Christie’s Hong Kong sale to feature 27 Indian works

By IANS, Hong Kong : Christie's spring 2008 sales of Asian contemporary art in Hong Kong May 24-25 will feature a selection of 27 significant works by Indian artists along with those of their counterparts from China, Japan and South Korea. The inaugural evening sale of Asian contemporary art on May 24 is a first for the category worldwide and an eagerly-awaited new element to the sale series in Hong Kong this season.

We changed India’s perception of Pakistani music: Strings

By Radhika Bhirani, IANS, New Delhi : Pakistani band Strings, known for its chartbusters like "Duur" and "Dhaani", feels it has to an extent changed how Indians perceive Pakistani music, and stresses that music, like cricket, goes a long way in bringing the two countries closer together. "If we talk about the change in the way our (Pakistani) music is perceived in India, yes, we have played a role in it," Faisal Kapadia, the band's lead vocalist, told IANS.

Nouveau art takes up social reality to make bold statements

By IANS, New Delhi : Art is charting a meaningful road in India. Investment opportunities aside, art enthusiasts are now using its power of instant identification and recall to drive home social messages. A show, “Popular Reality”, curated by Ranjita Chaney, has woven popular issues as themes around the works of a talented bunch of young contemporary artists like Murali Cheeroth, Tushar Jog, Manil Gupta, Nandan Ghiya, Vibha Galhotra Josh P.C. and Apurba Nandi. The show will be held Oct 1-17 at the Stainless Gallery in the capital.

President Patil to inaugurate Surajkund crafts fair

By IANS, Chandigarh : The celebration of traditional Indian handicrafts will begin Feb 1 next year when the Surajkund crafts fair gets underway in Haryana. President Pratibha Patil will inaugurate the 2009 edition of the Surajkund fair, Haryana's Minister for Tourism and Forests Kiran Chaudhary said here Tuesday. Surajkund is located in the Aravalli range, about 10 km from south Delhi on the highway to Agra.

Himachal to promote artefacts in foreign shores

By IANS, Shimla : Himachal Pradesh will participate in international exhibitions to popularise its artefacts in foreign countries, officials said Saturday. "To popularise the handicraft items and establish their market in foreign countries, we have decided to participate in international exhibitions," H.S. Kingra, managing director of state Handicrafts and Handloom Corporation told IANS.

Artists can play major role in peace process: Pakistani painter

By Xinhua, New Delhi : Artists' voices can be both provocative as well as healing and since they represent the people at large they can play a major role in the peace process between India and Pakistan, says Pakistani painter and human rights activist Salima Hashmi.

Open minds to classical arts through school curricula: Shovana Narayan

By Madhusree Chatterjee, ANS, New Delhi : Indian dances are not attracting sufficient audiences due to "closed minds" and "non-exposure", says veteran Kathak exponent Shovana Narayan. The danseuse feels classical arts should be included in school curricula to increase aesthetic appreciation. "There are several issues in terms of audience attendance. There is a mindset in the 'none' or 'never' attending viewers that classical dance is beyond understanding. They seem to have a closed mind to it," Narayan told IANS in an interview here ahead of World Dance Day Wednesday.

Largest Indian contemporary art exhibition opens in Austria

By Mehru Jaffer, IANS, Vienna : As the largest exhibition of contemporary Indian art to open in the Austrian capital in recent times, "Chalo! India" is certainly making visitors more and more curious about the South Asian giant. "India's impressive economic progress has spurred interest in the artistic developments of the country as well," said professor Karlheinz Essl, founder of the Essl Museum of contemporary art.

Poetry was my lifeline all along: Gulzar

By IANS, New Delhi: He is equally known for his directorial ventures as he is praised for his poems and lyrics but lyricist-director Gulzar says he cut down on wielding the megaphone due to his love for poetry and books.

Tyeb trumps Saffronart auction with $987,000

By IANS

Mumbai : Mumbai-based artist Tyeb Mehta's work Kali sold for a hefty $987,000 at the Saffrontart Online Auction of modern Indian artworks.

Picasso works stolen from diplomat’s home in Austria

By IANS

Vienna : A pencil drawing by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso valued at some $250,000 was stolen in Austria from the private collection of a Russian diplomat, Spanish news agency EFE said quoting the police.

