Scientists Warn Michelangelo Church In Danger

Scientists are concerned that quarry blasting will damage a church Michelangelo worked on. “A large crack has already ripped through the marble pavement, ancient tombs, altar and baptismal font of the Romanesque Pieve della Cappella in Fabiana, near Lucca. The church nestles midway up the Altissimo hill, at the foot of which Michelangelo Buonarroti arrived in 1517 in search of the area’s distinctive marble that he intended to use for the façade of the church of San Lorenzo in Florence.”

Why “Phantom” Holds The Record

What is it about “Phantom” that made it the longest-running show on Broadway? Emma Brockes: “I think it’s about the importance of not judging people by appearances, although the moral is undermined a bit when the phantom goes on a killing spree after being dumped. Still, the tunes are catchy and it thrills audiences without making them uncomfortable. This is the secret of its success.”

PBS Prez Quits To Run Museum

PBS president Pat Mitchell is leaving the network to head up the Museum of Television & Radio. “Mitchell has been PBS president since March 2000. She was the first woman as well as the first producer and journalist to hold the position. Before that, she spent eight years as executive in charge of original productions for Ted Turner’s cable networks, where her documentaries and specials received 37 Emmy Awards and five Peabody Awards.”

Who Will Save British Arts?

Where is the private donor who will step up and save an institution such as the English National Opera? Norman Lebrecht says that person doesn’t exist: “The crises in British arts are not coincidental nor, as is often alleged, a consequence of underfunding. As predictable as daisies on a lawn, they are seeded in a formula that dates back to 1945 when Maynard Keynes secured public cash for the arts in exchange for a supervisory mechanism administered by the great and the good.”

Publisher Offers Refunds On Frey Book

After charges of fakery, James Frey’s publisher began offering refunds. “Readers calling Random House’s customer service line to complain Wednesday were told that if the book was bought directly from the publisher it could be returned for a full refund. Those who bought the book at a bookstore were told to try and return it to the store where it was bought.”

Kimmel Center Vs. Vinoly (Damn, It’s Tough To Make A Great Building)

Architect Rafael Viñoly and managers of Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center are fighting over design deficiencies. “The managers of the Kimmel Center, the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, blame Mr. Viñoly’s firm for going $23 million over budget in the center’s construction. The case sheds light on an issue that has dogged architecture firms that attempt massive and politically difficult urban projects, while at the same time attempting to deliver state-of-the-art design.”

Bloggers Gang Up On Frey

James Frey is being attacked online over charges that his best-selling memoir is full of fraud. “On the message boards at (where the book is highly publicized and promoted as the most recent pick of the talk show queen’s popular book club), sentiments were largely of anger, betrayal and confusion. While some who joined the fray supported Frey claiming, as one did, that “true or untrue, [the book] is a great read.” Others called the author a “fraud” and a “liar” who presented fiction as fact for personal and financial gain.”