Category Archives: Culture news

Donald Trump meets Pope Francis

WHEN Donald Trump laid into the bishop of Rome during his electoral campaign, some in America—where Catholics represent around a quarter of all voters—wondered whether it would cost him the presidency. The pope had chided Mr Trump for his plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico—it was “not Christian”, the pontiff said—and Mr Trump responded with characteristic imprudence. The pope, he said, was “disgraceful”.

Why terrorists attack concert halls

When a suicide bomber detonated explosives in the Manchester Arena in the United Kingdom, killing concertgoers as they filed out of pop star Ariana Grande’s show, he joined a particularly insidious tradition of attacks on entertainment spaces. The killers who carry out such acts of terrorism aren’t simply launching assaults on Western culture. They’re attempting to destroy the particular freedom that comes from surrendering to art, exploiting the very vulnerability that accompanies that surrender.

A Basquiat Sells for ‘Mind-Blowing’ $110.5 Million at Auction

Joining the rarefied $100 million-plus club in a salesroom punctuated by periodic gasps from the crowd, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s powerful 1982 painting of a skull brought $110.5 million at Sotheby’s, to become the sixth most expensive work ever sold at auction. Only 10 other works have broken the $100 million mark.

Peabody Essex Museum hires neuroscientist to enhance visitor experience

For decades, museums have sought a minimalist approach when it comes to their galleries, hanging art on clean white walls so viewers can focus intently on the work before them. But what if they’ve been doing it all wrong?

To answer that question, the Peabody Essex Museum is taking what is being hailed as an unprecedented step in the museum world: hiring a neuroscientist to help apply the tenets of modern brain science to enhance the museum-going experience.

Museums show limited interest in borrowing Parthenon Marbles

The British Museum has received only a single request to borrow one of the Parthenon Marbles since the sensational loan of a sculpture to Russia in December 2014. The pediment sculpture of the river god Ilissos (around 438-432BC) was lent for six weeks to the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, where it was seen by 136,000 visitors. It was the first time that any of the Parthenon Marbles had left the British Museum since arriving in London in 1807.