Nepal’s heritage sites out of danger: Unesco

By IANS

Kathmandu : Seven historic destinations in Kathmandu, popular with art lovers, tourists and pilgrims but thought to have been under threat of destruction, are out of danger now, the Unesco has certified.

UTV’s Brand Bindass to find India’s first space tourist

By IANS

New Delhi : All those dreaming of space travel have a rare chance of making their dreams come true. UTV, one of India's leading film production houses, has announced the launch of entertainment channel bouquet Brand Bindass with a campaign to select the lucky Indian who will be the country's first space tourist.

Couture czar J.J. Valaya turns wedding designer too

By IANS New Delhi : Fashion designer J.J. Valaya, known for his rich, embellished couture lines, has now joined hands with wedding planner fernsnpetals (FNP) to design services for signature luxury wedding concepts. He has launched a special design cell called Valaya Luxury Weddings that will create luxury concepts and details for special spaces, which shall then be executed by FNP.

Indo-Bangladesh music fusion in Dhaka

By IANS Dhaka : Bangladeshi singer James combined with India's Partha Sarathi Chatterjee to stage a fusion music concert here, blending North Indian Ragas with Western classical, rock n'roll, jazz and Bengali folk tunes. Music lovers here rocked to James's "Bheegi Bheegi" number from the Hindi film "Gangster" and lots of songs from Bollywood and other genres at the evening organised by the Indian High Commission in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.

Pune Festival kicks off Sep 21

By IANS Pune : The four-day Pune Festival, considered to be the mother all arts and culture festivals in Maharashtra, will start Sep 21 with a series of events and performances from eminent artists, including Pandit Jasraj, Hema Malini and Mallika Sarabhai. "This year the festival will be inaugurated by Union Power Minister Sushil kumar Shinde," Sabina Sanghvi, vice-chairperson of the festival committee, said at a press conference here Friday.

New Yorkers sample Indian song and dance – and cricket cheer too

By Parveen Chopra New York, Sep 25 (IANS) Spoilt for choice, New Yorkers are getting their fill of India's culture, fashion and food at multiple city venues thanks to the Incredible India@60 festival. Bryant Park in the heart of Manhattan is now a convenient arena to begin experiencing India. It's Monday, day two of the five-day event. The programme opens with a performance by Langa and Maniar folk singers from Rajasthan at noon. Among the 200 onlookers were Kamraj and Jayanti, a young couple from Puducherry, who happen to just walk in.

Mexican archaeologists begin search for Aztec king’s tomb

By IANS Mexico City : A team of archaeologists has begun exploring a site in the heart of the Mexican capital that might lead to the first discovery of a tomb of an Aztec king, according to Spanish news agency EFE. Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said in a communiqué that a 12-tonne monolith dedicated to Tlaltecuhtli, the Aztec earth goddess, was removed from the site Tuesday. Scientists hope to uncover the tomb of King Ahuizotl, who reigned from 1486-1502.

Publisher, newscaster Tejeshwar Singh dead

By IANS New Delhi : Tejeshwar Singh, publisher, theatre actor and television news reader, whose deep baritone demanded compelling attention from the viewer, died in Mussoorie Friday night of a sudden heart attack. He was in his early sixties. Singh founded the Sage Publications (India) in 1981 and nurtured it into a prominent publishing house within a decade.

It’s wah ustad! at the Gwalior Heritage Festival

By Azera Rahman, IANS Gwalior : For the people of Gwalior it was an evening to remember as sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his two sons gave a bravura performance with fusion band Advaita and the Ananda Shankar dance troupe adding to the magic. Amjad Ali Khan and his two sons, Amaan Ali Khan and Ayaan Ali Khan, gave a spell binding performance on the second day of the Gwalior Heritage festival Saturday evening. The trio literally lighted up the stage as they walked down the bridge to the stage set amid a pond at the picturesque Moti Mahal palace.

Malaysian artistes fear curbs in opposition-ruled states

By IANS Kuala Lumpur : The Malaysian Artistes' Association (Karyawan) has expressed fear for the local arts and entertainment industry following the formation of new governments in five states by opposition parties perceived as conservative. Democratic Action Party (DAP), Parti Keadalan Rakyat (PKR) and the Islamist party PAS wrested control of five states in this month's general election, also winning an unprecedented 82 seats in parliament.

