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VIDEO: 'Google Doodles' marks 13th birthday with Freddie Mercury

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Written by AFP News Service   
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 10:04
Image copyright AFP.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - This year marks the Google Doodles' 13th birthday, and what a year it's been. The doodlers, tasked with animating the Google logo, have taken the feature to new heights, adding interactive video and social networking capabilities. Google's latest Doodle celebrates another birthday, that of music legend Freddie Mercury.

Click below for a voiced AFPTV report:

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 13:02

VIDEO: Fringe artists create unique lighthouse relay project

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Written by ACNI Staff   
Friday, 26 August 2011 16:14
Jonathan Wright's Marconi-inspired artwork. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright.

FOLKESTONE, England (ACNI) – The International Lighthouse Relay is a project involving 14 lighthouses around the world and more than 45 artists who’ve collaborated under the auspices of the Folkestone Fringe, which runs through Sept. 25, 2011. From points as farflung as Ireland and New Zealand, Korea and Argentina, the artists have merged their talents and creativity to celebrate lighthouse structures through inspiring artworks.

Award-winning British artist Jonathan Wright explained the concept behind the Relay: “At each location, a sound recording is made. The sound is then passed on to the next artist, who adds, distorts or morphs the sound with his or her own input. Eventually, the relay comes full circle, and the first artist receives a sound work that is the culmination of 14 interventions – a kind of ‘sound cloud.’”

Wright said works have included the insertion of Morse Code, foghorns, ringing bells and even people drumming on the walls of the lighthouse to create music. Wright’s contribution was produced in response to The Old Lighthouse at Dungeness, in the English county of Kent.

“This particular lighthouse is situated close to where Guglielmo Marconi first transmitted radio signals across the English Channel and also to where John Logie Baird developed the first television,” Wright said. “The work contains a tiny copy of Baird's first mechanical ‘televisor.’ The image it shows is a film of the Dungeness Lighthouse, thereby linking the two forms of communication. These early televisions used sound to create an image, an irony that allows me to produce both sound and image in the work.”

The Lighthouse Relay project aims to highlight the continued importance of the world’s remarkable lighthouse structures, which have been used since ancient times, e.g., the Pharos at Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Wright said the primitive form of communication lighthouses represent still has a place in modern society and describes lighthouses as “romantic and isolated, while at the same time inherently heroic, withstanding weather and the extremes of nature to protect us.”

“The sighting of the lighthouse represents a moment of safety, a place of sanctuary. They are an irresistible metaphor for artistic endeavor,” Wright said.

Click below to view a BBC Television report on The International Lighthouse Relay, featuring an interview with artist Jonathan Wright:

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The other artists involved in the project are listed with their particular lighthouses at:

Visit Jonathan Wright's website at:


Copyright 2011 Auction Central News International. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Jonathan Wright's Marconi-inspired artwork. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright. Another view of Jonathan Wright's artwork. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright. The piece being enjoyed on location at The Old Lighthouse at Dungeness. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright. The Old Lighthouse at Dungeness. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright. The sheds where Marconi worked on his early radio transmissions. Image courtesy of Jonathan H. Wright.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 27 December 2011 17:37

VIDEO: Germany celebrates 125 years of the automobile

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Written by AFP News Service   
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 11:55
Image copyright AFP.

STUTTGART, Germany - This year Germany is celebrating the birth of the automobile, which dates back to a motorized tricycle patent applied for by Carl Benz 125 years ago in Mannheim, western Germany. For the anniversary, the exhibition "Art & Stars & Cars" of the Daimler art collection is on show at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart for the first time.

Click below to view a natural-sound report from the exhibition at the Mercedes-Benz Museum.

Video copyright AFP.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 15:19

VIDEO: Versailles exhibit compares modern fashion to 18th C.

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Written by AFP News Service   
Thursday, 18 August 2011 09:30
Photo copyright AFP.

VERSAILLES, France - France may be well-known for its modern savoir-faire in the field of fashion, but these skills go back further than some might realize. A new exhibition at Versailles invites visitors to play "spot the difference" between Dior or Lacroix -- and some of the styles current in the 18th century. Click below to view a video report:

Video copyright AFP.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 August 2011 11:28

VIDEO: Va. Museum of Fine Arts displays Faberge treasures

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Written by ZINIE CHEN SAMPSON, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 09:27
Imperial Peter the Great Egg, Fabergé Firm, 1903. Image copyright Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2011.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Ornately jeweled Easter eggs designed by Karl Faberge for the Russian royal family are among hundreds of Faberge objects on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

"Faberge Revealed'' includes imperial Easter eggs and other pieces from VMFA's own collection, along with sculptures and other works loaned from three private collections, making the exhibit the largest public Faberge collection in the United States, said Geza von Habsburg, a Faberge expert and the exhibit's guest curator.

A standout piece is the Imperial Lilies of the Valley Basket sculpture, which represents all aspects of Faberge's artistry in one work, Habsburg said.

