Monday, 30 April 2012

Victorian Visions

Here's a must. Leighton House Museum in west London is showing Victorian Visions: Pre-Raphaelite and Nineteenth-Century Art from the John Schaeffer Collection until 23 September (CLICK). Artworks from one of the world’s finest private collections of Pre-Raphaelite and Victorian art are being shown in the UK for the first time. Above is Frank Dicksee's Chivalry (1885). Artists include John William Waterhouse, William Holman Hunt, G.F. Watts and Solomon J. Solomon. Admission charges are for the museum: £5 adult, £3 silver surfers. The exhibition is a free extra.

New Duke Portrait

Royal watchers will be pleased to know that Jemma Phipps' new portrait of The Duke of Edinburgh goes on public display at the Mall Galleries in London from 3 May to 18 May (CLICK). It's part of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition. The Duke's portrait shows him dressed as Colonel in Chief of the Queen's Royal Hussars. It was commissioned by the regiment and is destined for its officers' mess in Germany (CLICK). A friend commented that all the medals and gold braid make him look like the dictator of a banana republic. Bit old-fashioned, but then he is 90 years old. Admission to the exhibition is a moderate £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for silver surfers.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Police Ban Leda!

Metropolitan Police officers keep popping up in the news, accused of racism, bribery, incompetence or snuggling up to the Murdoch Mafia. Now they've become art critics! A bobby on a bus spotted Derrick Santini's A Fool for Love (2012) in the window of the Scream gallery in Bruton Street, Mayfair, and alerted his colleagues in Harrow. Two uniformed Met. plod turned up at the gallery and demanded that Santini's picture be removed from the window, because it condoned bestiality, an arrestable offence. They were clueless about the Greek myth Leda and the Swan, which has been depicted by many famous artists including Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. As Santini's show Metamorphosis had just finished (CLICK) the management were happy to remove the picture. It had been in the window for a month without a single complaint from the public (CLICK). My only question is: Are those silicone implants under the stuffed swan?

Royal River

To celebrate not only the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, but also its own 75th anniversary, the National Maritime Museum in the newly Royal Borough of Greenwich, London, created Royal River: Power, Pageantry and the Thames (CLICK). This is a major exhibition comprising nearly 400 items, 250 of them on loan from museums, galleries and private collections across Europe and America, many of which have never been on public display before. The advertisement above features a detail from Canaletto's huge panorama The River Thames on Lord Mayor's Day (c.1747-48) borrowed from the Lobkowicz Palace Museum in Prague Castle, Czech Republic. Princess Elizabeth was 11 years old when she accompanied her parents and Queen Mary (then Queen Mother) to the National Maritime Museum for its opening by King George VI on 27 April 1937 (CLICK). Queen Elizabeth II's visit to Greenwich last Wednesday included an historically appropriate visit to the Royal River exhibition in the new Sammy Ofer Wing, but the media were too excited by the reopening of the Cutty Sark to pay due attention. Royal River flows until 9 September. Entry is £11 for adults, £9 for silver surfers, which I don't regard as OTT for what is undoubtedly a landmark exhibition.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Le Rat in London

Yesterday people queued to gain entry to the Opera Gallery in New Bond Street, London, for the opening of the Blek Le Rat exhibition (CLICK). The 60-year-old Frenchman is billed as "The Godfather of Street Art". Above is his Kalashnikov. His signature rat obviously inspired Banksy. But why bother to queue in the rain? CLICK for a BBC slide show instead.

Recording Britain

Recording Britain is a free display of watercolours and drawings from the early years of World War II, when bombs and development threatened lives, landscapes and historic buildings. You'll find it in Room 88a and The Julie and Robert Breckman Prints & Drawings Gallery, Room 90, in the V&A Museum, London, until 21 October (CLICK). The example shown is Kenneth Rowntree's watercolour Grainfoot Farm, Derwentdale, Derbyshire (1940) which was donated to the V&A by the Pilgrim Trust. The display compliments the museum's British Design 1948-2012 exhibition (CLICK).

