Arts and Culture

Sinatra memorabilia, jewelry on sale in New York

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — A sweeping range of Frank Sinatra memorabilia and jewelry owned by his fourth and last wife Barbara goes on sale in New York on Thursday, likely to be snapped up by mega fans and aficionados all over the world. The single most expensive lot, the enormous 20-karat diamond engagement ring that Sinatra gave Barbara in a champagne glass has already sold, fetching $1.7 million in a battle between two […]

Iraq’s ancient pottery struggles to outlive modern plastic

by Haydar Indhar Agence France Presse NAJAF, Iraq (AFP) — Adel al-Kawwaz expertly spins the potter’s wheel, shaping the wet clay into a smooth jug. His family is famous for this millennia-old Iraqi craft, but Kawwaz is struggling to keep it alive. For thousands of years, clay utensils for storing food and cooking were found in virtually every home in Sumer, the earliest known civilization in modern-day southern Iraq. Kawwaz’s own family drew their name […]

How engineers are straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa

  by Sonia LOGRE and Charles ONIANS Agence France Presse PISA, Italy (AFP) — “It’s still straightening,” said engineer Roberto Cela, gazing at the Leaning Tower of Pisa gleaming in the autumn sunshine of northern Italy. “And many years will have to pass before it stops.” The gravitationally-challenged landmark is leaning less after years of ambitious engineering work. Fortunately for the millions of tourists who come here every year, the 57-metre (186-feet) tower remains beautifully […]

UNESCO adds reggae music to global cultural heritage list

  PORT LOUIS, Mauritius (AFP) — Reggae music, whose chill, lilting grooves found international fame thanks to artists like Bob Marley, on Thursday won a spot on the United Nations’ list of global cultural treasures. UNESCO, the world body’s cultural and scientific agency, added the genre that originated in Jamaica to its collection of “intangible cultural heritage” deemed worthy of protection and promotion. Reggae music’s “contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love […]

Stairs from Eiffel Tower sell for 169,000 euros

PARIS, France (AFP) — A section of stairs from the Eiffel Tower in Paris sold for almost 170,000 euros on Tuesday, auctioneers announced, around three times the pre-sale estimate. More than two dozen wrought-iron steps from the original spiral structure, from between the second and third floors of the Paris landmark, were sold to a Middle East collector for 169,000 euros ($190,000) after a bidding-war in the French capital. Auction house Artcurial originally estimated the […]

In Iraq, an ancient board game is making a comeback

by Martin Turner Agence France Presse RANIYE, Iraq (AFP) — After rolling pyramid-shaped dice, Iraqi Kurdish artisan Hoshmand Muwafaq shifted his pebble around an ornate board, his handmade recreation of one of the Middle East’s oldest and most popular games. Originating nearly 5,000 years ago in what would become Iraq, the Royal Game of Ur mysteriously died out — until Muwafaq resurrected it by making his own decorated wooden board. “It is a nice feeling […]

EBC-NET 25’s entry “Kid Kuwento” brings honor to the PHL as it bags award at 2nd Southeast video festival for children

  (Eagle News) – NET 25’s entry “Kid Kuwento: Everyone can be a hero” bagged the award for the professional non-fiction category for ages seven and below in the recent the 2nd Southeast Asia Video Festival for Children. This entry from Eagle Broadcasting Corporation bested other entries from other ASEAN member countries which participated in the international children’s video festival, bringing honor to the country as it not only represented EBC, but the Philippines as […]

Japan’s ‘ama’ grannies cling to their freediving fishing tradition

by Anne BEADE Agence France Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — A group of Japanese grannies emerges from a boat returning to shore. Clad in black wetsuits and bubbling with energy, they are part of a dwindling community of “ama” — freediving fisherwomen. As they compare the hauls of shellfish they have gathered, the women — who range from 60 to 80 years old — could be mistaken for teenagers underneath the water, gliding gracefully in […]

Hungarian Film Festival to run from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2

The Embassy of Hungary is holding its  second Hungarian Film Festival (HUFF 2.0) from November 28 to December 2. This year’s festival, held in cooperation with the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Ayala Malls Cinemas, will present six Hungarian films. Below is a list: Budapest Noir is a detective thriller set in the mid-1930’s Budapest. Its plot revolves around a crime reporter who thinks he has seen it all, when a tip leads […]

Promoting values through music: EBC launches E25 Records

  Eagle Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) launched its newest media platform, E25 Records, on Sunday, Nov. 18, during the EBC Fun Run concert at the Philippine Arena. E25 Records is envisioned to promote positive values and themes through original musical compositions, according to E25 Records director Ernie Magtuto. This will give opportunity to aspiring composers, songwriters, musicians and singers so their music can be heard, he said. Magtuto said that E25 Records is not limited to […]

Looters plunder Albania’s sunken treasures

by Briseida MEMA Agence France-Presse VLORA, Albania (AFP) — Albania’s long under-explored coastal waters have become a hotspot for treasure hunters scooping up ancient pottery, sunken ship parts and other shell-encrusted relics that have lain on the seabed for centuries. The 450-kilometer (280-mile) coastline, which is lapped by the Adriatic and Ionian seas, was off-limits under the communist regime which ruled the Balkan state until 1990, with orders to shoot anyone caught diving without authorization. […]

Marie Antoinette pendant fetches $36 million, shattering estimate

by Ben Simon Agence France Presse PARIS, France (AFP) — A pearl and diamond pendant owned by Marie Antoinette before she was beheaded during the French Revolution sold for $36 million at an auction on Wednesday, shattering its pre-sale estimate of up to $2 million. The Sotheby’s auction at an ultra-luxurious hotel on the banks of Lake Geneva saw feverish bidding for a 10-piece collection owned by the ill-fated queen, featuring jewels unseen in public […]