Historic Church In Nantes, France Wrecked By Fire

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“A huge fire has destroyed part of the 19th Century basilica of Saint-Donatien in the French city of Nantes. The blaze broke out on Monday after morning Mass, with worshippers evacuated from the building.”

Nek Chand, 90, Creator Of India’s Most Beloved Sculpture Garden

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“Having embarked on a mission to turn waste into beauty, Chand used broken crockery, iron foundry clinker, electric plug moulds, fluorescent tubes, bicycle frames, bottles, glass bangles, shells, cooking pots and smashed up bathroom fittings to create his wonderland” – the Rock Garden of Chandigarh.

U.S. Giving To Arts And Culture Up 9.2 Percent

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“Americans’ donations to arts and culture rose 9.2% in 2014, the highest increase in nine categories tracked by Giving USA, an annual report on charitable contributions. Overall, however, arts and culture commanded a modest share of the philanthropic pie.”

Why We Cling To The Culture Of Our Youth

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“Baby boomers pursue perpetual youth into retirement. Gen-Xers hold fast to their skateboards, their Pixies T-shirts and their Beastie Boys CDs. Nobody wants to be an adult anymore, and every so often someone writes an article blaming Hollywood, attachment parenting, global capitalism or the welfare state for this catastrophe.”

The Hardest Things About Making An Amy Winehouse Documentary

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“[Director Asif Kapadia] maintains that the documentary is a faithful depiction of the events that led to Winehouse’s death in 2011 at her home in London, and that his only agenda was to tell the truth. We spoke with him recently about the biggest challenges he faced in getting the film to theaters.”

A Museum Of Death (Two Of Them, Actually)

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“Imagine cases of letters from Jeffrey Dahmer, funerary garments that clothe a corpse for casket viewing, ornate Tibetan kapala skulls, crime scene photographs, an autopsy video, and oddball items like underwear Aileen Wuornos wore on death row.” (Not to mention Dr. Kevorkian’s Thanatron.)

A New $6 Million “Sleeping Beauty”? But Why?

Diana Vishneva (Princess Aurora) and Marcelo Gomes (Prince Désiré) in Alexei Ratmansky's The Sleeping Beauty.  Photo: Gene Schiavone.

“I agree that the dancing is stamped with the spirit of the times. ABT has given us a piece of history, and there is value in that. Ballet historians are soaking this moment up. But for some of us, it’s like seeing lithographs of dainty ballerinas come to life. In this Sleeping Beauty I missed dancing that extends into space; I missed the directness that Balanchine has given us. Dance evolves for a reason. It adjusts to how cultures and bodies change.”

Combat Gender And Racial Bias In Publishing By Reorganizing The Bookstop

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“Since reading McDougall’s article, I have changed the way I approach my job, as have several of my colleagues at Foyles. I am reading more books in translation, more books by writers from different racial or cultural backgrounds to my own and vastly more books by women. As a result I have included more books in these categories as my staff picks, not to achieve quotas, but because they are bloody good books.”