15th Century Fresco Discovered Behind Pigeon Hole

A 15th Century fresco has been discovered on the ceiling of the Valencia Cathedral in Spain after art restorers became intrigued with pigeons flying through a hole in what turned out to be a false ceiling. “The fresco, which depicts four angels against a starry blue background, was painted by two Italians, Francesco Pagano and Paolo de San Leocadio, in the late 1400s.”

Versailles Restoration Slowed By Feud

Restorations of the gardens around Versailles have been completed. But a feud between restoration firms competing for restoration work inside the palace has delayed work on the Hall of Mirrors. “The job, which includes repairs to the paintings, 450 windows, and gold-leaf and stucco work, is scheduled to begin next month and to finish in 2007.”

Winners And Losers At Art Basel

As always there was a vast array of vastly different stock, such a plethora of objects one eventually begins to doubt the supposed ‘rarity’ of any art. The most expensive work on offer at the fair was a De Kooning at Richard Gray for $12.5 million, followed by a Bacon triptych at Marlborough ($10 million) and a Munch at Mitchell Innes & Nash for $7 million, none of these had sold by the weekend. The cheapest was a Richard Serra “Stop Bush” poster on show at Galerie m Bochum which can be downloaded for free

Filesharing – If You Can’t Beat ‘Em…

For the first time, some major concert promoters are videotaping big concerts and releasing them on the internet as file-shares. “The Vans Warped Tour will distribute DVD-quality tour footage of such indie acts as Sugarcult and Bad Religion for download each day using Altnet, a digital content distributor. Altnet has business and financial ties to Kazaa’s owner, Sharman Networks. Beginning with today’s tour kick-off in Houston, alternative music fans can purchase downloads and burn video singles from the Warped Tour Web site or from file-sharing networks. Pricing has yet to be set.”

Movie Tapers Could Face Jail Time

The US Senate passed a bill this week that would deal harshly with anyone using camcorders to videotape movies in theatres. “The U.S. Customs Department has estimated that such “warez” distribution groups are responsible for 95 percent of all pirated material available online. Those found guilty would face up to three years in prison for a first offense, or five years if it was done for profit. Repeat offenders could spend 10 years behind bars.”

US Senate Escalates Coyright Fight

The US Senate moved aggressively this week to toughen copyright enforcement. “The Senate introduced the Induce Act, which critics say would ban file-sharing networks and stymie the introduction of any technology that could be used to copy and distribute copyright work. In addition, the Senate passed the Pirate Act, which would make it easier for the feds to go after file swappers. And on Friday, it passed a bill that would throw anyone caught videotaping a movie in theater into prison for up to three to 10 years.”

FEC Declines Ruling On Movie Ads

The Federal Election Commission has declined to rule on “whether so-called documentary films are exempt from federal restrictions on political ads.” Pro-Republican groups are asking that ads for Michael Moore’s move Farenheit 911 be classed as political lobbying and that ads for the film be treated as political speech.

Massachusetts History Museum Drapes Stone Memorials

A hundred years ago, descendents of Massachusetts settlers commemorated their battles with local native Americans with stone markers. Now the local history museum is covering up those markers. “The aim is to drape the rhetoric of the 1870s and 1880s, when the museum was established, with a more modern version of events in the late 1600s and early 1700s that no longer denigrates one-time foes. ‘It was hard for me and other members of the staff to rationalize the words. Phrases like ‘bloodthirsty savages’ are hurtful to people’.”