Category Archives: Lifestyle

Tourists caught in Yellow Vests protests

Yellow Vests movement causes the whole spectrum of reactions from the tourists: it fascinates, and even enchants some of them, coming as usual from all over the world to admire French capital, it scares the other, making them flee. Although an element of fear is strongly present, it is also a keen interest in life of contemporary France winning over the other considerations. For many visitors France lives up to its glorious past, reminiscent of great slogans of 1789 Revolution  LibertéÉgalitéFraternité” – Liberty, Equality, Brotherhood. For majority of foreigners the Yellow Vests (#GiletsJaunes) are emblematic of French national traditions of centuries long struggle for ideals of harmonious inclusive society.

However the consular services of many countries are less enthusiastic about Yellow Vests, and are definitely not in the mood to romanticise their movement. They issued the warnings to their nationals to avoid crowds, and follow police alerts, while perambulating in popular touristic sites.

The demonstrations are taking place on Saturdays, allowing life to flow uninterrupted during the week; however it is clear that in Paris there is no “business as usual“, and there is a lot of electricity in the air. They talk about ‘divorce‘ between President Macron, and French people.

However on December 10th, 2018 – The US State Department updated a Level 2 Travel Advisory: ‘Exercise Increased Caution’, due to terrorism for Paris, France, on December 6, 2018.

Additionally, the US Embassy in Paris, France issued an Alert regarding the Gilets Jaunes demonstrations, which said ‘these events may continue through the coming weeks.’

Some resort to irony in attempt to come on terms with the extraordinary experience: “I took typical tourist photos during my fist visit to Paris” writes Lonut Lordachescu in his Twitter micro blog. The others move on and make the best out of the booked travel: “Lovely out day” tweets a tourist depicted in a selfie with the Eiffel Tour.

The ‘big spenders’ lament the missing chance of a good shopping spree in Paris on Xmas, but life is not about shopping only,  is it?..

 

 

Artemidorus papyrus €2.75 million fraud

Artemidorus papyrus, papers that were considered of an extraordinary value after being attributed to ancient Greek geographer Artemidorus of Ephesus, is a forgery, according to research compiled in an investigation by Turin prosecutors, ANSA news agency sources said. The probe was into alleged fraud by Serop Simonian, who in 2004 managed to sell the piece to the €2.75 million  to the Compagnia San Paolo Art Foundation.
The large-scale fraud, however, will remain unpunished.
The prosecutors have requested the case be archived as the statute of limitations has expired.

Artemidorus papyrus (1st century CE) has been considered as an extraordinary document for many reasons. It consists in a ca. 2.5 m long piece of papyrus on which five columns of text appear, accompanied by the outline of a map –the only Greek map preserved on papyrus–, and two different sets of designs: a series of anatomical sketches and a collection of 41 animal figures with inscriptions informing about their names. The overlap of part of the text with a fragment of Artemidorus of Ephesus’ Geography (2nd century BCE) known through indirect tradition led scholars to identify the text on the papyrus, or at least part of it, as coming from Artemidorus and to call the whole piece as “Artemidorus papyrus”. Since 2006 the papyrus has been involved in a bitter polemic on its authenticity.

 

 

 

Gilbert & George as Guests of Honour at Brussels Fine Art Fair

Brussels Fine Art Fair (BRAFA) will welcome Gilbert & George as Guest of Honour of its upcoming edition at Tour & Taxis in Brussels, 26 January – 3 February 2019.

 
In the half century that they have lived and created art together as Living Sculptures, embarked on a visionary journey through the modern world, always together and always alone, Gilbert & George have created fiercely singular Anti-Art that is poetic, primal and emotionally driven.

At BRAFA 2019, they will present five large-scale pictures that will be placed at various spots throughout the fair. Personally selected by Gilbert & George, there are from the recent series ‘JACK FREAK PICTURES’ (2008), ‘LONDON PICTURES’ (2010), ‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES’ (2013) and ‘BEARD PICTURES’ (2016). Their quirky vision of the world is sure to be a hit in the land of surrealism!

With the support of Galerie Albert Baronian.

Venice assesses water damages

Venice Governor Luca Zaia reports billion euro damages the storms and floods have caused to one of the most famous touristic sites in the world.
The similar problems accrued in Liguria region, where hundreds of yachts were smashed into pieces at Rapallo marina harbor. However today the majority of museums reopened.

