Posted by: Art-N-Literature.com
ABCNews.com reports that Henri Matisse’s 1925 “Odalisque in Red Pants” has been recovered by FBI agents acting as art collectors at the Loews Hotel in Miami Beach. The $3 million painting was taken almost 10 years ago and switched with a counterfeit at a Venezuelan museum.
A woman and a man reportedly attempted to sell the painting to FBI agents for $1.5 million, although the Miami division of the FBI could not confirm or deny this information at this time.
The original painting had been on display at the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum in Caracas since 1981. The only time it ever left the museum was when it was loaned to a Spanish exhibition in 1977. However, an email message in 2002 between an art collector and the museum’s director about a rumor that the Matisse painting was for sale prompted the discovery that the one on display in the museum was a counterfeit.
The fake painting looks nearly identical to the real one save for the shadow on the woman’s left arm. Todd Cronan, a professor of art history at Emory University in Atlanta, told ABCNews.com that in the fake painting the body merges with the background, “something Matisse refused to do in this period.”
According to the newspaper El Mundo, the painting might have been switched during the Spanish exhibition loan in 1977; however the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum could not confirm this information.
100 brave Filipino villagers have captured the world’s largest crocodile alive in a creek near Agusan, 500 miles south-east of Manila, which had local residents living in constant fear of their lives for almost 20 years. The crocodile weighs almost a ton and is about 21 feet in length from snout to tail.
In explaining the need for its capture, the local mayor, Edwin Elorde said, “We were very nervous about tackling this beast but it was our duty to deal with it because it was a threat to many villagers and their farm animals. When I finally saw it, after its capture, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was big enough to swallow three men all at once.”
Until recently, no one had made an attempt to capture this beast but when a village fisherman went missing, plans were made to catch the gigantic crocodile. In placing the beast under observation, several villagers witnessed the killing of a water buffalo, and which confirmed their suspicions.
In the three day hunt which ensued, villagers set four net traps but the animal was too powerful to be caught, and so they used steel cables in the traps they set the second time around. This time, the crocodile was unable to get away.
It took almost 100 men to haul the animal on to the banks of the creek, and with great difficulty, they were able to bind it and drive it to the new eco-tourism park in Agusan, and will be its greatest attraction. Meanwhile, its closest rival, an Australian salt-water crocodile which is 18 feet in size, is still roaming free in the Northern Territory.
The length of ‘five football pitches’ was all it took for Zak Crawford to get into the Flight Archery record books. The best part: one of his arrows hit the ground at 500 meters, almost 150 meters more than the current world record.
Expressing delight and astonishment, Zak said, “I have been practising really hard but I certainly didn’t expect to come away from the competition with three world records, I’m over the moon. I managed to get the technique right on the day and I couldn’t believe it when the arrows went so far.”
If that’s not enough, Zak has managed to get these three world records at the tender age of 14, all of which were broken by participating in the senior under-35 lb class, junior recurve and compound categories of the Northern Counties Championships held at RAF Church Fenton, Yorkshire.
He was introduced to archery at the age of six but quickly switched over to Flight Archery when attending a competition with his granddad’s friend. As he recalls, taking up this sport wasn’t easy as he was too young to handle a bow which is quite heavy for children his age.
Nowadays, he trains for three hours every night at the Welland Valley Archery Club, shooting almost 1000 arrows per session, a self-initiated regimen that has helped him achieve so much at such a young age.
Yet Zak is not willing to rest on his laurels, as his ambition is to not only break his Flight Archery record of 500 meters but wants to compete in target shooting at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, and is currently looking for a sponsor.
On Wednesday, Baquba, located in the North of Iraq was hit by a number of suicide bombings which killed around 31 people while injuring 48 people.
The attack, which was said to be carried out in three stages was the most fatal compared to those experienced in the past few weeks, and took place just a few days prior to the Iraqi parliamentary elections.
According to the police, the first two explosions took place, when the two suicide bombers drove cars packed with explosives which damaged police stations and government buildings. A third suicide bomber in an ambulance which was carrying victims from the first two explosions detonated the third bomb at the Baquba emergency hospital.
Responsibility has not been claimed by any militant group as of yet. Following the three explosions, curfew was declared in the city by the Iraqi police. They also said that they had taken in four suspects.
Iraqi and U.S. officials both foresaw an increase in insurgent violence, saying the time prior to the parliamentary elections would probably experience a number of attacks.
According to statements made by Iraqi officials, most of the fatalities were policemen who were sent in to help protect the area prior to the elections.
The election, scheduled for the 7th of March, is the second of its kind since Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003.
Political analysts say that this is a test of Iraq’s capability to maintain law, order and security, while attempting to carry out a smooth switch of power following many years filled with war and sectarian violence.
Central Chile was hit by a colossal earthquake on Saturday the 27th of February 2010 killing around 147 persons, although authorities expect the numbers to rise.
The earthquake which measured 8.8 on the Richter scale caused quite a bit of damage, wrecking roads, bridges and a number of buildings in a few areas as well as the capital city.
Michelle Bachelet, the President, following the quake, declared the affected areas as a ‘state of catastrophe’ and requested for calmness in the wake of the disaster.
The huge earthquake also set off a tsunami, which in turn, caused a number of warnings to go off in countries across the Pacific starting from Japan up to New Zealand.