Friday, 27 April 2012

Facebook Page

London Art News now has its own URL to its Facebook page (CLICK). I also uploaded an 800pixels-wide cover photo of Schoenewerk's La Jeune Tarantine (1871). Most sculptures are of standing figures. I needed a horizontal sculpture. This is the best one that came to mind. I also changed my profile picture to the face of Big Ben for a London look.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

World Photo London

Tomorrow Somerset House in London opens a feast of photography (CLICK for my preview of the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition and my favourite photo). The opening coincides with World Photo London, which lasts for one weekend only. Its advert features this striking photo by Alice Pavesi, Pro Fashion Shortlist 2012 (CLICK).
Update: CLICK for a BBC slide show of Sony winners.

Rainforest Destruction

The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies has approved catastrophic legislation that will allow farmers to destroy much more of the vital Amazon rainforest, vital to us all (CLICK). Of immediate concern is the plight of the Awá people, described by Survival International as the "World's most endangered tribe" (CLICK for a BBC slide show). Above is a photo of Awá Tribespeople in their natural environment. Below is the Devastation of Awá Land when illegal loggers have been at work. If any Awá are caught by the loggers, they are murdered. Actor Colin Firth says: "One man has the power to stop the loggers: Brazil’s Minister of Justice. But it’s just not his priority. Let’s push it up his list." CLICK to visit Survival International, to watch a video and sign the petition. 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Crafts Collect

Collect is the International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects, organised by the Crafts Council. It opens at the Saatchi Gallery in London on 11 May and runs till 14 May. The advert features Junko Mori's exquisite Uncontrollable Beauty, Hydrangeas (2012). Of course they must keep the riff-raff out. So a ticket will cost you £15 on the door or £10 for an advanced ticket (CLICK). Silver surfers? Forget 'em. They've done all their collecting by now.

Madeleine McCann at 9

Metropolitan Police detectives trying to resolve the kidnapping of Madeleine McCann have issued this computer generated image of how she might look now, at the age of nine. She looks older than nine to me, more like eleven or twelve. The police review began almost a year ago and has involved collating around 40,000 pieces of information. The officer in charge, Det Ch Insp Andy Redwood, believes Madeleine was abducted and may still be alive (CLICK).

Blogger Mess Update

Somebody at Blogger didn't like the title of my post Google Messes Up Blogger and has surreptitiously renamed it "message-from-google-which-owns-blogger" (CLICK). I suppose one should be thankful for small mercies. Blogger could have wiped out that post completely. But why censor valuable feedback from someone who has used Blogger for over six years, since before Google bought it? Faced with an unreadable Compose page, I ignored Blogger's advice to try Google Chrome and removed Blogger from IE8's Compatibility View. This unscrambled the Compose page and allowed me to see it properly. And it is a pig's ear. Not only is the new Compose page unattractive, but also it resizes any picture you upload and places it centrally, giving you a box to drag the graphic about. As I cut my graphics to size in XnView before posting them, I don't want to fiddle about with one of these soppy boxes, and it creates larger, more complex code in HTML. Text is forced under the picture. It took me over an hour of trial and error to get my text alongside the picture, previously a five-minute job (CLICK). That's when I very nearly gave up. ALT="" has also been removed. As modern browsers don't bother with ALT="", I've been renaming it TITLE="" for years. The link on a post title has also gone. And Preview is hopeless. The good news is that you can ignore Compose, go straight into HTML mode and upload graphics in the normal way. This allows you to choose small, medium or large and produces simpler code. TITLE="Pretty Piccie" can be added after the Blogger link to your JPG or GIF. Bold text and links can also be added in HTML mode. There are still minor irritations, but London Art News isn't dead yet.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Olympic Torch Wins

The elegant aluminium Olympic Torch designed by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby wins the Design of the Year award 2012 (CLICK). The award was presented at a ceremony in London's Design Museum, which organises the annual event. The exhibition of nominations in each category continues at the Design Museum until 4 July (CLICK). £10 adults, £9 silver surfers.