A several times during winter strong winds move water from the Adriatic Sea into the Venetian Lagoon, causing high tides and minor but widespread flooding across the historic site, however this time the water levels were extraordinary high.

So far half a million euro was dispatched as relief fund in Tuscany.

The experts of the Ministry of culture started to assess the presumed damage to the mosaic 12th century flooring of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice, submerged by an unusually high ‘acqua alta’ – the floods were the most damaging in a decade.

San Marco floor

 

Venice resists mass tourism

In Italy, Venice have already banned actions such as laying on benches or eating in the streets, however more regulations are on the way recommended by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), offering  to consider around  70 structural measures to harness tourists overflow.

It is hoped that a system of measures will control mass tourism and attract less rowdy visitors in a attempt to set a sustainable roadmap for urban tourism and place it in a wider urban agenda, also ensuring that local communities benefit from the positive aspects of arrivals.

Venice local communities welcome flows of tourists, but not overflow, causing noise and discomfort. The continuous public protests are providing reasons to create ways to preserve the quality of life in popular destinations without sacrificing tourism development, promotion and competitiveness.

As mega trends, such as globalization, urbanization, demographic shifts, rising middle-class and affluence come together with technological innovations, the effects of over-tourism will continue to impact local populations of the most spectacular sites.

The hunger for travel and the emergence of new tourism destinations have been met with a new ease and affordability supported by low-cost carriers and the recent emergence of home-sharing platforms.

One should not underestimate the challenge for the touristic industry, reducing it to a simple adjustment of pricing to balance supply and demand. While  straightforward increasing the costs of visiting a destination or site is likely to limit the number of visitors, but it also raises considerations of elitism and the ability of domestic tourists to access their own heritage.

 

Homer times shipwreck discovery

Probably the oldest shipwreck in the world ever found by man it is lying on the seabed of the Black Sea for 2400 years, practically intact off Bulgarian coast.

A 23 meters long vessel, used for trade and originally from classical Greece has been discovered by a team of archaeologists led by the British Joe Adams in the framework of a fascinating submarine research program called Black Sea Maritime Archeology Project.

The shipwreck is located at about 2000 meters below sea level – and for the time being intended to remain there -, is complete with tree, rudder and posts for the rowers. And its exceptional state of conservation is due to the conditions of lack of oxygen at that depth, as well as to the particular habitat of a closed and prehistoric basin such as the Black Sea.

A surviving shipwreck intact from the classical era, at 2 km of depth, it’s something I never thought possible to see,” Professor Adams told. “This is a discovery that will change our knowledge and our compression of shipbuilding and maritime activities in the ancient world“, he added.

A carbon 14 test was also carried out by researchers from the UK University of Southampton who were able to analyze small pieces of the wreck delivered to the surface. And this examination also confirmed the estimated age of about 2400 years.

The shipwreck is believed to represent the vessel of Ulysses at the time of the meeting with the Sirens narrated poetically by Homer in the Odyssey. However, Adams has confirmed that his ‘ship of Ulysses‘ will not see the light for now.

The team said their findings varied in age from a “17th-century Cossack raiding fleet, through Roman trading vessels, complete with amphorae, to a complete ship from the classical period”.

Leonardo’s squint eyes hypothesis

Leonardo da Vinci may have had a squint, according to a new research by a British art historian.
A study by Dr.Christopher W. Tyler of the University of London, argues that Leonardo may have had a form of strabismus, with a tendency for one eye to turn outward.
The hypothesis claims this may have actually been an advantage for artistic purposes and contributed to the depth of his works.

That’s the new Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in Florence next month is so special mainly because 2019 will be the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death. A true “Renaissance man”, Leonardo’s interests varied from painting to engineering, and his studies gave birth to several modern practices like palaeontology and architecture.

The Uffizi Gallery is then getting a head start on celebrations with its new exhibition, titled Water, nature’s microscope— The Codex Leicester and Leonardo da Vinci, which will display many works and studies of the “Universal Genius”.

30/10/2018 – 20/01/2019 “Il Codice Leicester di Leonardo da Vinci. L’Acqua Microscopio della Natura”

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