"One can see the jeweler's art in the pearl buds and little rosebud diamonds; the stonecutter's art in the nephrite leaves, which seem to be alive; and the goldsmith's art in the gold basket,'' he said. "And the moss, it's utterly amazing.''

It was presented to Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna in 1896, the year of the coronation of her husband, Nicholas II, Russia's last emperor. The work was her favorite, displayed on her desk until the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. The couple and their children were executed the following year.

The exhibit, which ends Oct. 2, includes six eggs Nicholas presented to his wife and mother as Easter gifts, including the 1903 Imperial Peter the Great Easter Egg, the 1912 gold-and-lapis lazuli Imperial Tsesarevich Easter Egg and the 1912 gold-and-green enamel Imperial Napoleonic Egg.

Commissioned to mark the bicentennial of St. Petersburg, the Peter the Great Egg is crafted of gold, platinum, diamonds, rubies, sapphire and enamel with miniature watercolors on ivory. Inside is a miniature replica of Falconet's Bronze Horseman statue of the 17th-century emperor that rises when the egg is opened.

An imperial egg can fetch $25 million to $30 million at auction, Habsburg estimates. Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg bought nine imperial eggs from the Forbes collection in 2004; the Imperial Coronation Egg's purchase price, for example, was estimated between $18 million and $24 million, he said.

Faberge's company became supplier to the Imperial Court after he sold a piece of gold jewelry to Czar Alexander III's wife, Empress Maria Feodorovna, in 1882. He then started his series of Imperial Easter eggs, which subsequently made him famous and forever linked him with the opulence of the Russian dynasty's final days.

With his four sons and his brother, Faberge employed a 40-person design studio in St. Petersburg and 500 craftsmen and other workers to create 150,000 unique objects, distinguishing the House of Faberge as the leading jeweler of the period.

"Each piece was one-of-a-kind, meaning there were no repetitions,'' Habsburg said. "That sets him aside from any other craftsman or jeweler of his time.''

Alexander gave his wife 30 eggs, and Nicholas II, Russia's final emperor, gave 20 to Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna.

The Bolsheviks destroyed most of the Faberge pieces during the revolution, melting the metal and selling the jewels and stones. Only a few hundred objects remain in Russia, Habsburg said.

The royal family's imperial eggs were confiscated, and eight disappeared during the revolution. Ten are in the Kremlin Armory Museum in Moscow. The Bolsheviks ordered the others sold between 1925 and 1933 through a government agency in charge of art sales; 42 eggs survive and are in both public and private collections.

Because he was a symbol of artistic decadence in the run-up to the overthrow, Faberge and three of his sons fled the country in 1918. A fourth son who remained in Russia was imprisoned. After Faberge's death in 1920, the sons tried unsuccessfully to revive the brand in Paris, Habsburg said.

"But if you think what the '20s were, it was the Art Deco period of flappers and jazz, so Faberge's beautiful things in the French 18th-century style were no longer in demand,'' he said.

The doomed Russian imperials fascinated many Americans, including Virginian Lillian Thomas Pratt, whose collection was bequeathed to VMFA after her death in 1947. Pratt, the wife of a General Motors executive, scrimped during a slumping economy to purchase items from 1933-45 with the help of New York art dealer Alexander Shaffer. She acquired the Imperial Peter the Great Egg in 1939, and was allowed to chip away at the $16,500 bill in monthly installments from 1942-44, museum accounting logs show.

She also acquired some of her objects from the businessman and art collector Armand Hammer, but some since have been determined to be knockoffs, Habsburg said. The exhibition also displays some of what he calls "Fauxberge'' items, including hardstone animal figurines and floral pieces.


If You Go...

FABERGE REVEALED: Exhibit open through Oct. 2 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Va., or 804-340-1400. Open Saturday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Adults, $15; children 7-17, seniors 65 or older and students with ID, $12.

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Imperial Peter the Great Egg, Fabergé Firm, 1903. Image copyright Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2011. Leuchtenberg diamond tiara, Fabergé, St. Petersburg, 1899. Briolette, pear-shaped and old-cut diamonds, gold, platinum. The Arthur and Dorothy McFerrin Foundation Collection. Image copyright Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2011. Imperial Napoleonic Egg, Fabergé firm, St. Petersburg, 1908-17. Gold, platinum, enamel, rose-cut and large brilliant-cut diamonds. The Matilda Geddings Gray Foundation Collection. Image copyright Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2011. Imperial rock-crystal Easter egg with revolving miniatures, 1896. Egg: rock crystal, diamonds, gold, enamel, cabochon emerald. Miniatures: watercolor, ivory. Bequest of Lillian Thomas Pratt. Photo: Katherine Wetzel. Image copyright Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2011.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 August 2011 13:00

VIDEO: London revives East End with Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Friday, 29 July 2011 09:48
Image copyright AFP.