China’s Forbidden City to be renovated before Olympics

By Xinhua Beijing : A wide-ranging facelift of China's famed Forbidden City will be completed ahead of Olympics after over five years of repairing, a spokesman with the historical site said Wednesday. "Repair work will end before August, when people will see an enlarged open area of the palace," Palace Museum spokesman Feng Nai'en told reporters. A 1,000-sq meter area in the palace will be opened for tourists for the first time this year, for an exhibition of imperial horse-drawn vehicles, said Feng.

Advani bestselling author again with Jhumpa Lahiri

By IANS, New Delhi : BJP leader L.K. Advani's autobiography retains its hold over readers in the capital as does Jhumpa Lahiri whose "Unaccustomed Earth" is number one in the fiction bestseller list. The top 10 in the non-fiction and fiction lists are: Non-Fiction 1. "My Country, My Life" Author : L.K. Advani Publisher : Rupa & Co. Price : Rs.595.00 2. "The Secret" Author : Rhonda Byrne Publisher : Simon & Schuster Price : Rs.550.00 3. "Common Wealth : Economics for a Crowded Planet" Author : Jeffrey Sachs Publisher : Allen Lane Penguin Price : Rs.695.00

Tagore is read much less nowadays: actor Soumitra Chatterjee

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : Veteran Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee believes that Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore is very much a part of our present, but he is being read much less these days. "It is inescapable. For a Bengali, getting away from Tagore is very difficult because his works reflect a gamut of creative experiences. You listen to his songs every day in some form or the other," Chatterjee told IANS in an interview here.

Souza, Mehta top Christie’s Indian modern art sale

By IANS, London : Works of Francis Newton Souza and Tyeb Mehta were the highlights of the Christie's sale of contemporary Indian art here, which also included works from Tina Ambani's Mumbai-based Harmony Art Foundation. Souza's 1955 work "Birth" sold for 1,273,250 pounds ($2.5 million) as against an estimate of 600,000-800,000 pounds while Mehta's 1984 untitled (Figure on Rickshaw) went for 982,050 pounds as against an estimate of 300,000-500,000 pounds.

Tamil Nadu lawyers protest heritage building demolition

By IANS, Salem (Tamil Nadu) : Two lawyers Wednesday said they would move the Madras High Court to prosecute the Tamil Nadu government for alleged contempt of court following partial demolition of a heritage building. State government officials demolished part of the 140-year-old collectorate here violating a stay order granted by a division bench of the high court comprising justices A.K. Ganguly and Ibrahim Khalifullah against the demolition, lawyers D. Damayanthi and N. Hari Babu told reporters here.

Ranjit Singh’s bust sells for $192,000 in London

By Dipankar De Sarkar, IANS, London : Far more important and wealthy than his son in real life, a marble bust of Maharaja Ranjit Singh has fetched only a fraction of the price a sculpture of Duleep Singh commanded last year. Ranjit Singh's stunning milk-white bust, made in India around 1900 by an unknown sculptor, was estimated to sell for 50,000-70,000 pounds ($87,000-$122,000) at Bonhams' Indian and Islamic sale Monday but went for 110,400 pounds ($192,000).

Third edition of India Art Summit in January 2011

By IANS, New Delhi : Art lovers will have to wait till Jan 23-26 next year for the next edition of the India Art Summit, which will open six months behind schedule. The last two editions of the summit opened Aug 19. Announcing the dates, the organisers of India Art Summit Monday said the registration process is underway and galleries and art houses from across the world can apply for exhibition space.

Chronicling India’s tiger crisis in film

By IANS, New Delhi : Filmmaker Krishnendu Bose has painted a grim picture of India's tiger crisis and the dwindling number of the majestic animals in a film called "Tiger: The Death Chronicles", which is being screened in the capital Thursday. The 63-minute English film that is presented, written and directed by Bose, a conservationist, will premiere at the India International Centre here.

Notice to Nafisa Ali on Husain painting quashed

By IANS

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court Tuesday suspended the operation of a show cause notice issued by a subordinate court here against social activist Nafisa Ali for allegedly purchasing a controversial painting by noted painter M.F. Husain.

Osian aims to recreate cinematic culture

By IANS

New Delhi : Aiming to recreate cinematic culture in the country, the 9th Osian's-Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema - a new name for the capital's prestigious film fest - will focus on Japanese films with a tribute to Kenji Mizoguchi.

Catwalk shifts to Pragati Maidan for fashion week

By IANS

New Delhi : To contain the continually swelling fashion fete of India - the Wills lifestyle Fashion Week (WIFW) - the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) has this time moved to a bigger venue, the Pragati Maidan.

