Michelin awards first stars to 13 Toronto restaurants

Michelin has awarded 13 restaurants in Toronto with its coveted stars, for the first time in Canada. Around 350 people attended the in-person announcement on Tuesday. Reaction to the selection has been mixed, with praise for the number of restaurants Michelin recognised in Canada’s largest city, but criticism for the lack of diversity among the star winners. In total, 74 restaurants across 27 cuisine types received a Michelin nod. Most of the restaurants awarded stars are located in Toronto’s city centre and feature tasting menus. Among the one-star winners are Alo, a modern French restaurant that has consistently been ranked … Continue reading Michelin awards first stars to 13 Toronto restaurants

New York returns $19m worth of stolen art to Italy

New York’s district attorney has returned $19m (£16m) worth of stolen art to Italy. The 58 pieces include a marble head of the goddess Athena dated 200 BC, worth an estimated $3m alone. The stolen artefacts were sold on to museums and private dealers by convicted looters, said Mr Alvin Bragg. It is the city’s latest effort to return plundered goods to their country of origin – $66m worth have been returned so far this year. The head of the DA’s antiquities trafficking unit promised there would be “many more seizures and many more reparations”. Homeland Security was part of … Continue reading New York returns $19m worth of stolen art to Italy

Snapchat removes Maori tattoo filters after outcry

Social media platform Snapchat has removed a feature which allowed users to apply traditional Maori tattoos on their faces. The filters were pulled after their discovery prompted an outcry in New Zealand’s indigenous Maori community. Maoris consider tattoo art as sacred, and it is taken as an important marker of the wearer’s identity. The move follows local media reports that the filters were proliferating on social media. Radio New Zealand showed images of users applying filters with names like “Maori Face Tattoo” and “Maori” on popular platform Instagram. A statement from Snap, which owns the Snapchat platform, confirmed that the … Continue reading Snapchat removes Maori tattoo filters after outcry

Australian artist removes Ukraine and Russia mural after backlash

An Australian artist has painted over a street mural showing Ukrainian and Russian soldiers hugging, after a community backlash. The Melbourne artwork advocated for “a peaceful resolution” between the two countries, creator Peter Seaton says. But some have likened the three-storey mural to Russian propaganda. Seaton, known as CTO – has apologised for his work, saying it was “clumsy” and he “didn’t think it would be so badly received”. Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and Russian forces have been accused of war crimes since they invaded in February. Critics said the work – titled Peace Before Pieces – drew … Continue reading Australian artist removes Ukraine and Russia mural after backlash

12th Century Tamil Nadu idol, stolen from temple found in US after 50 years

A statue that was stolen in 1971 from a temple in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has been traced to New York, police say. The 12th Century idol of Hindu goddess Parvati was found at the Bonhams Auction House, they said. Bonhams is a privately owned international auction house which is headquartered in London. A senior police official said the Tamil Nadu police’s Idol Wing has “readied papers” to bring the idol back. Over the past few years, India has amplified efforts to bring back idols and other artefacts which were stolen or smuggled from temples. In February, … Continue reading 12th Century Tamil Nadu idol, stolen from temple found in US after 50 years

Radical pop art sculptor Claes Oldenburg dies at 93

Influential Swedish-born sculptor Claes Oldenburg – whose giant works of everyday objects delight millions – has died in his New York City home aged 93. The Pace Gallery that represented him said he had recently suffered a fall. It described him as “one of the most radical artists of the 20th century… in the development of pop art”. Oldenburg, who moved to the US in the 1950s, is known for his trademark works depicting clothes pegs, baseball bats, hamburgers and electric plugs. Many of his sculptures adorn public spaces in the US and around the world. “My intention is to … Continue reading Radical pop art sculptor Claes Oldenburg dies at 93

17th century Dutch portrait that was looted by Nazis sells at auction

A painting by a Dutch master that was looted by Nazis during the Second World War has been sold at auction for $50,000. Caspar Netscher’s Portrait Of Steven Wolters from 1683 went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London on Thursday afternoon, with the money going back to the original owners. Charlotte Bischoff van Heemskerck, 101, had spent decades searching for the missing portrait, which was part of her father Dr Smidt van Gelder’s collection of Dutch old master paintings.Mrs Charlotte Bischoff van Heemskerck visits a framer where she sees the painting for the first time in 80 years. The … Continue reading 17th century Dutch portrait that was looted by Nazis sells at auction

Michael Longley wins Feltrinelli Poetry Prize

The Belfast-born poet Michael Longley has been awarded a €250,000 (£216,000) European arts award. Longley will accept the Feltrinelli International Prize for Poetry at a ceremony in November. Previous winners of the prize include WH Auden, Eugenio Montale and John Ashbery. Longley was born in 1939 and published his first collection of poetry, No Continuing City, when he was 30 years old. He held the post of professor of poetry for Ireland from 2007 to 2010. The prize is awarded, both nationally and internationally, once every five years in each field by Italy’s Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. The Accademia dei … Continue reading Michael Longley wins Feltrinelli Poetry Prize

Eight people found guilty in theft of Banksy mural

Three years after an artwork by graffiti artist Banksy was stolen from a door at the Bataclan music hall in Paris, eight people have been convicted of theft or handling stolen goods. The mural “sad girl” was stencilled as a tribute to the 90 people murdered in a 2015 terror attack on the venue. A hooded gang removed it from an emergency door with angle grinders in January 2019. It was found 18 months later in an attic at a rural farmhouse in Italy. The mural was painted on a door that leads into an alley used as an escape … Continue reading Eight people found guilty in theft of Banksy mural

French officials told to abandon English words in gaming service

France’s language watchdog has told government officials to use French gaming terms instead of English ones. The Académie Française says “jeu video de competition” should replace “e-sports”, and “streamer” should become “joueur-animateur en direct”. France’s culture ministry told the AFP news agency that Anglicisms were “a barrier to understanding”. But gamers have criticised the ban, with one calling it “completely pointless”. France regularly issues warnings of the “debasement” of its language through imported English words. Other official translations include “jeu video en nuage” for “cloud gaming”. The Académie Française was created in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, and is the official … Continue reading French officials told to abandon English words in gaming service

Man dressed as old woman throws cake at Mona Lisa painting

A man disguised as an elderly woman in a wheelchair has thrown cake at the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting at the Louvre in Paris. The piece, which was undamaged, was left with white cream smeared across its protective glass. The perpetrator, seen wearing a wig and lipstick, urged people to “think of the Earth” while being led from the scene. The incident on Sunday was described by witnesses as being “jaw-dropping”. Louvre visitor Luke Sundberg, from the US, saw it all unfold. “The crowd begin gasping and we looked up and some man in a wheelchair [dressed] … Continue reading Man dressed as old woman throws cake at Mona Lisa painting

Louvre museum’s ex-president charged in art trafficking case

The former head of the Louvre museum in Paris has been charged in connection with a wide-ranging inquiry into the trafficking of ancient objects from the Middle East, judicial sources say. French investigators allege Jean-Luc Martinez facilitated the transfer of the objects to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. They reportedly include a granite stele inscribed with the seal of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun. Mr Martinez denies the charges and insists that he acted in good faith. There was no immediate comment from the Paris Louvre, while the Louvre Abu Dhabi said it was unable to comment on the specifics of … Continue reading Louvre museum’s ex-president charged in art trafficking case