LONDON - In preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games, London's East End has been given an environmental makeover. Formerly a bleak industrial landscape, the future Olympics site named the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is now a picturesque area that residents and visitors can enjoy.

Click below to view a video about the revitalized East End area.

Video copyright AFP.

Last Updated on Friday, 29 July 2011 16:32

VIDEO: Indonesia's 'paradise lost' opens up to the intrepid

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Tuesday, 05 July 2011 10:41
Romeo Gacad image, copyright AFP.

SENTAN, Indonesia - For decades, the only foreign visitors to venture into Papua were gold-seekers, anthropologists, missionaries and soldiers fighting imperial wars. But the vast, western half of New Guinea island is slowly opening its doors to tourists as a "hidden paradise," a land of ancient tribal cultures, glittering reefs, soaring glaciers and teeming wildlife. The annual festival brings together thousands of people from 24 communities scattered around the huge lake.

Click below to view a video by Romeo Gacad, copyright AFP.

Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2011 15:15

VIDEO: Germany treated to exhibition of Elvis rarities

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Written by Auction Central News International Staff   
Monday, 13 June 2011 12:45
AFP image.

BAD NAUHEIM, Germany – A remarkable exhibition of Elvis memorabilia is now on view in Bad Nauheim, near Frankfurt Germany.

The exhibition consists of guitars, clothing, posters, records and other personal items that belonged to the King of Rock & Roll, who was stationed in Germany for 17 months with the U.S. Army.

Three German collectors of Elvis memorabilia collaborated to create the exhibition, which contains around 1,500 items. The display provides a rare opportunity for fans to view the Elvis mementos, which ordinarily are kept in banks vaults or elsewhere under lock and key.

The exhibition will run through Aug. 16, enabling visitors to this year’s 10th European Elvis festival – scheduled for Aug. 12-14 in Bad Nauheim – to enjoy the contents of the collections.

Following is a video showing highlights of the display.

Video copyright AFP.


Last Updated on Thursday, 07 July 2011 15:15

VIDEO: Met exhibit fetes couturier Alexander McQueen

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Thursday, 05 May 2011 10:10
From the Alexander McQueen exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, courtesy AFP News.

NEW YORK - The "Savage Beauty" of the late British fashion designer Alexander McQueen's creations went on display in a massive, much anticipated retrospective opening Wednesday at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. AFPTV provided Auction Central News with a video tour of the exhibition, which runs through July 31. The exhibition documents McQueen's career from Savile Row to his days with Givenchy and on to the launch and fame of his own brand.

Click on the video below for informative soundbites followed by a video tour of some of McQueen's most outrageous designs:

Copyright AFP 2011.

From the Alexander McQueen exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, courtesy AFP News.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 16:18

Slip behind the wheel of Dick Ford’s ’34 Chrysler Air-Flow at Bertoia’s

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Written by Catherine Saunders-Watson, Auction Central News International   
Tuesday, 10 November 2009 15:20

VINELAND, N.J. (ACNI) - A special attraction of the opening session in Bertoia’s Nov. 13-15 Holiday Toy Trimmings sale is the celebrated Dick Ford Air-Flow toy car collection. A comprehensive grouping known far and wide amongst collectors, it incorporates toy versions of Chrysler Air-Flows in cast iron, pressed steel, tin and celluloid.

Dick Ford is known as a “completist,” and the crowning glory of his collection is an actual full-size 1934 Chrysler Air-Flow automobile, one of very few known in an all-original state. Shiny black, in mint condition, and with only 35,000 original miles on the odometer, it may very well be the best of all known examples.

For car buffs who like specs, Dick’s classy ride has a 323.54 cu. in. straight 8 engine that can achieve a speed of 95.7 m.p.h. No wonder so many gangsters in those old black & white movies chose Air-Flows as their getaway cars! Bertoia Auctions has graciously shared this video with us, which was taken on the day Dick’s car arrived at the gallery amid considerable excitement.

Enjoy the video and don’t forget to log on to to sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet on any of the lots in Bertoia’s Nov. 13-15 sale. For more info on any item in the sale, including the ’34 Air-Flow, call Bertoia’s at 856-692-1881.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 November 2009 15:40

Tepper invites you to video-tour the home of the late David Barrett

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Written by Catherine Saunders-Watson   
Friday, 02 October 2009 14:35

The late interior designer David Barrett never met a room he couldn't improve upon, whether it was a grand and gilded European salon or a modest potting shed off the kitchen of a New York townhouse. Barrett’s impeccable taste and effortless knack for combining uptown chic with fascinating street market finds were best showcased in his own opulent residence on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. On Oct. 8 and 10, the contents of his four-story home, as well as the business inventory he stored in two Lower Manhattan warehouses, will be headed to auction at Tepper Galleries. is proud to be providing the Internet live-bidding service for the Oct. 8 session and invites you to view intimate glimpses of David Barrett’s home and highlights from the upcoming sale in this video provided by Tepper Galleries.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 09 October 2013 09:55
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