Maritime Museum

The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich is in the news for two reasons. Firstly, it paid the insanely OTT price of £362,500 for Yinka Shonibare's boring Nelson's Ship in a Bottle (2010). Tomorrow the bottle goes on display to the public outside the new Sammy Ofer Wing to celebrate the museum's 75th anniversary (CLICK). The following day the museum reopens the freshly restored 19th Century tea clipper Cutty Sark (CLICK for pictures). For the first time the museum will be showing its full collection of 80 ships figureheards. Above, a worker gives them a final brushing.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Magnum On Set

The London Film Museum has opened its new exhibition space in Covent Garden. Its inaugural exhibition is Magnum On Set, showing 148 images of Hollywood stars captured by Magnum photographers over decades (CLICK). Above is Elizabeth Taylor on location. The bad news is the price of admission: £8.50 adults, £6.50 silver surfers, £5.50 children (up to 15 years of age). These ticket prices include entry to the museum's anchor exhibition Capturing the Shadows.

St George's Day

US giant Google (UK) is celebrating both St George's Day and the 30th anniversary of the ZX Spectrum (CLICK). Politically correct BBC News is merely celebrating the anniversary of the ZX Spectrum (CLICK). The fat cats who run the BBC wouldn't want to give English peasants an excuse for a holiday. Noses to the grindstone, peasants.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Help Badgers

I assume you know today is Earth Day 2012 (CLICK). Hence all the bananas. Why not do something green and useful today and sign the Badger Trust's petition against the UK Government's unscientific and idiotic plan to cull badgers in selected parts of England (CLICK)? The Badger Trust is challenging this plan in the High Court (CLICK).

Josephine's Bananas

Continuing today's theme of bananas, here's a lively Art Deco poster by Paul Colin advertising Josephine Baker, Disques Columbia, Paris (1930). It comes up for auction in Swann Galleries' New York sale of Modernist Posters on 10 May, estimated value $8,000 to $12,000 (CLICK). It's interesting that black breasts were acceptable in days when white breasts were still taboo. The BBC showed black breasts in On Safari with Armand & Michaela Denis in the 1950s and 1960s. Daring Auntie! Today boobs are on display in every newsagents, some made ridiculously large with silica gel.

A Mel Ramos Banana

I must admit I have a soft spot for the sculptures of US cheesecake artist Mel Ramos, who puts his nude models into amusing positions, such as riding cigars (CLICK). This one is the model Chiquita, currently being shown at an art fair in Cologne, Germany. Excellent banana.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Shakespeare App

The latest smartphone app allows you to explore Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s church. The app has been created by the University of York (CLICK) and will be launched in the church on 26 April as the World Shakespeare Festival begins. There will be an evening of readings by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy and former Poet Laureate Sir Andrew Motion. The photo shows Shakespeare's Memorial (1623) at Holy Trinity Church.

Ron Mueck in London

Ultra realistic Aussie sculptor Ron Mueck is exhibiting in London for the first time in a decade. His show is at the Hauser and Wirth Gallery in Savile Row until 26 May (CLICK). Shown is a detail from Youth (2009) which seems a fitting sculpture for Ghetto London. Young black gangsters are always stabbing one another here. It's part of the modern London scene. Sometimes they use guns (CLICK).

Friday, 20 April 2012

Google Messes Up Blogger

Message from Google, which owns Blogger: "Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger. Some parts of Blogger will not work and you may experience problems. If you are having problems, try Google Chrome."
In order to coerce us all into using Chrome, Google has made a complete pig's ear of putting new posts on Blogger using IE8. It's virtually impossible. Looks like the end for London Art News. It was a hobby, not a business.

Joan of Arc For Sale

I hope Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications & the Creative Industries, will be keeping an eye on Sotheby’s sale of British and Irish Art in London on 10 May (CLICK). Some very fine examples of British painting are up for grabs. Dante Gabriel Rossetti's sensuous portrait of Joan of Arc (1864) kissing the blade of her Sword of Deliverance before going into battle is one we don't want leaving the UK. We lost far too many Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces to the USA when the movement fell out of favour with our art critics.

