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Thursday March 28

POWER SHIFT: Covent Garden has announced next year's season, and the lineup signals the fortunes of resident companies. While the Royal Opera season - the first under new music director Anthony Pappano - looks brilliant, the Royal Ballet's presence is shrinking. "The next Royal Ballet season confirms what has been widely feared - a remorseless decline in the company as a creative organism within British culture." The Telegraph (UK) 03/28/02

REFORMING CONSUMERS OUT OF THE EQUATION: As digital music and video technology has boomed over the last decade, consumers have become more and more innovative in how they utilize available components. Many have "networked" together computers, stereos, televisions, and more to create a centralized home entertainment center that can be controlled at the touch of a button. But the legislation currently pending before Congress aimed at creating greater copy protection could make all such setups obsolete, and is threatening to disrupt the way in which people listen to music. Wired 03/28/02

CLEANING UP THE STREET OF STARS: For years New York's Times Square was a seedy wasteland until a 1990s cleanup that revitalized 42nd Street. Downtown Hollywood also declined seriously in the past few decades. But there are signs of a Times Square-style fix-up. "What you realize is that Hollywood has a lot of beautiful architecture, it has the potential. This is something Los Angeles really lacks, a real urban space where people are out there on the sidewalks, walking and gawking." Backstage 03/27/02

Wednesday March 27

ART AND PORN IN CANADA: A horribly controversial case in Canada came to a close this week, as a judge in British Columbia ruled that the pornographic stories involving children and torture written by the defendant have artistic merit and are therefore not illegal. The issue at the heart of the case was whether or not Canadians should have the freedom to write fiction on such topics, even if there are no photographs present or real people involved. The ruling has wide-ranging implications across the country, and may have some impact in the U.S. as well, where authorities are struggling with the same issue. National Post (Canada) 03/27/02

  • BATTLING ACADEMICS: The judge in the Canadian kiddie-porn case came to his decision after consulting with three literary experts, two of whom claimed that the defendant's stories had artistic merit. The third expert claimed the opposite, but the judge dismissed his opinion, "saying he applied morality and community standards in judging the works, which the Supreme Court has said is not the test of artistic merit." The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 03/27/02

Monday March 25

PLAY NICE: Come Christmas, it seems like every arts company has a "cash cow" production it wants to let loose to graze. Hartford, like many cities, sees a stampede on its stages. Couldn't someone buy these folks a calendar, lock them in a room and make them play nice? Hartford Courant 03/24/02

Sunday March 24

MERGING TO SURVIVE: "Faced with tough economic prospects, exhibition opportunities, receptive funders, and the rise of so-called 'heritage tourism,' Philadelphia institutions are merging, combining, collaborating and cooperating in ways unheard-of for a city widely perceived as deeply conservative, if not backward, in its organizational thinking... While there are political lobbying, and marketing, and exhibition collaborations in places such as Chicago, Detroit and Richmond, nothing nationally approaches the breadth of joint projects developing in Philadelphia." Philadelphia Inquirer 03/24/02

Friday March 22

ADELAIDE'S BIG SUCCESS: The Adelaide Festival might have dragged itself through the headlines, firing director Peter Sellars, and appearing to not know which end was up. But the festival sold 180,000 tickets, a 60 percent increase over the last festival.  Fringe artists earned $3.85 million at the box office, compared to $2.08 million in 2000. Sydney Morning Herald 03/22/02

  • ADELAIDE POST-MORTEM: So was this year's Adelaide Festival as bad as fired-director Peter Sellars' detractors maintain? Did Adelaide's city newspaper poison Sellars' agenda with its early criticism? Or was the festival so good that it will make the next edition difficult to pull off? Lots of questions, but then, aren't there always? The Age (Melbourne) 03/22/02

FIGHTING CRIME WITH ART: The British government says it will use more arts and culture programs to try to turn young people off crime. "The arts and sport can encourage young offenders to make choices, decisions and personal statements, to have enthusiasm, to take risks and take responsibility." BBC 03/22/02

BRINGING OSCAR HOME: "The Academy hasn't held the Oscar ceremonies in the real Hollywood since 1929, when it lasted all of 15 minutes, hardly long enough for a self-respecting celebrity to exit a limo these days. The $94 million Kodak Theatre, designed for the Oscar ceremonies, is pure nostalgia. It resembles a 1920s movie palace with stacked opera boxes." But the Kodak sits in the middle of a strip mall, in a neighborhood known more for its drug dealers than its glitz and glamour. Is the project a laudable attempt to revitalize a landmark area, or a misguided plunge into a history that no longer exists? The Christian Science Monitor (Boston) 03/22/02