The tenth edition of the spring-summer WIFW 2008 is scheduled here for Sep 5-9.

‘Sikhs Unlimited’: London to LA via Punjab

By Jaideep Sarin, IANS Chandigarh : At a time when the Sikh diaspora is set to complete a century of existence in the West, many of them settling to the riches of their adopted countries and thousands more aspiring to be part of those 'greener pastures', a book by a Punjab-based citrus farmer has attempted to chronicle the extraordinary lives of some of these enterprising Sikh men and women. First time author Khushwant Singh, 35, got the inspiration to write a book from his famous literary namesake in India during a meeting in 2004.

Many firsts to mark 10th edition of fashion week

By Shweta Thakur, IANS New Delhi : International models walking the ramp, 10 designers debuting, a new and bigger venue - the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) that kicks off Wednesday has many firsts. And why not? It's celebration time as the event turns 10. "It is the 10th edition and this makes it a very special one," beamed Rathi Vinay Jha, director general of event-organiser Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), as hectic preparations were underway at the Pragati Maidan exhibition complex to ensure the Sep 5-9 event runs like clockwork.

Rahman to perform at Indian & American Achiever Awards

By IANS New York : Renowned film music composer A.R. Rahman will present the national anthem of India Thursday at the inaugural CineMaya Media Group Indian & American Achiever Awards at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. "It is my great honour to be able to sing 'Jana Gana Mana', during the 60th Year of independence celebrations in the heart of the US Capital," Rahman said in a press statement.

Mama bear, cubs out for a walk in Srinagar park

F. Ahmed Srinagar, Sep 13 (IANS) A mother bear and her two cubs strayed into a park in the heart of this tourist city Thursday, attracting hundreds of curious people as wildlife officials tried to catch the animals and take them back to the forest. Officials of the local Wildlife Protection Department were trying to shoo the bears out of the bushes located close to Boulevard Road in the densely populated Gagribal area of the city, 4 km from the city centre Lal Chowk. The bears had ambled in from the forest early Thursday.

Unique exhibition cast in stainless steel

By IANS New Delhi : Steel is generally perceived as a metal meant for industry rather than sculpture, but a unique exhibition in the capital will strive to change that by showcasing life-sized and larger than life figurines -- all made of pure stainless steel. Saptarishi, as the exhibition is called, will see the works of seven artistes from across the country who have been working for this show for the past three months.

Soon, Wagner soirees in the Gulf

By DPA Dresden (Germany) : Operas by German composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) may become regular events in the Gulf, according to the secretary of the Abu Dhabi Wagner Society, Ronald Perlwitz. The Society is sponsoring a March 8 concert by the Saxon State Orchestra of Dresden in the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi to introduce Gulf audiences to live Wagner music. Perlwitz believes Arab audiences' special affinity for Wagner comes from the close bond between music and text in his works.

18th New Delhi World Book Fair 2008 begins, Iran present

By IRNA New Delhi : A nine day long "18th New Delhi World Book Fair 2008" began in New Delhi Saturday with the participation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The second largest Book Fair in the world, inaugurated by K M Acharya, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource and Development, attended by 1200 publishers. Apart from Indian publishing houses, participants from 23 countries including Iran have their stalls to showcase their publications.

An absorbing partition saga through eyes of an American

By M.R. Narayan Swamy, IANS Book: "An American Witness to India's Partition"; Author: Phillips Talbot; Publisher: Sage Publications

And now, Indian etiquette classes in London

By IANS, London : Kissing Indian women goodbye is out for young British businessmen and professionals flying out to India to explore new job opportunities. And visitors should be mindful of something that every Indian knows - their hosts are terrible at timekeeping. These pointers to how to go about your business in India are part of etiquette classes being offered by the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) - the British government's lead organisation supporting the promotion of bilateral trade, business and investment.

To preserve heritage, government planning special centre

By IANS, New Delhi : The government is planning to set up a Centre for Management of Cultural Resources and also a network of Indian Institutes of Art and Culture on the lines of the IITs to safeguard India's rich heritage, Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni said here Tuesday. Speaking at the Asian Regional Cooperation Conference on heritage conservation and tourism here organised by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) Tuesday, Soni said an integrated approach is required for a successful movement of heritage preservation and promotion.