Photographers Gallery

The new rooftop extension of The Photographers' Gallery at 16-18 Ramillies Street is looking good. This, the largest public gallery in London dedicated to photography, is due to reopen on 19 May. So far it has raised about £10,000 toward the £30,000 cost of the extension with its buy-a-virtual-brick campaign. It is a registered charity, so feel free to buy a virtual brick if you have the readies. Click the title link for more information and to sign up for an e-newsletter to keep you updated on new exhibitions.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Thusha Update

Justice has finally caught up with the three psychopathic gangsters who shot and paralysed five-year-old Thusha Kamaleswaran. They also shot Roshan Selvakumar, who has recovered. Nathaniel Grant, Kazeem Kolawole and Anthony McCalla were convicted of causing both victims grievous bodily harm with intent and attempted murder of rival gang member Roshaun Bryan, who was their real target. All three have been sentenced to life imprisonment with minimum terms of 17 years for Grant and 14 years for Kolawole and McCalla. Detectives who investigated this appalling case have raised over £130,000 toward Thusha's care and hope to raise more.

Dickens' Wife Found

Here is another of those lost-and-found items. It was found in an antiques shop in 1996 and comes up for auction at Bonhams in London on 17 May with an estimated value of £8,000 to £12,000. It isn't artistic, but is of significant historical interest. It's a daguerreotype portrait of Catherine Dickens, the wife of Charles Dickens. It was taken between 1852-55 by early British photographer John Jabez Edwin Mayall (1810-1901) and is thought to have belonged to the couple's eldest daughter Mary, known as Mamie. Click the title link for more information.

Michael Talbot

The new Calken Gallery in London boasts the largest collection anywhere in the world of the beautiful, elegant, bronze figurative sculptures of Landseer prize-winning sculptor Michael Talbot. He is famous for his Lady Sculptures (example shown), but he also creates bronze sculptures of sportsmen and animals. His latest sculptures in the Calken Gallery put his ladies on columns (title link). CLICK to visit Michael's website and view an online gallery of his art.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

More Jade Thefts

BBC News has today reported the theft of 18 Chinese works of art from the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge (title link). The break-in took place last Friday at about 7.30pm. Mostly jade works were stolen. Why on earth has it taken five days for Cambridgeshire Police to publicize the theft? This is the age of instant mass communication. Finger out, Plod.
Update: CLICK to view all 18 stolen treasures.

Pink Lady Food

Two free exhibitions open next week at the Mall Galleries in London (title link). Contemporary Perspectives is the inaugural exhibition of a series to be held in the new Threadneedle Space. The second is Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year 2012, the winning images from the first-ever international awards celebrating the art of food photography, in 9 categories. The example shown is Maya Smend's photo Honey Dried Pink Lady Apple Crisps.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Chevalier D’Eon

Yesterday this rather strange portrait went on display at Philip Mould & Company, 29 Dover Street, London, for five days only. Art sleuth Philip Mould spotted it in a New York saleroom last November, part of the collection of Ruth Stone. It was billed as "Portrait of a Woman with a Feather in her Hat" and mistakenly attributed to Gilbert Stuart. A gentle clean exposed a distinctive 5 0’clock shadow! Philip Mould has since established that the portrait was painted in the 1790s by theatrical artist Thomas Stewart and depicts the spy, diplomat and transvestite Chevalier D’Eon. The painting had been lost since 1926. The National Portrait Gallery is now considering acquiring it as a landmark work. Click the title link to read the full story behind this find.

Monday, 16 April 2012


Big art exhibitions are becoming more and more expensive. Last year the V&A charged £12 for The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860 – 1900, which featured Pre-Raphaelite paintings and the Arts and Crafts Movement (CLICK). This year Tate Britain will charge £15.50 for Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde (title link). The exhibition doesn't open till 12 September, but the Telegraph has already posted a slide show of some of the featured paintings (CLICK). Above is Dante Gabriel Rossetti's The Beloved (The Bride) from 1865-6. Rossetti had two black children as models. He decided the boy had the prettier face, then feminised him with a small budding breast.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Equestrian Kims

You may have seen the two monstrous and very boring bronze statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il unveiled recently in Pyongyang, North Korea, to commemorate Kim Il Sung's 100th birthday (CLICK). The happy, grinning faces of the statues belied the fact that North Korea's centenary rocket launch had come a cropper. You may have missed the equestrian statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il unveiled a few weeks ago, also in Pyongyang (title link). This is Mansudae Art Studio's farcical attempt to turn father and son into Genghis Khan and Napoleon, a spurious Eurasian historical heritage. Great horses, but I'll bet neither tyrant ever rode a horse in his life. No matter. It's the heroic myth, the personality cult, that matters. They had to give the massed ranks of North Korean officers straining under their weight of medals something to salute. Myth is preferable to reality when people are starving.

