One Hell of A Nugget

You know it was unavoidable, I have to mention the $2.8 million gold statue of Kate Moss “Siren” soon to be unveiled at the British Museum exhibition. Now, I nearly choked on my Cheerio’s when I heard the news.What was the sculptor,Marc Quinn, thinking ? Well it goes something like this….“she was the closest model to human perfection he could find”. Give me a break. Now the only things that spring into mind when I think Kate Moss is Pete Doherty, Cocaine, Burberry, anorexia, cocaine and Pete Doherty. Now it’s not her fault it’s just that people who don’t follow supermodels tend to only hear the gossip (and the British tabloids and the paparazzi have had a field day). The sculpture is rumored to be the largest gold statue to be created since the era of Ancient Egypt. Holy Cleopatra say it ain’t so! I wonder if she will get upset that the sculpture weighs 50kg?And does anyone know where the artist got all that gold from?


The Square From Hell

Warning to all sculptors, avoid taking on any commissions from Bristol’s Millennium Square. They don’t seem to like public art there. A life-size bronze sculpture of martyr William Tyndale is the latest victim of vandals. Poor old Tyndale, who’s claim to fame was to be the first person to translate the Bible into English, has been finally removed for repairs. A spokeswoman for @Bristol said “Due to acts of vandalism in Millennium Square the statue of William Tyndale has had to be removed because it was in a dangerous state.’ All that remain are a pair of bronze boots (obviously they aren’t considered vandal fodder!). Jasmine, the poor bronze Jack Russell (by Cathie Pilkington), was a victim too. She was ripped from her bolts only to be found, reinstalled then vandalized again (ala Larry LaTrobe). And lets not forget stag beetle, poor bronze creature (by Nicola Hicks) had it’s antennae broken off. Now Nicola has to make replacement “screw in ones” which will be used on “special” occasions. How sad!

Look What We Dug Up

A massive marble sculpture (well, bits of it) depicting the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (you’ll remember him from the film Gladiator….here is a clue, he was played by Richard Harris!)  has been unearthed at an archaeological site in Turkey. So far they have found the 3ft head, 5ft-long right arm and lower legs cut off above the knees . Emperor Aurelius  reigned from 161AD until 180AD and was known  as one of the “Five Good Emperors”. The pieces of the statue were found in the largest room at Sagalassos’s Roman baths (typical!). It is believed the statue was destroyed during an earthquake probably between 540AD and 620AD.Other statues have also been unearthed in the room including Emperor Hadrian and Faustina the Elder(the wife of the emperor Antoninus Pius).Archaeologists are expecting to find statues of their respective spouses under the rubble some time soon.

£50 and an Apology

It seems the thieves who stole a Haslingden sculpture created by children from a special school have been struck down by guilt. Yes, not only did they return the 7ft called the “Workers” but they included in their apology note (ah huh they wrote one) £50 . The note read : “We’re sorry. We didn’t know the children made this and we are very sorry for stealing drunken. I hope the attached £50 will cover the cost to re-weld him on. Don’t worry we’ve looked after him.” See, sometimes there are nice thieves!

Ain’t No Bull Frog

A frog nailed to a cross with a beer mug and an egg in it’s hands has caused quite a commotion in the mountains of Northern Italy. The sculpture is by German artist Martin Kippenberge and the locals are none too happy. The reason it seems is it is too close to the Pope’s summer holiday house. Local Catholics have deemed the little amphibian a “public obscenity” and want it taken out of the Bolzano Museum of Modern Art. Does this mean Pope Benedict is intending to visit the museum? Bless. The problem has grown to aquatic proportions as Bishop of Bolzano and Bressanone,revealed that he had discussed the sculpture with the Pope.Hmm too much time on his hands! Could it get any better ? You bet. The Union for South Tyrol, a separatist group, collected 10,000 signatures for a petition demanding the removal of the crucified froggy and Franz Pahl, the president of Trentino-Alto Adige regional council, has gone on hunger strike in protest over the exhibit. If people only had this type of passion over war and famine!
Oh and if you think it’s the first time the Bolzano Museum has been in trouble, think again. About two years ago the Bolzano museum hit the headlines by displaying a work of art consisting of a toilet flushing to the accompaniment of Italy’s national anthem.