Thursday March 21

WHAT ARE THE ARTS WORTH? "Liberal-minded arts lovers have been wringing their hands and flinty-eyed fiscal conservatives warming their souls over a new study that suggests the economic impact of cultural facilities and sports stadiums is exaggerated... But reading the whole study reveals that things are, of course, a bit more complicated... Rather than dampening cultural activists, [the] report should really serve as a renewed call to artists to justify their existence on more lofty grounds than those that economists can provide." The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 03/21/02

WELCOME TO THE VERIZON/ENRON/WELLS FARGO SMITHSONIAN! Smithsonian chief Lawrence Small testified at a congressional hearing yesterday on funding possibilities for the national museum's latest modernization campaign. But the mood turned ugly when a New York congressman accused small of selling the nation's cultural heritage to the highest bidder, and decried the growing trend of selling naming rights. "Frankly, just speaking as an individual citizen, I deeply resent it. You didn't start this but you seem to me to be the biggest cheerleader. What we are experiencing is crass commercialization," Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) said. Washington Post 03/21/02

MORE FALLOUT FROM THE HARRIS GRANTS: The arguing is continuing in Ontario over a slate of $91 million in grants earmarked for specific cultural organizations by the province's outgoing premier, Mike Harris. Accusations are flying from other politicians, including an assertion by a Toronto city councillor that Harris's grants have cut deserving organizations out of the funding pool. The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 03/21/02

KEEPING GROUND ZERO FOR THE PUBLIC: The debate over how a rebuilt WTC site might memorialize the victims of 9/11 has become a contentious one, and one architecture critic says the key is to keep the decision out of the hands of private interests who want merely to cut their losses, and put up a quick-and-dirty memorial surrounded by office space that may well go unused. "The real issue is how to build a living city --a place that offers a vibrant mix of culture and commerce; a place that is easy to reach by subway, commuter train or ferry boat; a place where a frazzled office worker can find a few minutes of serenity at the waterfront; a place, like Rockefeller Center, where great buildings form an even greater urban whole." Chicago Tribune 03/21/02

Wednesday March 20

BERLIN'S BUDGET AX: Berlin's new city council made about $2 billion worth of spending cuts, in an effort to work its way out of a financial crisis. The city's arts and culture programs will take big hits. "The council said there would be no more free theatre and that it would contribute nothing more to investment by the heritage foundation that runs many museums and galleries. About 15,000 jobs are expected to go in the city, where 17% are unemployed." The Guardian (UK) 03/20/02

ITALY'S CRISIS OF LEADERSHIP: Italy's big cultural institutions are in political turmoil. Critics charge that the "centre-right Government of Silvio Berlusconi, which took office nine months ago, seems unable to find the right people to run Italy’s art centres, cultural institutes overseas, or even — and most damagingly — the Venice Film Festival in September." The Times (UK) 03/20/01

THE AMOUNT'S FINE - JUST HOW TO SPEND IT? After months of wrangling, the province of Ontario and the Canadian government are anxious to make a deal on a $200 million investment in the arts. Problem is, the two governments can't agree on how the money should be split up. And arts groups are getting impatient. Toronto Star 03/19/02

  • THE AGITATOR: Ontario Premier Mike Harris has never been a subtle politician, and his all-too-public battles with the national government in Ottawa are legendary. So when Harris announced that he was unilaterally implementing over $90 million of funding for provincial arts groups without waiting for matching funds from the capitol, a firestorm of criticism ensued. From artists to MPs, it seems no one is happy, and nearly everyone is blaming Mike Harris. The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 03/20/02
  • THE PLAN: Meanwhile, at least one major Canadian newspaper is still reporting that a deal is in the works for the $200 million, and that it will bring large wads of cash to Ontario arts groups and glory to all the politicians involved (even Mike Harris.) But with Harris apparently intentionally irritating the rest of the country's pols with his unilateral funding plan, will the whole deal fall apart? National Post (Canada) 03/20/02
  • THE LEGACY: It isn't that Mike Harris is a big fan of the arts, says a Toronto paper, it's that he's leaving office this month after a stormy tenure which failed to yield any significant legacy other than that of an ineffective agitator. Not only does yesterday's grandstanding move by Harris leave Canada's National Ballet School out in the cold, but it effectively leaves even those groups getting funding short of what they need, and does no one but Harris and his legacy any good at all. Toronto Star 03/20/02

