Sonia is the heart and the artist of the team. She loves art and all that it implies. As Sonia says, good music, a well directed movie, or attending a music or film festival melts people’s heart and make them better. She is great at painting and photography. Working on scrapbooks is her favorite activity.
Puerto Rican stars Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee have lashed out against Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro, accusing him of using their song, global hit Despacito, for political gains.
President Nicolas Maduro presented an altered version of the song during his weekly TV show on July 23.
The reworked lyrics promoted Nicolas Maduro’s plans for a controversial new citizen’s assembly, which will be elected on July 30 to rewrite the constitution.
The singers branded it an outrage.
Nicolas Maduro was seen clapping along to the remix, as his audience danced.
“Our call to the <Constituent Assembly> only seeks to unite the country … Despacito!” go the new lyrics.
Luis Fonsi responded angrily on social media: “At no point was I asked, nor did I authorize, the use or the change in lyrics of Despacito for political means, and much less so in the middle of the deplorable situation experienced by Venezuela, a country I love so much.
“My music is for all those who want to listen to it and enjoy it, not to be used as propaganda that tries to manipulate the will of a people who are crying out for their freedom.”
Image source YouTube
Daddy Yankee posted a picture of President Maduro with a large red cross over it on Instagram and wrote: “That you illegally appropriate a song [Despacito] does not compare with the crimes you commit and have committed in Venezuela.
“Your dictatorial regime is a joke, not only for my Venezuelan brothers, but for the entire world.”
Despacito translates as “slowly”, referring to the speed of the lead singer’s seduction technique.
However, the Venezuelan version strips back the lyrics.
Instead, the new chorus runs: “Slowly, take your vote rather than weapons, and express your ideas. Always in peace and calm.”
Introducing the new take to an audience of supporters, Nicolas Maduro said a creative group had reworked it and he wanted to put it to the test.
“What do you think, eh?” the president asked the crowd.
Ben Affleck also addressed reports that Warner Bros was working on plans to “usher out” his Batman gracefully as he is getting too old.
“I still can’t believe that after two films [Warner Bros bosses] Kevin Tsujihara, Sue Kroll and Toby Emmerich have said, <We want you to be our Batman> – and I believe them.”
Regarding War for the Planet of the Apes director Matt Reeves taking over his directing role and starting afresh with scripting, Ben Affleck said: “I would be an ape on the ground for Matt Reeves, never mind Batman.
“It’s a great time in the DC universe, so you can see why I am so excited to be Batman.”
The Warner Bros panel also featured a new Justice League trailer and confirmed that Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman would be getting a sequel.
It’s unsurprising as Patty Jenkins’ movie is the biggest of the summer, taking $386 million so far in the US and $771 million around the world.
It is also the third highest-grossing Warner Bros movie ever, behind The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises – and the highest-grossing live action movie by a female director.
Warner Bros also confirmed it intends to make a standalone Batgirl movie and a new Green Lantern movie.
Salvador Dalí, who died in 1989 at the age of 85, was buried in a crypt in a museum dedicated to his life and work in Figueres, in north-eastern Spain.
A crowd gathered outside the museum to watch as police escorted the experts into the building on July 20.
The exhumation went ahead despite the objections of the local authorities and the foundation carrying Salvador Dalí’s name, both of which claimed that not enough notice had been given ahead of the exhumation.
María Pilar Abel Martínez, a tarot card reader who was born in 1956, says her mother had an affair with Salvador Dalí during the year before her birth. Her mother, Antonia, had worked for a family that spent time in Cadaqués, near the painter’s home.
Last month a Madrid judge ordered the exhumation to settle the claim. It is contested by the Dalí foundation, which manages the estate of the painter, who was not believed to have had any children.
María Pilar Abel Martínez’s action is against the Spanish state, to which Salvador Dalí left his estate.
She says her mother and paternal grandmother both told her at an early age that Salvador Dalí was her real father.
However, the claim has surprised many, including Ian Gibson, an Irish-born biographer of Salvador Dalí, who said that the notion of the artist having an affair that produced a child was “absolutely impossible”.
“Dalí always boasted: <I’m impotent, you’ve got to be impotent to be a great painter>,” Ian Gibson said.
Luis Fonsi, 39, said the global success of his song – which has reached No 1 in more than 45 countries – gave him hope in the current political climate.
“I come from Puerto Rico and I live in Miami. We’re living in an interesting time right now when people want to divide us. They want to build walls.
“And for a song to bring people and cultures together, that’s what makes me proud.”
Despacito is a sun-bleached slice of sensual reggaeton. The title translates as “slowly”, referring to the speed of Luis Fonsi’s seduction technique.
