Talking up a pounds 2mstorm in the name of art

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The Independent Online
When is a deadline not a deadline? When it is in the persuasive vocabulary of Mr Tim Clifford, director of the National Galleries of Scotland.

Mr Clifford has won his campaign to keep Guercino's 17th-century painting, Erminia Finding the Wounded Tancred, from going to the Getty Museum in California. But the dramatic midnight deadline on Thursday to raise the pounds 2.04m to keep it in Scotland was actually dramatic licence on the part of Mr Clifford. He knew that an anonymous benefactor had pledged to make up the difference if the appeal failed to raise the cash. Mr Clifford just wanted public donations to continue so the outstanding amount would be as low as possible.

I suppose being economical with the truth is permissible in the name of art. If you disagree, ring Mr Tim Clifford ... after midnight.

The success of Independence Day as a special-effects science-fiction blockbuster is a little unnerving for its star, Jeff Goldblum. "We thought it was a comedy," says Goldblum. "The script was very funny." The special effects were added later, and amazed the cast as much as the audiences. The actors' bank managers can live with it, though.

Here's one for theatrical trivia quizzes. Who is the only female performer to have won all four of the biggest show business awards - Oscar, Tony, Grammy and Emmy?

The answer is Rita Moreno, the American star who played Anita in the film of West Side Story. The 64-year-old actress/singer is taking over the role of Norma Desmond in Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard on the London stage for eight weeks from 9 September while the present incumbent Petula Clark is on holiday. The holiday relief could prove the most interesting of Sir Andrew's many Normas.