Andy Bell's Skittles

A fortnight ago I posted a photo of a hairdo in the image of seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot to death in February when taking a shortcut through a gated private estate (CLICK). Denver art student Andy Bell has created this 3-by-4-foot Portrait of George Zimmerman, who has been arrested following mass protests against police lethargy and charged with second-degree murder (CLICK). The portrait is made out of Skittles. Why skittles? This was the candy Trayvon Martin had gone to buy (title link). A telling choice of medium for this portrait, which Andy calls Fear Itself.

Qing Artifacts Found

Yesterday Durham Police announced that both Qing Dynasty artifacts stolen from the Oriental Museum at Durham University have been retrieved. I found this news on today's ArtDaily, which got it from Associated Press. Nothing from BBC News, which is taking its usual weekend break. It thinks all that Brits are interested in at the weekend are football results and how many horses died in the Grand National (two this year). Above left: jade water bowl with encircling dragon (1769); right Dehua porcelain sculpture depicting seven "fairies" in a boat. A friend Skyped me while I was writing this post: BBC News has woken up and reported the find, but didn't add anything to the story.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Genghis Khan Statue

Why on earth would anyone commission a bronze statue of Genghis Khan on horseback to stand at Marble Arch in London (title link)? The man was a psychopath who killed 40 million people. The Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology found that carbon levels plummeted at that time, because so few people were left to cultivate the land and trees grew in place of crops. The researchers estimate nearly 700 million tons of carbon were removed from the atmosphere (CLICK). Anyway, above is the contentious piece: Dashi Namdakov's 16ft tall Genghis Khan (2012).

Qing Dynasty Update

Here's a photo of the interior of the Qing Dynasty jade water bowl stolen from Durham University museum a week ago (CLICK). It shows the Chinese poem cut into the bottom. Now brace yourself for the stupidity of the English legal system. The four men and a woman arrested in connection with the robbery were all given bail, despite the fact that the two stolen artifacts are still missing! Durham Police are now trying to trace one of the bailed men, Lee Wildman, who has done a runner. They are also hunting Adrian Stanton, wanted for questioning about the robbery. Click the title link for photos of the wanted men and further details of the robbery, including how they broke in.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Red Vest Recovered

In what appears to have been a joint sting operation, Swiss and Serbian police collared a man in Serbia trying to sell Paul Cezanne's The Boy in the Red Waistcoat [US Vest] (1888), which was stolen from a private Zurich museum in 2008. (CLICK to read my original post on this robbery with all four stolen works shown and named.) Raids in Belgrade and Cacak netted the rest of the gang of four, including its leader. According to BBC News, the painting by Degas is still missing (title link). According to ArtDaily, a reward of €400,000 was paid for the Degas, which has been returned to the museum (CLICK). I must admit I object to the word "masterpiece" being applied to any of the four stolen works. Look at the incompetent daub above and note the unrealistic length of the arms. This boy's hands would dangle below his knees if he were to stand up. Leonardo da Vinci would turn in his grave.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

OLD Rejects Olafur

More good sense on trashy "art" projects! The Olympic Lottery Distributor (OLD) has rejected an application of £1m for an art project intended to be the centrepiece of the London 2012 Festival. Scandinavian conceptual "artist" Olafur Eliasson had been commissioned to create a work for the event and came up with Take A Deep Breath (title link). What a joke! London air is so polluted that the EU is threatening to impose a fine of £300m on London if it doesn't improve its air quality. It is estimated that over 4,000 Londoners die an early death every year from air pollution.

Scream Sale

Sotheby's London has put on show this pastel version of Edvard Munch's The Scream (1895), estimated value £50m ($80m). This is the only privately owned of the four versions of the painting, which will be auctioned at Sotheby's New York on 2 May. BBC News got terribly excited and sent David Sillito along to Sotheby's to make a video (title link). By the way, the scream isn't from the man, but from Nature being destroyed by Man (by Woman too).