Kerala plans grand shopping festival in December

By IANS Thiruvananthapuram : A 46-day Grand Kerala Shopping Festival (GKSF) will open Dec 1, at 14 district headquarters across the state, to attract foreign tourists and buyers. The state tourism department, which made the announcement here Wednesday, said Finance Minister Thomas Isaac mooted the plan during the assembly's budget session early this year.

Write more cookery books in Hindi: Sheila Dikshit

By IANS New Delhi : More cookery books should be written in Hindi to enable these reach a wider audience, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit suggested Thursday. "I am very happy that authors are trying to teach the art of cooking, not only cooking but cooking good and healthy food to live a healthy life," Dikshit said here at the lunch of "Everyday Healthy Cooking" by debutant author Meenakshi Kumari.

Former union minister P.C. Chunder dead

By IANS Kolkata : Eminent academician, Congress leader and former union education minister Pratap Chandra Chunder died in a city hospital Tuesday afternoon. He was 88. Chunder was ailing for sometime. He is survived by wife Leena Chunder, four sons and grandchildren. Chunder served as education and social welfare minister in the Morarji Desai ministry between 1977 and 1979. A family member said the body of the veteran politician and educationist will be brought to his central Kolkata home. His last rites will be performed Wednesday.

Government finalises draft on Sethusamudram affidavit

By IANS New Delhi : The cabinet Thursday gave the go-ahead to a draft affidavit on the Sethusamudram shipping canal project to be filed in the Supreme Court where critics have challenged the scheme. The decision was taken at the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA). The government is expected to submit the affidavit next week. This was CCPA's second meeting this week to finalise its stand on the draft affidavit. Last year, the government withdrew its affidavit after a row because it was seen challenging the existence of Hindu god Ram.

Exposure makes Indian art prices gallop in global mart

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : The price curve of Indian art is shooting north in the global market because of "increased consciousness" about it, say experts. This has been brought about by greater visibility of art and artists from the country and easy access to relevant information about Indian art from the internet, they say. "Indian art is becoming a part of international consciousness, why is why we have seen a spectacular growth in this field," Yamini Mehta, director of modern and contemporary Indian art at the London-based Christie's, told IANS on e-mail.

Sand artist Sudarsan wins Berlin contest, creates record

By IANS, Bhubaneswar : Sand artist Sudarsan Patnaik has become the first Indian to win a world championship held in Berlin for his sculpture on global warming. His victory will see his name entering the record books again. Patnaik, who figured in the Limca Book of Records in the 2006, 2007 and 2008 editions for his work, will also find place in the 2009 edition for winning the United Sand Festivals (USF) World Double Championship held June 5.

Porcelain: Fusing three art forms through the language of dance

By IANS, New Delhi : What happens when three genres of art - visual, performing and audio - come together? A new language encompassing art in its totality is created. New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) What happens when three genres of art - visual, performing and audio - come together? A new language encompassing art in its totality is created.

Solzhenitsyn graphically portrayed Stalinist terror

By DPA, Moscow : Alexander Solzhenitsyn, one of the Soviet era's most celebrated dissident writers who died at the age of 89, had been exiled from the Soviet Union for his graphic portrayals of life in the labour camps. The world famous writer and historian, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970, had not been seen in public for months, and had reportedly been seriously ill for months. He died following a stroke, according to unconfirmed information.

‘Hindustani classical influenced by Persian music’

By Madhusree Chatterjee, IANS, New Delhi : For centuries, musical legacies have crossed geographical boundaries, says world music guru Laurent Aubert, citing how Hindustani classical got its Persian influence and how the Beatles opened the window to Indian notes. Aubert, curator of the Geneva Ethnographic Museum and the director of the Ateliers d'ethnomusicologie, says global migration has changed the tenor of music irrevocably.The Ateliers d'ethnomusicologie is an institute dedicated to the dissemination of world music.

Cuba sees boom in blind musicians

By IANS, Havana : Cuba has witnessed an increase in the number of amateur blind musicians as a result of the facilities offered to the visually challenged by the music teaching institutions in the country, the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina reported. Carlos Ramirez, a professor who is himself blind, said that music was among the most practised art by the blind in Cuba, though theatre and literature were not far behind.

Tagore paintings ‘a huge draw’ in South Korea

By IANS, New Delhi : An exhibition of 49 original paintings of Rabindranath Tagore now on display in the South Korean capital are drawing hundreds every day.

