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ART AND CULTURE - January 2021

Jan 2021

May 15, 2021

Carmarthenshire Council Buys Last Portrait of Dylan Thomas

  • The last portrait of poet and writer Dylan Thomas, painted two months before his death, has been purchased by a council in Wales.
  • Carmarthenshire council bought the painting for £15,000 at an auction on 17 April and its museum service took delivery of the artwork this week.
  • The painting had been in the private collection of artist Gordan Stuart until his death in 2015.
  • It has only been seen publicly twice since it was painted in September 1953.
  • That was at the 1954 National Eisteddfod, and 60 years later at 5 Cwmdonkin Drive in Swansea - Thomas' childhood home.
  • The painting was one of four painted over three afternoons at the poet's boathouse and writing shed in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire.
  • Two of the four oil paintings are in the State University of New York in Buffalo, and the third is in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London.

May 13, 2021

Forty Tombs with Humans Buried in Pots Discovered

  • An ancient necropolis with 40 tombs, including cylindrical jars filled with human remains, has been discovered on the French island of Corsica.
  • The people buried in the cemetery range from infants to adults, the archaeologists said. Located in the town of Île-Rousse on the island's northern coast, the cemetery seems to have been used between the third and fifth centuries A.D., a time in which the Roman Empire was gradually declining. Many of the people were found buried inside amphoras, large vessels that would normally be used to carry goods such as olive oil, wine or pickles. The design of the amphoras indicates that they are from North Africa, with some possibly being manufactured in Carthage.
  • Archaeologists also found that some of the burials were covered with terra-cotta tiles that the Romans called "tegulae" and "imbrices." The Romans often used such tiles to cover the roofs of buildings and, at times, to cover burials.

Mar 25, 2021

Nayak Period Inscription Found

  • A team of professors and students of Mannar Thirumalai Naicker College discovered a Nayak period inscription on a stone pillar at Papamadai of Avaniapuram village.
  • The team discovered two stone pillars, around 10 feet in height and 1.5 feet in width, with 19 lines of inscriptions. Mr. Rajagopal said that according to the inscription, Algatchiyar Pillai had thanked King Veerappa Nayak for donating a land for construction of a sluice for irrigation. The guidance of renowned archaeologist C. Santhalingam was sought in deciphering the message of the inscription.

Mar 24, 2021

3,000-year-old Gold Mask

  • A 3,000-year-old ceremonial gold mask has become an unexpected social media sensation in China after its recent discovery in Sichuan province.
  • The artefact was one of 500 Bronze-Age relics found at the Sanxingdui archaeological site.
  • Experts say the discovery could provide new insights on the ancient Shu state, which ruled the area before 316 BC.
  • But the mysterious half-faced mask has also spawned a popular meme and tribute videos on social media.
  • As soon as the latest batch of discoveries was announced on Saturday, users of microblogging platform Weibo started making pictures superimposing the mask on the faces of pop culture figures.
  • The hashtag "Sanxingdui gold mask photo editing competition" has been viewed nearly 4 million times, and has spawned numerous posts as netizens praised the "stunning" and "beautiful" mask.

Mar 22, 2021

Glenstone Museum Gifts Katharina Fritssch Rooster Sculpture to National Gallery

  • In a move of regional collegiality, a sculpture of a bright blue rooster by artist Katharina Fritsch has now entered the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where it has been on view on the museum's east building roof terrace.
  • Glenstone, the private museum in nearby Potomac, Maryland, founded by ARTnews Top 200 Collectors Emily and Mitchell Rales, had offered the 14-foot-tall work Hahn/Cock (2013) as a long-term loan to the NGA since 2016, and ultimately decided to gift it to the D.C. institution.
  • As per reports, the work was given "in honour of the resilience of the American people during the COVID-19 pandemic." The sculpture is being illuminated on a nightly basis during the museum's temporary closure of its east and west buildings, harkening back to its illumination in April 2020 as part of a campaign to recognize essential workers.
  • Fritsch created Hahn/Cock for the "Fourth Plinth" public art series in London's Trafalgar Square in 2013. Using 3-D printing, the artist modeled the monumental sculpture after a taxidermy rooster.
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