina Capital controls a majority stake in NSO Group, a $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) Israeli technology company.

Novalpina holds the majority of NSO shares and the company’s Israeli founders hold a minority stake.

The Serpentine Gallery and Serpentine Sackler Gallery are five minutes’ walk from each other in London’s Hyde Park.

Ms Peel's resignation was overshadowed the launch of this year’s Serpentine Pavilion, which was completed by Japanese architect Junya Ishigami.

Updated: June 18, 2019 11:52 PM

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