The CEO of Serpentine Galleries has quit following “toxic personal attacks” over her husband’s investment in an Israeli spyware firm. Yana Peel claimed she was subject to a “lobbying campaign” after the private equity firm co-founded by her husband acquired a majority stake in the NSO Group. Technology developed by the Israeli cybersecurity company has allegedly been used by states such as Saudi Arabia to target political opponents, leading to criticism from human rights groups. Earlier this year, Novalpina Capital, an investment group set up by Stephen Peel, took a majority of shares in NSO and vowed to ensure its software was not misused. Ms Peel, who became head of the prestigious London gallery three years ago, had no involvement in the running of Novalpina and yesterday described criticism of her family as “misguided”. The Canadian executive is a long-time advocate for human rights and last year hosted the Index on Censorship’s Freedom of Expression Awards. In a statement, she said: “The work of the Serpentine – and its incomparable artistic director – cannot be allowed to be undermined by misguided personal attacks on me and my family. “These attacks are based upon inaccurate media reports now subject to legal complaints.” She called… Read full this story
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