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Vienna and eastern states set to extend coronavirus lockdown

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Austrian officials are meeting in Vienna today to debate extending the lockdown and even putting in place tighter measures in the eastern states of Vienna, Burgenland and Lower Austria.

According to Austrian media, while the existing measures look set to remain in place, the lockdown will be extended from the 11th until the 18th of April.

A final decision is expected from 4pm, however according to Austria’s Der Standard, Vienna is certain that it will extend the lockdown by a week – with both Burgenland and Lower Austria set to follow in a show of solidarity

Initially put in place for less than a week on April 1st, the lockdown was first extended until the 11th of April and will now be extended until the 18th. 

Officials in the eastern states are concerned about rising infection rates fuelled by the prevalence of the British mutation of the virus, which is estimated to represent more than 80 percent of the new coronavirus infections in the region. 

The principal concern of authorities in eastern Austria is the amount of people who are being hospitalised due to the virus, both in general admissions and in intensive care. 

ICU admissions in both Vienna and Lower Austria are currently at their highest point since the start of the pandemic, Austrian media reported on Tuesday



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Art restoration in Spain: Spain’s latest ‘Ecce Homo’: how a botched restoration made global headlines | Culture

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Several days ago, the Spanish painter Antonio Capel was chatting with the owners of Vivaldi, a florist’s shop in the northern city of Palencia, when they remarked that something was amiss with the façade of a historic building that now houses a branch of the Unicaja bank. Capel was surprised so they suggested he take a look at what was once the delicate face of a shepherdess.

The artist went up to his studio and, using his camera’s zoom, saw that the familiar features were now nothing short of an eyesore. The statue’s eyes were in the wrong place and her nose and mouth had been clumsily crafted. As Capel jokes, whoever was responsible for the restoration was no fine artist – an observation backed by the Spanish Association of Conservators and Restorer’s rapid clarification that it was not a professional job. The botched restoration has already drawn comparisons to the infamous Ecce Homo painting which was disfigured beyond recognition by an amateur artist in Borja in 2012.

The notorious ‘Ecce Homo’ restoration.
The notorious ‘Ecce Homo’ restoration.

The florists in Palencia, who preferred to remain anonymous, recall that heavy rains several years back caused a fall of debris from the building, which was inaugurated in 1923. They later realized that the face of the shepherdess was missing. “The strange thing is that no one noticed” how badly it had been restored, they say.

Capal, meanwhile, says it is beyond his comprehension that such slapdash workmanship should be allowed on such a beautiful building, which is located in the heart of the city on Mayor street. In his opinion, the workers simply used a tracing technique to fashion the face out of plaster in the hope that it would be too high up for anyone to notice.

Unicaja denies any responsibility for the sloppy result. Spokespeople from the bank insist that they only own the premises of the branch office and the second floor. Years ago, Caja Duero, which later became part of Unicaja, owned the entire building. However, they sold the upper floors during the takeover to private homeowners. The spokespeople maintain that the building’s administrator informed the homeowners in 2017 that pieces from the façade had fallen off, including the face of the shepherdess. Palencia City Council confirms that they called on the owners to repair the damage that could pose a threat to public safety. They explain the building is under “structural, not integral protection,” meaning that any restoration work must protect the structure of the building, but no special consideration needs to be given to its exterior decorations.

Unicaja’s staff laugh when asked about the ham-handed job. Like other botched restorations in Spain, including the cartoonish facelift of a 16th-century sculpture of Saint George in Navarre, the changes went unnoticed until someone with a keen eye spotted them. Even the journalists at the Cadena Ser radio network, which has its newsroom in the building, admit to being oblivious.

But now Spain’s latest Ecce Homo is making international headlines, with even with the British newspaper, The Guardian, flagging up the statue’s perceived resemblance to the incumbent president of the United States, Donald Trump.

English version by Heather Galloway.

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Wonderful A Capella of Famous Russian Folk Song (Not for Me, ‘Ne Dlya Menya’

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Russian folk music is amazing

This article from our archives was first published on RI in February 2016


This post first appeared on Russia Insider


Actually, it is a Russian genre called “romance”. The words were written and published in a magazine in 1838 by a naval officer, A. Molchanov, and put to music the same year by the Russian composer N.P. Dewitte.

The group is a popular folk group from Bryansk called “Grandmothers Grandsons”  (Babkini Vnuki)

<figcaption>Great singing</figcaption>
Great singing

Enjoy.



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‘How do I know if I have dependency issues?’

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Question: I’m a woman in my mid-30s. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and I moved back home with my folks after living in the US for almost two decades. They’re sceptical about my ADHD diagnosis as I wasn’t a “hyper” child and was grand in school and college.

In the US I smoked weed [cannabis] and have been honest with my folks about that and now they think I have substance abuse issues. I think they have internalised stigma about cannabis use because it’s not legal in this country. I’m thinking of moving to a country where cannabis is legal because it’s too stressful to try to find it here, plus there are moral and legal reasons not to [buy it] but maybe that is a sign of dependency?

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