Ramachandra Guha, Mohsin Hamid top authors of the week

By IANS

New Delhi : Ramachandra Guha's take on "India after Gandhi" takes over from the enormously popular "The Last Mughal" as non-fiction favourite this week, while Mohsin Hamid's "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" continues as top fiction book.

Sports is chauvinistic, but I’ve changed mindsets: Mandira

By Prithwish Ganguly, IANS

New Delhi : TV anchor Mandira Bedi, who brought noodle strap blouses into serious cricket talk, says much of the controversy she attracts has to do with her being a woman in the male-dominated world of sports.

Penguin India gets new chief; Hachette to set up India chapter

By IANS

New Delhi : Mike Bryan will be the new CEO and president of Penguin India from Sep 1, the publishing house announced Wednesday. The current Penguin India chief, Thomas Abraham, is leaving to start the India publishing operations of the Hachette Livre UK.

Bryan has been with Penguin for 27 years, most recently as international sales and marketing director in Britain and the US. His team managed the sales of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in a majority of export markets.

Feast awaits book lovers at World Book Fair

By IANS New Delhi : Book lovers from across India will get an opportunity to browse through millions of books and broaden their horizon of knowledge at the 18th New Delhi World Book Fair beginning Feb 2. Organised by National Book Trust (NBT), an autonomous organisation under the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry, the nine-day knowledge extravaganza would be held at Pragati Maidan.

Filmmakers compete to show Muslim life, experience in the US

By Heather Yamourm, KUNA, Washington : US filmmakers use experience to bridge the cross-cultural divide, and to breakdown stereotypes, by offering a unique window into the lives of American Muslims, and a chance to win USD 50,000 in prizes. The "One Nation, Many Voices" online film contest, which kicked off this month, asks filmmakers to create a short video that "reflects the American Muslim experience" and is open to any US citizen, regardless of race or religion.

Taoists launch drive to debunk misconceptions

By DPA, Singapore : Taoists are launching a drive to debunk misconceptions that their religion is based largely on superstition, after a poll showed many young followers are switching to Christianity, leaders of the faith said Tuesday. An exhibition containing nearly 400 books in 36 languages will include the works of Taoist sage Lao Zi, known as Dao De Jing, and materials from 10 other major religions in Singapore. "There have been misconceptions that Taoism is a religion based on superstitious beliefs," The Straits Times quoted Tan Thiam Lye, Taoism Federation chairman, as saying.

Sculptor builds his 38th Taj Mahal in Amsterdam

By IANS, Amsterdam : Sudarshan Pattnaik, an acclaimed Indian artist, is building a sand Taj Mahal in this city of tulips - his 38th and biggest - in his quest to make such replicas in 100 places around the world. Here for the three-week-long Amsterdam India Festival, he began carving Nov 7 and hopes to complete the Taj Mahal replica Wednesday. He is sculpting it in front of the Rijksmuseum.

Pakistan-India content exchange will push connect: Veteran Pakistani actress

By Radhika Bhirani, New Delhi : She grew up watching the films of Bollywood's late ethereal beauty Madhubala, has enjoyed new wave Indian gems like...

Paintings at antique shop 27 years after theft

By DPA

Bamberg : Four masterpieces by painter Lucas Cranach, the Elder (1472-1553) have been discovered in a German antique shop, 27 years after thieves ripped them from a church in communist-run East Germany.

The foldout pictures on wood, each about 1 metre tall, depict the birth of Saint John the Baptist.

The set would be worth several hundred thousand euros, art experts said. The thieves who took the paintings from the Lutheran church at Klieken near Wittenberg in 1980 were never caught.

Doris Lessing wins Nobel literature prize

By Xinhua Stockholm : British writer Doris Lessing won the 2007 Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday. The Academy cited Lessing as "that epicist of the female experience who with skepticism, fire and visionary power has subjected a divided civilization to scrutiny." This was the fourth of the prestigious Nobel prizes handed out this year, with awards in chemistry, physics and medicine given away in the past three days.

Focus on Shaan as Kolkata set to host music carnival

By IANS Kolkata : Bollywood playback singer Shaan is all set to entertain the music lovers of Kolkata at a daylong music festival to be held here Sunday. Gaan Mela, a famous musical extravaganza, to be held at Nicco Park Sunday, will feature Kolkata's own man with the golden voice Shaan besides versatile singer Pratik Choudhury and a whole array of Bengali bands, from Fossils, Lakkhichhara and Bhoomi to Cactus. Private telecom service provider Tata Indicom is organising this special musical event.