Monday March 18

TAKING THE FIGHT OUTSIDE: Two prominent members of the Orange County Performing Arts Center board have resigned from the organization. Four other top board members are part of a lawsuit against the pair, charging them with securities fraud in their business. "The lawsuit seeks damages of more than $50 million for the plaintiffs' losses on the stock market." In leaving the board, the pair said that sitting on a board with people who accuse them of fraud "was just something we could not stomach." "The resignation of the Broadcom founders - billionaire philanthropists and leaders in the high-tech-driven 'new economy' - represents a blow to a board that has been assiduously courting the next generation of business leaders and arts patrons." Orange County Register 03/17/02

  • Previously: SUE THE ONES YOU LOVE: The new chairman of the Orange County Performing Arts Center is suing one of the center's biggest benefactors. Henry Samueli has raised more than $10 million for the center, but he's the subject of a stock fraud lawsuit brought in part by OC's Thomas Thierney. "Some fear that the legal fight will dampen donations and force arts leaders to take sides." Los Angeles Times 03/12/02

Sunday March 17

ARTS DEAL COLLAPSES: A few weeks ago it looked like Toronto's arts institutions were going to get a big windfall from Canada's federal government in the form of $200 million in funding. But the deal seems to have collapsed. "Things were clear. We were just trying to dot the i's and cross the t's. The last thing we were trying to iron out was the high-profile announcement we were planning." Instead, says Ontario's culture minister, the feds have folded. "We had a deal, but now it appears they're doing a pirouette. They've made more sudden moves than Baryshnikov." Toronto Star 03/15/02

THE DIFFICULTY OF RANDOM TRAGEDY (FOR ART): How to make art out of tragedy? Much classic tragedy seems predetermined. But "what kind of art can come from what appears to be blind chance? 'It's much easier to write about tragic flaws - the idea that what makes you great also brings you down. And much harder to write about the opposite idea, which has marked the culture of the late 20th and early 21st Centuries: The universe is a random series of events we can't possibly understand, much less transform into art." Chicago Tribune 03/17/02

A QUESTION OF QUALITY OF CULTURE: The British measure the quality of everything. "At a time when the concept of quality control has become embedded in the culture, though, the one place where it does not apply is in culture itself. In culture, the government's test of what is best remains the market. If people buy it, watch it or listen to it, then it is good. If there is an increase in people buying, watching or listening to it, then that is even better. If more people buy, watch or listen to it than to anything else, then that is the best of all. It has been a very long time since any senior Labour figure dared to question this passive populism." The Guardian (UK) 03/16/02

CLOSING DOWN CULTURE: Since it opened in 1989, the Glassboro Center for the Arts has been the focus of southern New Jersey's cultural life in the performing arts, presenting national and international artists. But Rowan University, where the center is located, is in a bind, and the arts center "is one of four institutes or centers the university is closing to help close a $6 million hole in this year's budget and an expected $12 million shortfall next year. Shuttering the centers and eliminating the jobs of at least 18 employees is expected to save the university about $1.3 million." South Jersey Courier Post 03/15/02

Friday March 15

NATIONAL ARTS MEDAL WINNERS NAMED: Johnny Cash, Kirk Douglas, Helen Frankenthaler, Yo-Yo Ma and Tom Wolfe were named as the latest recipients of the US National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal. "The honors are an annual practice established by Congress for the arts in 1984 and for the humanities in 1988." Washington Post 03/15/02

IN LETTERS: John Brotman, director of the Ontario Arts Council, writes to protest the conclusions of a study and a report on that study in Canada's National Post, that said public money invested in the arts failed to make promised economic returns to their communities: "A few years back, the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) found that arts organizations in Ontario returned 20 per cent more in provincial taxes than they received in provincial government funding. Statistics Canada data estimates that the economic impact of Ontario's arts and culture sector is $19.1 billion or on a per capita basis that is more than $1,700 in economic return for every Ontario resident."

