Faking the old masters

April 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sometimes, though, scientific analysis can raise the status of a hitherto unloved work. This year a grubby, disputed Florentine picture of The Virgin and Child with Two Angels was revealed in The Times, cleaned and glorious, as perhaps the finest painting by the great Renaissance artist Andrea Del Verrocchio, with help from his assistant Lorenzo di Credi. [See above]

Detailed analysis and painstaking restoration over the previous two years mean that now, if it were ever to come to auction, this previously rather tatty picture could even beat the £49.5 million record for an Old Master painting achieved in 2002 by Rubens’s The Massacre of the Innocents.

Original story here. (The above is just a detail from the full picture but amply reveals its great charm)


Burglars break into prison to rob absent inmates: “It would make a good gag for a comedy if it weren’t actually true: thieves have broken into a Dutch prison to steal the inmates’ televisions. Twice in the last six weeks, burglars broke into a minimum-security prison and stole TVs from cells while prisoners were on weekend furloughs, a spokesman for the justice ministry said on Wednesday. The prison, in the town of Hoorn 42 km (26 miles) northeast of Amsterdam, is for inmates near the end of their sentences. The facility is what the Dutch government calls a “very modestly protected environment,” where prisoners transition back into society. They are typically allowed weekend leave, which is when the burglars decided to take advantage. The thefts happened on two separate weekends about a month apart in March and April. The ministry spokesman said it has still not been able to confirm how the burglars gained access.”

‘Narrow’-minded ABC refuses to air ad with buxom babe, clothing line claims: “ABC is issuing a “fat”-wa against full-figured models, plus-size label Lane Bryant says. The Disney-owned network refused to air the brand’s lingerie ad during its hit show “Dancing with the Stars,” saying it bared too much cleavage, a Lane Bryant insider said. And Lane Bryant thinks the net’s executives are a bunch of prejudiced boobs. “The cleavage of the plus-size models, they said, was excessive, and we don’t think that’s the case,” said the source. “It certainly appears to be discrimination against full-sized women.” Lane Bryant had been set to launch its campaign for Cacique, its new lingerie line, during “Dancing” this week.”

‘Very smart’ piglet helps train guide dogs: “A three-month-old Australian piglet could be the world’s first pig to help canines train to become guide dogs. Gidget the piglet attends training sessions at the Association of Australian Assistance Dogs in Mareeba, northern Queensland, for the past three weeks as a training distraction for the dogs. Director of training Liz Oehm said she always wanted to train a pig, and Gidget taught the guide dogs to work with an unusual distraction. She said pigs were used in training for other animals, but in Australia it was definitely a first for a pig to be in training with about 10 dogs. “They (dogs) just think she’s another one of them except she snorts,” Oehm said. “Pigs smell differently to dogs and are very, very smart.”

Budget airline Spirit Airways scraps reclining seats: “Budget US airline Spirit Airlines is facing passenger outrage after it began installing seats that are unable to recline on its newest planes. The airline’s two new A320 planes feature “pre-reclines” seats, spokeswoman Misty Pinson said. The move means that even passengers who would be willing to pay extra for reclining seats won’t have that option. Some passengers have complained that the new planes leave them more cramped than ever. “It felt cheap and uncomfortable,” Eve Greene, who recently travelled on Spirit’s new A-320, told the Sun Sentinel. It is the latest move by an airline in the battle to find new ways to cut costs.”

Not homosexual enough!: “Three bisexual men were disqualified from participating in a major softball championship because “they were not gay enough”. Steven Apilado, LaRon Charles and Jon Russ, claim their softball team, D2, was disqualified from participating in the Gay softball World Series because the alliance ruled they were “non-gay.” The Californian men are now suing the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA) claiming they were discriminated against for not being gay enough to take part. After D2 qualified for the 2008 championship series, the NAGAAA held a hearing to determine the sexual orientation of D2 players, The Seattle Times reported. The three men claim they were asked “personal and intrusive questions” about their sexual attractions and desires. The men are asking for $75,000 each for emotional distress, are seeking to invalidate the alliance’s findings on the men’s sexual orientations and to reinstate D2’s second-place World Series finish.”

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.


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