London Print Fair

The 27th London Original Print Fair takes place at the Royal Academy of Arts from 19 to 22 April. Prices range from £100 to £100,000, so if you want a cheap print visit your local charity shop instead. Admission alone costs £12, £8 for silver surfers; both prices include a catalogue (title link). The Fair celebrates the 80th birthday and printmaking of Sir Peter Blake, who will give a talk on Thursday 19 April. In celebration of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Sims Reed Gallery will offer Andy Warhol's Queen Elizabeth II screen print in colours (1985).

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

London Riots Update

It's impossible to forget this image of the House of Reeves family-run furniture store in Croydon burning during the London riots. The mindless looter who boasted he set fire to the building has been jailed for 11-and-a-half years. His name? Gordon Thompson, aged 34, old enough to know better (title link). I'd have doubled his sentence. UK law is too soft. That's why so many criminals come here.

Bonfire 'Art' Rejected

This monstrosity is Theresa Smith's design for a public art installation thingy to commemorate Guildford's bonfire society. The proposed 16ft (5m) steel sculpture was supposed to represent a chair in flames. Guildford councillors had the sense to reject the idea on the grounds that it might prompt crime and disorder (title link). To me it looks like a throwback to the bad old days when witches were burned alive. Good decision, Guildford councillors.

Panda Ad Ban

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an advert by the Scottish government which claims China was "gifting" the pandas Tian Tian and Yang Guang to Edinburgh Zoo. The pandas are on a very expensive 10-year lease that is costing Edinburgh Zoo £600,000 a year. I'd have banned the ad for using the horrible term "gifting"! shows a detail of the banned advert (title link). I've underlined "gifting" in red. The pandas have caused huge interest and have certainly put Edinburgh Zoo back on the map. There's even a panda tartan (CLICK). But will it all be worth a total of £6m? Below is a photo with two Tian Tian's for the price of one. Seven-year-old Tian Tian Brunton, a girl with a Chinese mum and a Scottish dad, made headlines when she visited the zoo to see her namesake (CLICK).

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

UK A-Z Part 2

Today Royal Mail issued Part 2 of its first class portrait of Britain in stamps with landmarks from A to Z. Set A to L was issued last year, starting with "A" for Angel of the North by Antony Gormley. Part 2 covers M to Z, from Manchester Town Hall to ZSL London Zoo. The Mail has published excellent annotated pictures of the full set (title link). CLICK for Royal Mail. Collectors note the Post & Go pictorials to be issued on 24th April: British pigs.

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Chinese Pipa

Yesterday's post about the theft of two Qing Dynasty artifacts (scroll down or CLICK) reminded me of this beautiful digital artwork by May Fong: Poetic Melody (2011). It shows Crystal Liu playing a pipa, a four-stringed Chinese lute with over 2000 years of history. The picture was created from a reference photo using Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. Click the title link to view a larger graphic, stages of its creation and more of May Fong's terrific art.

Stop Big Brother

Big Brother will be watching you!
If you object to UK Government plans to spy on our use of the Internet the way China and Syria do, don't pester the Home Office website (CLICK); sign the AVAAZ petition instead (title link). 58,462 people have already signed it.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Basher Renages

Did anyone seriously believe that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, known to his chums as "Basher", would keep his word and allow the agreed ceasefire to take place (title link)? His sole interest is in exterminating the opposition. That includes little boys who might grow up to be rebels like their fathers. So the bloodbath continues....
Latest: the Syrian army has been shooting into a refugee camp inside Turkey (CLICK). A cameraman working for a Lebanese TV station has been shot dead.

Qing Dynasty Theft

These two Qing Dynasty artifacts worth £1.8m were stolen from Durham University's Oriental Museum on Thursday night (title link). To the left is an exquisite jade water bowl with encircling dragon (c.1769). On the right is a Dehua porcelain sculpture depicting seven "fairies" in a boat. As one of these "fairies" is holding a lute, I think it more likely the boat contains court musicians. Two men and a woman have been arrested in the West Midlands and taken to Durham police station for questioning about the burglary, but the artifacts have not been recovered. Police seek the rest of the gang.