  • THE STORY: TAX MONEY TO ARTS FAILS ON PROMISED RETURNS? A new Canadian study suggests that taxpayer money invested in professional sports teams and the arts do not produce the economic benefits touted by arts supporters. "The research ... leads inexorably to the conclusion that the benefits from having sporting or cultural activities are not nearly as large as their proponents argue. The multiplier effects are usually small and might even be negative in some instances. Job creation is minimal." National Post (Canada) 03/06/02

Thursday March 14

CHALMERS AWARDS SCRAPPED: A somewhat public dispute between the Ontario Arts Council and philanthropist Joan Chalmers has resulted in the outright cancellation of Canada's prestigious Chalmers Awards, to the dismay of many in the arts world. In place of the awards, the council will hand out fellowships and grants, but these will come with neither the prestige nor the publicity that the awards carried. The Globe & Mail (Toronto) 03/14/02

BRAIN SCANNER: Scientists are studying the differences between the brains of an artist and a scientist to see if characteristic differences can be found. This week an artist and a scientist had CT scans of their brains done in a London hospital. "Another scientist dismissed the experiment as trivialising, and insisted scientists and artists were so different it would make more sense to compare rugby and billiards on the basis that both were played with a ball." The Guardian (UK) 03/13/02

THE END OF HISTORY (9/11 NOTWITHSTANDING): Francis Fukuyama has believed that since the fall of communism history is over as we know it. Does he still believe it after September 11? Yes. "For all those who want to develop, modernity is only available as a package deal in the medium term. According to Fukuyama, anyone who wants growth must also accept human rights, free elections, and free trade. That leaves the cultural resistance of the Islamist masses and the countries with strong Islamic traditions. Fukuyama does not believe that it will take 100 years to calm the fundamentalist uprising, the same length of time it took for the fundamentalism of the Reformation to cool down in Europe." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 03/13/02

Wednesday March 13

NOW THAT IT'S OVER... Director Peter Sellars said yesterday that he had been forced out as director of the recently concluded Adelaide Festival. "Obviously it is embarrassing when you bring one of the biggest international fish you have ever had in your fish tank and treat them the way I was treated. I just hope you never ever treat anyone this way again, it's not a good idea, it's bad for international relations and it's a little bit stupid." The Age (Melbourne) 03/13/02

MAKING THE CUT: The downside of a system of public funding for the arts is that there's a limited amount of money to go around, and someone has to make the call as to who gets funded and who doesn't. In Toronto this week, representatives of city, provincial, and federal government will announce what they plan to do with a massive $200 million arts funding package, and while some well-known organizations are a lock to see some of the cash, other long-planned projects may be left out in the cold. Toronto Star 03/13/02

THE WORST (AND BEST) JOB IN THE WORLD: "Wanted: executive director for nonprofit art center. Responsibilities include too much to do in too little time with too few resources. Plenty of backbreaking physical toil coupled with mind-boggling financial conundrums. Qualifications: must be able to deal with artists and a public who will stretch you as thin as Lara Flynn Boyle, or who will tear you apart like so many hyenas if the mood strikes them. Experience in a leadership position and good phone voice a must. Salary: not enough for what you will be required to do--but as there's no price you can place on this job anyway, we figure why bother even trying. Must be willing to start as soon as possible. Are you free tomorrow?" City Pages (Minneapolis/Saint Paul) 03/13/02

Tuesday March 12

BACK TO CULTURE: Attendance for New York arts groups after September 11 might have been down for a short time, but people have returned to cultural pursuits. "Outside the Museum of Modern Art lines are extending down the block on many days, and attendance at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is heavier on weekends than it was last year at this time. The New York City Ballet is within a percentage point of pre-September attendance projections for its "Nutcracker" and winter repertory performances. And for the week ended Sunday, Broadway set box office records for this time of year with revenues up 18 percent and attendance up 6 percent over the same week last year." The New York Times 03/12/02 

WHY CULTURE MATTERS: Several American cities are looking at ways to dramatically increase their public funding for the arts. If voters approve a new real estate tax in Detroit this summer, the arts will get $44 million more each year. Why should taxes be raised for culture? There are the usual economic reasons, writes Peter Dobrin, but more important, because the arts are "the only part of life that advances civilization." Philadelphia Inquirer 03/12/02

