Dec 292011

The Virgin and Child With Saint Anne Louvres art experts protest at overcleaned Da Vinci painting by resigningThe 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 that Ségolèné Ber­geon Langle and Jean-Pierre Cuzin – emin­ent former spe­cial­ists in con­ser­va­tion and paint­ing respect­ively at the Louvre – could no longer asso­ci­ate them­selves with its treatment.

Ber­geon Langle is regarded as France’s national author­ity on the art and the sci­ence of restor­ing paint­ings.… [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:

Carla Fracci Maya Plisetskaya Unseen photos: Carla Fracci, Maya Plisetskaya and Natalia Bessmertnova

Nat­alia Bess­mert­nova watches as Maya Plis­et­skaya holds Carla Fracci’s baby Francesco:

Carla Fracci Maya Plisetskaya Natalia Bessmertnova Unseen photos: Carla Fracci, Maya Plisetskaya and Natalia Bessmertnova[con­tinue reading]

Dec 292011

Claudio Del Monaco Opera director Claudio Del Monaco, son of the famous tenor, stabbed by wifeClau­dio 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 face down in the blood-spattered apart­ment. His wife was dis­covered in a nearby piazza in a state of shock. The knife was found nearby and Her­mann had another knife hid­den in the sleeve of her coat.… [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 UK and 8% in Ger­many, the lead­ing spumante importer, Col­diretti said.

Among the new lov­ers of Italy’s bub­bly is Rus­sia, fourth in the import stand­ings with a record rise of 40%.

via[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 Johnny Weissmuller’s estate in about 1960. Chim­pan­zees in zoos typ­ic­ally live 35 to 45 years, she said. It is not clear what lay behind Cheetah’s longev­ity, or what evid­ence there is for it.

via BBC News[con­tinue reading]

Dec 272011


Paul Chalmer Paul Chalmer answers the Gramilano Questionnaire… Dancers’ EditionWhen did you start dan­cing?
Age  6, then National Bal­let School, Toronto, age 9.

Why did you start dan­cing?
Saw bal­let on TV.

Which dan­cer inspired you most as a child?

Which dan­cer do you most admire?
Anthony Dowell.

What’s your favour­ite role?
One­gin by John Cranko.

What role have you never played but would like to?
Des Grieux in Manon by MacMillan.

What’s your favour­ite bal­let to watch?
Any­thing by Balanchine.

Who is your favour­ite cho­reo­grapher?

Who is your favour­ite writer?
Vir­ginia Woolf.

Who is your favour­ite dir­ector?

Who is your favour­ite actor?
Bette Davis.

Who is your favour­ite singer?
Maria Callas.

What is your favour­ite book?
Orlando by Vir­ginia Woolf.

What is your favour­ite film?[con­tinue reading]

Dec 272011

Merce Cunningham The Merce Cunningham Company: dancing right up to the endIt has been an exten­ded and unpre­ced­en­ted count­down for the dan­cers and staff of the Merce Cun­ning­ham Dance Com­pany, said the Los Angeles Times. Never before has a modern-dance troupe planned for its own demise. But then Cun­ning­ham, one of the sin­gu­lar innov­at­ors in his field, who remained forward-looking and boldly cre­at­ive until his 2009 death at age 90 — was always tak­ing the lead, pion­eer­ing invent­ive, unex­pec­ted approaches.

The intens­ive two-year world tour cul­min­ates this week with six Events at Manhattan’s Park Avenue Armory.

The per­form­ances were planned by Cun­ning­ham as a global cel­eb­ra­tion and farewell. The armory, with its 55,000-square-foot drill hall, was his choice for his company’s final per­form­ance in its home city, and he stip­u­lated the $10 ticket price.… [con­tinue reading]

Dec 272011

Italy’s anti-trust author­ity has fined Apple 900,000 euros for allegedly unfair com­mer­cial prac­tices that hurt con­sumers, the author­ity said earlier today.

An anti­trust probe found that Apple com­pan­ies oper­at­ing in Italy “did not fully apply” a two-year war­ranty for con­sumers. The invest­ig­a­tion also uncovered “insuf­fi­ciently clear inform­a­tion” on the cov­er­age of extra ser­vices by the com­puter giant, the author­ity added.

Apple’s Italian sub­si­di­ar­ies did not imme­di­ately respond to news of the fine.

via[con­tinue reading]