The song hit No 1 around Latin America when it was released in January, but only caught fire in the English-speaking world after Justin Bieber heard the song in a nightclub and asked to add a verse.
Justin Bieber’s version of the song – known as Despacito (Remix) – has become a phenomenon on streaming services, most notably Spotify and Apple Music. It is already the fourth most-played video of all time on YouTube, where it is rapidly closing in on the top three, all of which are years old.
German police have raided homes and made arrests in Berlin over an audacious night-time heist which saw the Big Maple Leaf solid-gold coin stolen from the Bode Museum.
The raids took place and a car was seized in the district of Neukolln, German news agency DPA reports.
The suspected robbers are believed to have used a ladder to get into the museum and a wheelbarrow to carry the 21in-coin away in March.
Last week, police released CCTV footage of suspects at a local train station.
The Canadian “Big Maple Leaf” is made of 220lb of pure 24-carat gold – which means it is worth about $4.2 million, despite a lower nominal face value.
The giant coin has not been found and investigators say they believe it may have been melted down and sold.
They are said to be at a loss as to how the thieves broke bullet-proof glass inside the building and evaded burglar alarms.
As well as making the arrests on July 12, police seized a car where a balaclava and knife were found.
Sources inside the investigation say the suspects come from a “large Arab family” with alleged links to organized crime.
The Big Maple Leaf coin was minted by the Royal Canadian Mint in 2007, and certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest gold coin. Five coins were made at the time.
The giant coin is 3cm (1.18in) thick, 53cm in diameter, and with likeness of Queen Elizabeth II on one side, as Canada’s head of state. The other side shows the Canadian national symbol, the maple leaf.
Canadian Mint says: “Why did the Royal Canadian Mint make the world’s purest and largest gold bullion coin? Because we can.”
The giant coin was held in a coin cabinet at the Bode Museum as one of more than 540,000 objects, but German media report only the “Big Maple Leaf” was stolen.
Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s See You Again, a heart-wrenching ballad, has now been streamed 2,897,632,968 times; beating Psy’s current count of 2,895,111,556 views.
Adding it up, that means See You Again has been streamed for a total of 21,759 years. If one person was to listen to each of those streams consecutively, they’d have to have started during the glacial peak of the last Ice Age.
Image source YouTube
Charlie Puth wrote on Twitter: “I joined YouTube in 2007 hoping to make a video that would reach 10,000 views.
“Just heard about See You Again… Wow.”
See You Again was written for Furious 7, playing over the closing credits in tribute to Paul Walker, who died in a car accident before the movie was completed.
It was the best-selling song worldwide in 2015, and received best song nominations at both the Grammys and the Oscars.
The music video features the final scene of Furious 7, in which the two main characters Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and Brian O’Conner (Cody Walker, filling in for his brother, Paul), drive side-by-side, sharing a smile for the last time before they pull onto separate roads and drive into the sunset.
As the camera pans up into the sky, a title card reads “For Paul” and the video ends.
The video reached 1 billion views in six months, and hit 2 billion in September 2016. However, its reign as YouTube’s most-watched clip may be short-lived.
Luis Fonsi’s summer smash Despacito has racked up 2.5 billion views in just six months, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Meanwhile, 47 of the top 50 clips on YouTube are music videos, proving the importance of the streaming site to the music industry – despite the fact the two sides are locked in a battle over royalty payments.
According to analysis by Midia Research, every stream on YouTube generates $0.001 for the music industry.
That means Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s See You Again has earned $2.9 million from YouTube – roughly the same amount it has made from 665 million plays on Spotify.
Nelsan Ellis, best known for starring Lafayette Reynolds in the popular HBO series True Blood, has died at the age of 39, his manager confirmed.
The actor died after complications from heart failure.
“He was a great talent, and his words and presence will be forever missed,” his manager Emily Gerson Saines told the Hollywood Reporter.
Nelsan Ellis appeared in True Blood from 2008 until the series ended in 2014.
Image source Wikimedia
HBO said in a statement on July 8: “We were extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Nelsan Ellis.
“Nelsan was a long-time member of the HBO family whose groundbreaking portrayal of Lafayette will be remembered fondly.”
Nelsan Ellis appeared regularly throughout the series of True Blood after first appearing as the cook at a local restaurant in 2008. He played the role of Lafayette Reynolds, a charismatic gay medium who was able to contact ghosts.
The actor also featured alongside Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer in the film adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel The Help in 2011.
Nelsan Ellis is survived by his grandmother Alex Brown, his father Tommie Lee Thompson and his son Breon, along with seven siblings.