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FRENCH AND ENGLISH: Are there differences in the ways English and French Canadians consume culture? A new study says yes: "If you are an English-speaker, you are more likely than your French-speaking fellow Canadians to read books, go to the theatre or to Broadway-style shows. If you are francophone, you probably are a more assiduous patron of the symphony, opera and festivals. Also, you watch more television, especially local programs." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 03/11/02

BERLIN - IT'S THE VISION THING: Berlin's cultural institutions are suffering. Money is tight and getting tighter. But "the problem can't only be money. Stuttgart, Hamburg, and Leipzig have all, to varying degrees, managed to produce better opera than any of the Berlin houses for less money. Germany has dozens of regional houses with programs which display more freedom and fantasy than those currently on offer in Berlin. But vision, unless you count Stölzl's bungled reform plan, has been the one thing conspicuously lacking." Andante 03/12/02

  • UNITY THROUGH CULTURE: In its search for an attractive — and nonthreatening — image, Berlin may have at last found a goal. By the end of this decade, it could become a City of Museums. Focused around the Spree River's Museum Island in east Berlin and the Kulturforum just two miles away in west Berlin, a dazzling array of new and refurbished museums are to offer a wealth of art comparable to that found in New York, London and Paris. And the hope is that the rest of Germany will also feel pride." The New York Times 03/12/02

Monday March 11

PENNSYLVANIA CUTS ARTS GRANTS: The state of Pennsylvania - facing a $600 million budget shortfall - has reduced its already-awarded grants to arts organizations by 22 percent. "The news has sent many arts managers - especially those at smaller organizations that depend heavily on state money - scrambling to make cuts or find alternative funding." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 03/11/02

WHAT RIGHT COPYRIGHT? A case recently accepted by the US Supreme Court challenges current copyright laws. "Many policymakers (and even some intellectual policy mavens) view IP rights as a one-way street - they assume that the more IP rights we grant, and the broader and more durable we make those rights, the more society will benefit through increased production of books, music, movies, etc. The matter isn't even remotely that simple." Here's what's at stake legally. FindLaw 03/05/02

NOT MUCH OF ADELAIDE: The Adelaide Festival is one of Australia's great festivals. But the leadup to this year's event was marked with the dismissal of artistic director Peter Sellars. Now the festival is over, and at least one critic wonders if the cumulative effect of all the pieces mounted up to much of a whole. The Age (Melbourne) 03/11/02

RECLAIMING SAN FRANCISCO: A little more than a year ago, real estate prices were so high in San Francisco that artists were being forced from their homes and work spaces. The dotcom bust has changed all that. "Bust-era prices and audience demand have made it possible for a new generation of venue providers to make cultural events in the Bay Area affordable again. Often the people running these spaces are performers themselves, whose lucrative jobs during the boom finally allowed them to give back to the communities they enjoyed for so long." San Francisco Bay Guardian 03/08/02

Sunday March 10

THE ART OF AFGHANISTAN: You would think, form the press accounts, that Afghanistan is little more than a bombed out wreck. "I had come to Afghanistan to see what remained of the country's culture after the depredations of the Taliban and the devastation of war. And I was astonished to find, amid the bombed-out ruins of Kabul, an artistic community that was not only optimistic but exuberant. Everyone I talked to had extraordinary stories to tell about the Taliban era, but they had survived that time surprisingly well, and were taking up much where they had left off." The New York Times 03/10/02

DENVER'S ARTS BOOM: The American economy may still be in a down cycle, but Denver is in the midst of an arts building boom. "Driving these projects, which have a total projected construction budget of $389 million to $608 million, is a convergence of an ever-increasing need for suitable performance space and a coming of age by many of Denver's suburban communities. The dozen projects range from a $100 million-to-$300 million regional performing arts and convention center that is being discussed for the southern metropolitan area, to a $500,000 lower-level expansion of the Lakewood Cultural Center." Denver Post 03/10/02

Friday March 8

THE BERLIN CRISIS: The city of Berlin is € 68 billion in debt - so much debt that it has to borrow extensively just to pay the interest on its debt. This has created a crisis for the city's rich cultural life. "Even today, Berlin has more museums than rainy days. Not to mention eight full-time symphony orchestras, several professional chamber music ensembles, and three opera houses. Each threat of closure or amalgamation is greeted by howls of protest; the result is that everything is slightly underfunded. Since those who work for cultural institutions are government employees and cannot be sacked, most organizations are unable to respond to requests for budget cuts simply because they have no option but to continue to pay their staff. Instead, they run up debts." Andante 03/08/02