The quake, which struck Chile at 0634 GMT, hit several few areas. One of them being an area located 115km north-east of Concepcion, and the other, 325km located to the south-west of Santiago. This earthquake is the biggest Chile has experienced in the last fifty years.
Maule journalists reported the deaths of 85 people in the region with other casualties reported in O’Higgins, Santiago, Biobio, Valaparaiso and Araucania.
Chile’s state television estimated the total number of deaths at 150.
Footage shown on TV showed one of the bridges at Concepcion which had caved into the Biobio river. Rescue efforts are underway, though rescue teams seem to be finding it hard to reach the city of Concepcion due to the damage caused to the infrastructure, according to television reports.
Close to thirteen people were killed by the massive earthquake in Santiago, with infrastructure damage caused as well. Many buildings collapsed due to the aftershocks, as well as a car park -smashing a lot of cars. The aftershocks also caused a fire at a chemical plant located in the outskirts of Santiago where the authorities were forced to evacuate everyone in the surrounding areas.
Article by Peter Saroyan of Star Struck Extreme
When one talks of hip-hop, one cannot help but think of the sharp, thoughtful and intense lyrics of Eminem evident through his music, and rather vividly in the movie 8 Mile, which was a semi-autobiographical account of his life in poverty in Detroit before he rose to fame.
Now if you have watched the movie, then you would have noticed that the role of Alex Latorno was played by Brittany Murphy as Eminem’s girlfriend. However, while Eminem continues to forge ahead with his music, Brittany Murphy is not with us anymore.
The 32-year-old ‘Girl, Interrupted’ actor who collapsed in her shower in full cardiac arrest could not be resuscitated by paramedics, and was pronounced dead on arrival at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at 10:04 A.M.
Her mother had informed the paramedics that she was a diabetic while TMZ reported that she had flu like symptoms for days and was vomiting heavily around the time that she died. With prescriptions around the house, her friends were worried that her addiction to the prescription painkiller Vicodin (which Michael Jackson was on as well) was completely out of control after undergoing plastic surgery.
While the Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the ‘cause of death’, a coroner has so far speculated that the cause of her death was ‘natural’. Her husband, Simon Monjak, has requested that no autopsy be conducted despite the apparent mystery that surrounds her sudden and tragic death.
Perhaps, Brittany is no more, but her work in over 25 Hollywood films will remain etched in the memory of her fans and fellow actors. And perhaps Ashton Kutcher’s tweet, “See you on the other side, kid”, couldn’t be more fitting a tribute to the tragic end of a ‘shining star’.
When one thinks of the word coup d’état, one would think that this sort of thing only existed when a need arose to overthrow a regime, such as Tom Cruise’s performance in the movie ‘Valkyrie’ in an effort to overthrow Adolf Hitler. Yet in the world that we live in only as recent as 2009, did we see yet another instance (or at least claims of such of an instance) due to the Iranian Presidential Elections in June 2009 which was rigged to favor the candidate, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, of the neoconservative party of Adabgaran.
With one of the candidates dubbing the controversial Presidential Elections as ‘the end of the Islamic Republic’ (and the beginning of the Adabgaran Regime), peaceful demonstrations and rioting were met with stiff resistance while several universities were closed and websites, text messages, cell phone transmissions and text messages were blocked.
It has been about six months now since the conclusion of the Presidential election but the protests have taken an ugly turn, with almost 4000 protestors arrested apart from torturing and raping the prisoners that have been detained. The International community is considering the imposing of sanctions on Iran for its outrageous acts towards the protesters.
Absurdly enough, the Iranian President has blamed Western governments for inciting these protests, while threatening to treat the demonstrators as ‘enemies of God’ who are punishable under Islamic law by death.
According to the latest report by BusinessWeek, Iran hanged two demonstrators out of the eleven that are sentenced to death that were detained from the January 28 protests, stating that the reason for this was because of an act that displayed the ‘enmity towards God’.
Yet another heinous act committed in the name of religion?
The Haiti earthquake first came to my attention, thanks to a YouTube video urging people to donate whatever they can towards the victims of this natural disaster, that was measured at a devastating 7.0 Mw on the Richter scale.
Taking a heavy toll on Haiti’s infrastructure, the earthquake took place at 15:53 hrs local time on Tuesday, January 12 2010, with the epicenter located near the town of Léogâne. Almost 170,000 bodies have been recovered, and the counting still continues. Apart from human casualties, almost 20,000 commercial buildings and 225,000 residential buildings collapsed due to the ferocity of the natural disaster, specifically in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and the other settlements in the region.
Not only did the earthquake take thousands of lives that are still unaccounted for, but also the lives of the Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, the Opposition Leader Micha Gaillard as well as UN personnel and tourists. Notable buildings such as the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly Building, the Port-au-Prince Cathedral, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the capital and the main jail that were some of the building that collapsed in the aftermath.
However, Haiti is no stranger to natural disasters as it has a long history of recurring cyclones, tsunamis and earthquakes that have struck the island with a ferocity that can only be described as the work of Mother Nature in all its destructive glory.
With up to three million survivors still cut off from rescue efforts, rioting has only compounded the situation resulted leaving the police taking firm action to bring a state of law and order. Currently, despite the volatility of gang violence being an imminent threat, a two-week food distribution program has begun in earnest to feed the two million people in ravaged capital of Haiti.