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Dec 292011
 

The Louvre is facing accus­a­tions that it overcleaned a mas­ter­piece by Leonardo da Vinci, leav­ing it with a bright­ness that the Renais­sance mas­ter never inten­ded, repor­ted The Guard­ian. Two of France’s top art experts have voiced their protest over the clean­ing of The Vir­gin and Child with Saint Anne – a jewel of west­ern art – by resign­ing from the Paris museum’s advis­ory com­mit­tee respons­ible for its “res­tor­a­tion”, the Guard­ian has learned. Such was their con­cern for the 500-year-old paint­ing …con­tinue reading.

Dec 292011
 

When the Bolshoi Bal­let vis­ited Milan in 1970, Italian baller­ina Carla Fracci, with Teatro alla Scala’s dir­ector Ant­o­nio Ghir­inghelli, went to the air­port to wel­come the com­pany. Here she is, with her son Francesco Menegatti, together with Rus­sian bal­let stars Maya Plis­et­skaya and Nat­alia Bess­mert­nova, in two pre­vi­ously unpub­lished pho­tos. Carla Fracci greets Maya Plis­et­skaya while Ant­o­nio Ghir­inghelli looks on: Nat­alia Bess­mert­nova watches as Maya Plis­et­skaya holds Carla Fracci’s baby Francesco: …con­tinue reading.

Dec 292011
 

Clau­dio Del Monaco, the 64 year-old son of tenor Mario del Monaco, was ser­i­ously injured last night from stab wounds allegedly inflic­ted by his wife. Del Monaco, an opera dir­ector, and his 35 year-old Ger­man wife Daniela Her­mann, an opera singer, were on hol­i­day in Jesolo, near Venice. It is assumed that dur­ing  a viol­ent quar­rel Her­mann used a 10 inch (25cm) bread-knife to stab her hus­band four times in the chest. One blow grazed his heart. The police, after being aler­ted by neigh­bours, found Del Monaco …con­tinue reading.

Dec 282011
 

Italian spumante will beat French cham­pagne when corks are popped around the world this New Year’s Eve, The Italian bub­bly is set to edge out its French elder cousin thanks to a record 25% rise in sales in the first 10 months of the year, com­pared to just 3.5% for cham­pagne. More than 300 mil­lion bottles of spumante will be opened on the night of Decem­ber 31 thanks to growth spurts of 37% in the United States, 25% in the …con­tinue reading.

Dec 282011
 

A chim­pan­zee who starred in Tar­zan films in the 1930s has died at the age of 80, accord­ing to the sanc­tu­ary where he lived. The Sun­coast Prim­ate Sanc­tu­ary in Palm Har­bor said he died on Sat­urday of kid­ney fail­ure. He had acted along­side Johnny Weiss­muller and Maur­een O’Sullivan in Tar­zan films from 1932–34. The animal loved fin­ger­paint­ing and watch­ing foot­ball, and was “soothed by Chris­tian music”. Sanc­tu­ary spokes­wo­man Debbie Cobb told the Tampa Tribune that Chee­tah came to live at Palm Har­bor from …con­tinue reading.