Padma Vibhushan for singing legend Asha Bhonsle

By IANS New Delhi : Gifted with one of the most versatile voices in the industry, Asha Bhonsle has sung every genre of song, be it pop, club mixes, romantic numbers, bhajans and ghazals. Now the singing legend is all set to receive India's second highest civilian honour Padma Vibhushan Award for her contribution to the field of cinema.

Indian works to comment on social issues in Christie’s sale

By IANS, New Delhi : Leading auction house Christie's will offer an exclusive selection of works by contemporary artists like Subodh Gupta, Jitish Kallat, T.V. Santosh and Thukral and Tagra in its autumn sale in Hong Kong Nov 30-Dec 1. Most of the works are comments or reactions to burning issues like migration, economic boom, wealth imbalance, social change, terrorism and violence that the artists have experienced near home in India.

M.F Husain’s son finds his directorial debut accident-prone

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS, Mumbai : The director broke his wrist, the lead actress burnt herself and the hero badly injured his back - renowned painter M.F. Husain's son Owais is shaken by a series of accidents on the sets of his directorial debut and says the film can be termed as the most accident-prone ever made. "I didn't know I broke my wrist until it got swollen like a dolphin out of the water," Owais, whose fractured hand is tucked away in a sling, told IANS.

Potter’s spell breaks sales records

By IANS

New Delhi : The 'P' phenomenon sure has it's grip strong over India, like elsewhere. Just 12 hours after the seventh book of the Harry Potter series was released Saturday, it sold 170,000 copies in the country, making it one of the fastest selling books on the first day of its release in all time.

Wagners wrangle over who is to take over at Bayreuth

By DPA Berlin : The position is not yet vacant, but the Wagner family has stepped up its manoeuvring over who is to take over as Bayreuth Festival founded by Richard Wagner in the late 19th century. The issue of the succession to 88-year-old Wolfgang, the composer's grandson who has been at the helm of the festival since 1951, has been a matter of controversy, conjecture and often some unseemly familial infighting for a number of years now.

Turn these pages for some water wisdom

By Papri Sri Raman, IANS Book: "Towards Water Wisdom - Limits, Justice, Harmony"; Author: Ramaswamy R. Iyer; Publisher: Sage Publications, India; Price: Rs.350. In the 21st century world, water is the most contentious of elements, its ownership more disputed than land and space. The laws regarding water are less clear than those on land and space. For land, territories can be established and rights claimed. For space, technology determines ownership.

Buyers of Indian art may get choosy in New York

By Uma Nair, IANS New Delhi : Will a whiff of caution touch the season's first Indian contemporary art auctions beginning September in New York? A dealer in Manhattan, who wishes to remain anonymous, prophesies that art prices will decline as a result of losses by hedge funds and other large contemporary art collectors in New York.

Rs 50 crore movie on life and times of St Thomas in multiple languages

By NNN-PTI, Chennai, India : A film is to be made on the life and times of St Thomas, one of principal disciples of Lord Jesus, a noble missionary, involving about 25 foreign and local artistes, as well as actors from Hollywood. The movie, to be produced by city-based St Thomas Apostle of India Trust at a budget of Rs 50 crore, would be made in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi and in many other foreign languages, film project coordinator Paulraj Lourdusamy told PTI here on Saturday. One Crore: ten million.

Social Media got brighter with Munawwar Rana’s Muhajir Nama

By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter, Mumbai: Who would not be familiar with Munawwar Rana’s name? Munawwar Rana, whose poetry is the place where a mother, surrounded by the fence of mundaneness, breathes freely. Munawwar Rana, for whom the way to heaven is not above skies but at the feet of mother.

Vibrant arts of Kashmir enchant Delhiites

By IANS New Delhi : The reverberating voices of singers rendering soulful Sufiana songs and graceful movements of women in bright-hued kaftans performing varied folk dances - all this and more were part of the Jammu and Kashmir cultural festival here that left audiences mesmerised. The two-day fest showcased the rich and colourful traditions of Jammu and Kashmir Wednesday and Thursday, with pretty girls dressed in the most vibrant outfits dancing to melodious folk tunes and men playing soulful and foot-tapping music.
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