Glad It Wasn’t Me

Some poor soul visiting the Royal Academy’s summer exhibition tripped and slid straight into Christina, a 9ft sculpture by the Costa Rican artist Tatiana Echeverri Fernandez. How would you be? The sculpture shattered into a thousands pieces, as I presume the culprit did too. If that was me I think I would play dead or at least pretend I was hurt more than the sculpture. Just to add insult to injury the sculpture, valued at 6,000 pounds, was said to be the artists “star” piece.  But she shouldn’t despair, Nick Flynn takes the honors of being the biggest klutz, he tripped over his shoelace at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, sending three Qing dynasty porcelain vases shattering into devaluation.

Terracotta Warriors Have Tinea

Say it aint so ! It seems Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s 2,200 year old terracotta warriors have foot fungi. Good god! Since being unearthed in 1974 and exposed to heat and humidity, tiny spores of tinea pedis have had a field day attacking the clay statues. Yep,it seems good old fungi excrete acid just loves ancient Chinese clay men (who knew?).Scientists examining the statues identified 60 different fungi growing on them, including a variation of athlete’s foot.But before you start checking between your own toes for spores, Johnson and Johnson (of baby powder fame) have found the cure. Bless. J&J invested years and big bucks researching molds on clay tiles and flowerpots before finally developing an assortment of successful fungicides. So, next time you are at Terracotta Warrior exhibition and are tempted to touch one just think ‘tinea pedis’!

A New Role For Sculptors

Move over Agatha and hello sculptors. American sculptors are now adding detectives to their names. The police are now hiring sculptors to create life like heads and faces of victims in unsolved murder cases. Yeah, I know they have been doing this for a while, but I just found this news story so bizarre I thought I’d share. I wonder if the family members get to keep the sculpture if identified ? Doesn’t bear thinking about really.

I Come From A Land Down Under

What is a Brisbane council to do when a vandal goes and paints a vagina on a statue PINK? Remove it quick. But the poor old council are under attack for being prudish. Prior to the statue receiving a paint job, the council was already praying the controversial statue (which depicts a naked woman lying in a fetal position with her genitals exposed) would just disappear. Antone Bruinsma’s Birth of Venus statue, which was commissioned by the former Caboolture Shire,  was deemed “offensive to women” by the new amalgamated one. So I guess they were rather pleased that someone went and dolloped the privates in bright pink. It wouldn’t be a council member now would it ?
Evidently attempts to clean the paint off failed. Pity the fool that got that job! So the council made an executive decision to remove the sculpture completely from the park, as they believe it will be a sitting duck for future acts of vandalism. Hmm the artist’s respond to the council throwing naked pink lady into storage “I feel it’s insulting to women to remove a vulva because of somebody’s attitude.” Bless

Missing a Picasso ?

When WIlliam M.V. Kingsland died in 2006, he left behind over 300 works of art squeezed into his one bedroom apartment in New York. So what is so wacky about this story is that many of the pieces have subsequently been found to be stolen. Good god, the man was an art thief, hobnobbing with Manhattan’s upper crust. Hmm and guess what? Yep, Kingsland wasn’t his real name either, he once went by the name Melvyn Kohn. All came to light when New York Public Administrator, Ethel Griffin, hired two auction houses to sell the art. Imagine their surprise when they discovered many pieces were reported stolen in the 1960’s and 70’s.  Included in the collection are sketches by Picasso (which a mover tried to steal during in the discovery).  Now it is the FBI handling the case and they have posted a page of goodies believed to be stolen. They are hoping the public will be able to assist in identifying the paintings. Click here if you want to have a sticky beak… FBI art theft… By the way no pieces of Public Art were found in the apartment!

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