Still Searching For Kuwait’s Art

Where did the art stolen by Iraq from Kuwait during the Gulf War in 1990-91 go? “Although most of the collection looted from Kuwait’s National Museum has been recovered, almost all the jewellery, Islamic art and other works taken from wealthy Kuwaitis by the Iraqis during the six-month occupation has vanished. Only a few pieces have surfaced on the international art market, and none of it was found in Iraq after the war in 2003.”

Directors: Ballet World Needs Reform

Leaders of some of the world’s leading ballet companies have issued a statement calling for reforms – new emphasis on “solid training in basic ballet skills, renewed focus on nurturing choreographers and a coaxing of audiences into accepting contemporary work are vital to the future of ballet. ‘There is a crisis about training young dancers. We are all worried about the ballet schools, how to have more of a dialogue. Schools have become like companies – which provides good experience for students, but at the expense of properly completing their training. There are some people who cannot do the mazurka, the czardas, the polonaise’.”

Christian Group Sues BBC Over “Springer”

A Christian group is charging the BBC with blasphemy after the broadcaster aired Jerry Springer, The Opera. Christian Voice national director Stephen Green said: “If Jerry Springer – The Opera isn’t blasphemous then nothing in Britain is sacred.” He said the show was “much worse” than he expected when he saw it and said it portrayed Jesus as a “coprophiliac sexual deviant”. A coprophiliac is someone sexually aroused by faeces.”

Will Databases Replace Libraries?

“Many librarians believe they’re competing with and losing against search engines like Google, that for most users the convenience of a simple, clean interface outweighs the quality of the quality of the results. Whether this is true or not Google’s digital library project is an opportunity for libraries to remain competitive by working with the competition. For the sake of users, and their own future, libraries just have to make sure they’re taking advantage of the opportunity and not being taken advantage of.”

John Eliot Gardiner Launches His Own Recording Company

Sir John Eliot Gardiner was stunned when his long-time recording company Deutsche Grammophon canceled his contract on the eve of his biggest project ever. “Sir John faced a crisis when the company pulled the plug just as he was planning the gargantuan project of touring with and recording live the complete Bach cantatas throughout the year 2000, which would have resulted in over 50 CDs.” So Gardiner has started his own recording label to issue the music…

Architects Rush To Help

Architects around the world are volunteering to help in the tsunami-affected region. “Many feel that sitting at a screen sweating over the design of handrail details for the next cute downtown boutique hotel just doesn’t make sense when more than 150,000 people have lost their lives, more than five million people have been made homeless and whole towns have been swept away.”

MoMA Neighbors Unhappy With Museum Views

“In a case of life imitating art, the renovated museum, with a clear glass floor-to-ceiling wall looking out onto West 54th Street, gives its 10,000 daily visitors a bird’s eye look into the upmarket apartments across the road. Even in a city where gazing into other people’s apartments is an acceptable pastime, the residents of West 54th, who include the former Beatle Paul McCartney, have had enough.”

Louvre, Pompidou To Open Branches

Two big French museums are opening satellite branches. “The Louvre is to open a $100 million satellite in the northern French city of Lens, near Lille, in 2009 and will occupy a new annex at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta for three years from 2006. Still, the Louvre’s director, Henri Loyrette, has said he considers Britain’s Tate to be a closer role model than the Guggenheim. The Tate, founded a century ago on London’s Millbank, now runs three other museums in Britain, but it has no permanent presence abroad. In contrast, while the Pompidou will inaugurate a new $68 million branch in the northeastern French city of Metz in 2007 it is also looking beyond France.”