Thursday March 7

TAX MONEY TO ARTS FAILS ON PROMISED RETURNS? A new Canadian study suggests that taxpayer money invested in professional sports teams and the arts do not produce the economic benefits touted by arts supporters. "The research ... leads inexorably to the conclusion that the benefits from having sporting or cultural activities are not nearly as large as their proponents argue. The multiplier effects are usually small and might even be negative in some instances. Job creation is minimal." National Post (Canada) 03/06/02

SUCCESSFUL ARTISTS SHOULD RETURN GRANTS? Two American congressmen have suggested that artists who become commercially successful should repay grants they received earlier in the careers from the National Endowment for the Arts. "NEA Acting Director Eileen B. Mason promised to consider the suggestion. 'I think it would be terrific,' she told the House Appropriation Committee's subcommittee on the Interior Department and Related Agencies." Hartford Courant (AP) 03/06/02

THE POETRY AND PHILOSOPHY OF HOMELAND DEFENSE: Bruce Cole, the new chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, believes that agency "needs to pay attention to its original mandate and establish its role as a defender of the homeland." To accomplish that, he has developed a program called "We the People" which is intended to "encourage scholars to propose programs that advance our knowledge of the events, ideas and principles that define the American nation." Washington Post 02/06/02

SPUTTERING AT THE CHURCH OF POP CULTURE: "The first breath of cultural freedom that Afghans had enjoyed since 1995 was suffused with the stuff of commercially generated popular culture. The people seemed delighted to be able to look like they wanted to, listen to what they wanted to, watch what they wanted to, and generally enjoy themselves again. Who could complain about Afghans’ filling their lives with pleasure after being coerced for years to adhere to a harshly enforced ascetic code? The West’s liberal, anti-materialist critics, that’s who." Reason 03/02

Tuesday March 5

ADS FOR ARTS: The arts advocacy group Americans for the Arts has produced a series of ads promoting the arts. The ads were donated, and so far $100 million worth of air time to run the spots on TV around the country has been donated. "The three-year campaign, which also includes print, radio, the Web and other media, is designed to make parents aware that arts education is vital to producing not only artists, but well-rounded, imaginative people in general." Dallas Morning News 03/05/02

Monday March 4

FUNDING TORONTO: Canada's federal government has decided to give Toronto's largest arts groups $260 million. "The long-awaited grants are seen by some as the beginning of a cultural rebirth for Canada's largest city." The arts groups have a long (and expensive) wish list for the money. National Post (Canada) 03/02/02 

Sunday March 3

DOES ART STILL MATTER AFTER? "In 1937, it took a couple of days for Picasso to hear the news of Guernica; today, he would have watched it unfolding live on television. This immediacy and its accompanying glut of images and information is itself a challenge to artists. One difficulty in making art about Sept. 11 is that it is hard to create anything that rivals in magnitude the live images that so much of the world spent days obsessively watching on television. In the face of this new reality, the demand that art respond literally, directly and rapidly to crisis contains an underlying note of panic: an urge to demonstrate to a broader public, through a definitive statement on something of great social moment, that art is indeed necessary, that art can still make a difference, despite a growing fear that it is not and cannot." The New York Times 03/03/02 

INTO THE SUBURBS: Artists have traditionally worked in cities. But more and more urban arts groups are realizing that a major part of their audiences come from the suburbs. And that in turn is bringing artists out to the 'burbs'. "There's a real pent-up demand for culture in the suburbs." Minneapolis Star-Tribune 03/03/02

Friday March 1

SAVING ART FROM COLLECTORS: "Historic items worth more than £3.2m, including paintings by Rubens and William Blake, have been kept in the UK following export deferral. The government can save rare items "for the nation" by putting a bar on its removal from the country. Often a museum or gallery will then step in and buy the item so that it can be kept on public display." BBC 03/01/02

ROCKWELL OUT AT NYT: "John Rockwell, editor of The New York Times' Sunday Arts & Leisure section for the past four years, steps down from the influential post today. He will move into the newly created position of senior cultural correspondent, writing cultural news stories and criticism... Under Rockwell's guidance, it has developed into perhaps the country's most prominent source of performing arts commentary, with coverage of everything from movies to the performing arts, from the mainstream to the fringe." Andante 03/01/02