George Ortiz was one of the great contemporary collectors. He came to public attention in 1994, when the Royal Academy showed his breathtaking collection of antiquities. Not all were impressed: Lord Renfrew criticised the show, talking of “the large-scale looting which is the ultimate source of so much of what he is able to exhibit.” This stung, because Ortiz’s collecting was guided by the concept of André Malraux’s Musée Imaginaire, where objects could be viewed without the preconceptions that grouped them by country and period – contrary to the traditional practice of curators and art historians.
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Saturday 30 April 2011
Monday 25 April 2011
Truffles sparkling with gold leaf and £60,000 bottles of champagne are some of the treats awaiting the foreign royalty who descend on London for this week's wedding, as the capital's five-star hotels, exclusive restaurants and luxury services industry – which includes everyone from chauffeurs to shopping chaperones – prepares for perhaps its richest single influx of customers ever.
Sunday 24 April 2011
Saturday 23 April 2011
Saturday 16 April 2011
Our greenhouse, now just over a year old, evolved from a shed that was already in place, so its dimensions (roughly 4m wide by 2.65m long) were pre-determined. To a great extent, so was its function. I wanted to grow a nectarine on the solid back wall, which faces west. And I've got more and more interested in growing plants in pots to bring into the house. But until the arrival of the greenhouse, I was hampered by having few places to keep them while they were revving up for their performance. Fortunately, the south facing side of the new space has proved to be an ideal place in which to bring them on.
Wastwater, Royal Court Downstairs, London<br/>Terminus, Young Vic Maria, London<br/>Hotel Confessions, Bermondsey Square Hotel, London
Sunday 10 April 2011
Saturday 09 April 2011
Stepping into one of Istanbul's hammams is like parting steamy curtains on to ancient Asia Minor. Visitors bake on marble slabs, sweating out life's impurities; attendants massage, pummel and buff; bathers emerge baby soft and squeaky clean.
Sunday 03 April 2011
Wednesday 23 March 2011
Thursday 17 March 2011
Mike Leigh has broken the habit of a lifetime and returned to direct one of his stage plays for the second time. You can see why he has been reluctant hitherto. Given the improvisatory techniques and the exhaustive research into character that goes into the creation of a Mike Leigh piece, the original actors might be said to "own" the material in a deeper sense than is normally meant by the term. How could you hope to re-create in rehearsal that intimate sense of mutual discovery with actors coming to the finished product cold?
Tuesday 15 March 2011
the chief executive of London 2012, Paul Deighton, admits that the Olympic Park may look like "a building site" right up to the opening ceremony, but insists there will be no skin-of-the-teeth finish such as Athens experienced in 2004.
Wednesday 02 March 2011
No one knows quite why American soldiers were once known as "doughboys". But Frank Buckles was indisputably the very last of them – the sole American still alive who went to Europe to fight in the First World War, after the US entered the conflict in 1917.
Tuesday 22 February 2011
They’ve called this unprecedented five-day residency “The London Concerts” and having already shown off the youthful core of players at the heart of this venerable and venerated orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra duly expanded from chamber to symphonic proportions and crossed the river from the Southbank to the Barbican for what was by any standards a wondrous display of high-end artistry.
Thursday 17 February 2011
"I'm Cardiff born and I'm Cardiff bred, and when I dies I'll be Cardiff dead." Although Stewart Williams died a few miles outside the city's boundaries, Frank Hennessy's song always brings him to mind. For the publisher and local historian who devoted his energies, and in the early days a lot of his own money, to recording Cardiff's growth from sleepy fishing village to the largest coal-exporting port in the world and then, in our own time, to administrative capital of Wales, was a proud Cardiffian.
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