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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Francesco Menegatti, together with Russian ballet stars Maya Plisetskaya and Natalia Bessmertnova, in two previously unpublished photos.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 …continue reading.