Is that beautiful “original” hanging in your living room authentic?
According to Columbia Law School, some experts estimate that as many as 40% of artwork sales involve forgeries. Statistically, there’s a two-in-five chance that your “original” is actually a fake.
Forgeries are more common than most art buyers realize, say art collectors and experts. Regardless of the artwork’s origin, purported provenance, or cost, you need to ascertain its authenticity.
That process begins with a credible authenticator. You’ll want to ask that person some questions:
1. Do You Use Authentication Software?
Art authentication isn’t solely about intuition. Modern authenticators increasingly use sophisticated, algorithm-driven software “trained” to detect inconsistencies, variations, or flaws that suggest foul play. Eric Postma, a professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, shared his cutting-edge software with PBS NOVA back in 2008. His proudest achievement: ferreting out the famed Wacker forgery, one of history’s most vexing.
2. What Other Methods Do You Use?
Algorithmic software is just one of many technological tools in an authenticator’s belt. Reputable authenticators like the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR) use “X-radiography, infrared reflectography, pigment or media testing, fiber analysis,” and other techniques. A bigger toolbelt is usually better.
3. Can You Authenticate Any Artist’s Work?
Some authenticators focus on a relative handful of prominent artists or discrete periods of art history. Others are more versatile. If you’re in possession of an obscure but potentially valuable work, you’ll need to do your due diligence to find someone capable of accurate authentication.
4. Will You Alter the Work in Any Way?
It goes without saying that your work is worth more intact than altered, regardless of its true origins. Before signing an authentication contract, confirm with the authenticator that they won’t damage or alter the work in any way. Some single-artist foundations are known to stamp purported forgeries, denying their owners the right to second opinions.
5. Is an Original Necessarily Authentic?
Can an original be inauthentic?
When a work is genuine — actually created by he or she who claimed to create it — it’s by definition an original. But that doesn’t mean it’s meant for prime time. Every great artist has a “B-roll” of sketches, drafts, larks, and the like. When they pass on, opportunistic relatives or estate managers often try to sell them off, contrary to their likely intent. It’s important to know when you’re in possession of a “work” that was never supposed to see the light of day.
6. How Much Do You Charge?
This isn’t a very creative question, but he answer is important to know up front. Many authenticators charge non-refundable deposits simply for agreeing to consider the work. Once the piece is accepted for authentication, there’s likely to be another charge — possibly refundable and held in escrow, possibly not. During authentication, the authenticator may incur additional expenses, depending on the techniques used or the amount of research required; these are typically passed on to the owner or agent. Final payment is due after issuance of an official report, regardless of its findings.
Modernism stemmed from the Industrial revolution, a time where rapid changes to the landscape at the hands of manufacturing, transportation and changes to the urban landscape as city centres began to prosper. Before this time artists were commissioned to produce art depicting scenes from the bible or mythology; but as the landscape changed there was new inspiration and artists begun to take influence from their surroundings. This was perceived as a reaction from the past and this style of art was centred around innovation, experimentation and the embracing of new materials and colour, to create artwork reflective of the time.
Modernism reflected changes in society, the experimentation of colour and lines and a tendency towards abstract depiction is reminiscent in the works of Antoni Gaudi, scattered throughout Barcelona.
At the end of the 19th century, Barcelona was beginning to transform and its’ culture was transforming, in Barcelona, the urban landscape was developing and there was a significant increase in the quantity of buildings being developed. The return of the ‘los indianos’, Spaniards that were returning home with their fortunes and the modern lifestyle influences from Latin America, who were keen to bring around changes.
Barcelona’s economic prosperity and the rise of the bourgeoisie was clearly evident. The Passeig de Gracia is a road that unites the old and new town and this is the destination that depicts so much of the work Antoni Gaudi. This area became a desirable location for the Catalan middle classes to spend their time and money in the abundance of luxury shops. The wealthiest members of society wanted to build their houses as demonstration of their wealth.
Josep Batllo was a wealthy textile business owner, he bought a bland and dreary building and enlisted the services of Antoni Gaudi to transform the building into something more prominent and bold, the result created one of the most iconic buildings of the modernism movement. This movement is credited with development of Barcelona. The development of the building known as Casa Battlo in the Passeig de Gracia is a celebration of Gaudi and he is credited as one of the most dynamic of this movement.
Caso Battlo embodies typical modernist and Gaudi style. Modernist architecture is characterised by the use of curved lines, merging the functional and the aesthetic of a building, the use of plant and animal symbols, asymmetry and a more organic style and shape. Modernism embraces the use of colour and the use of new materials incorporated with existing is typical of this style.
Caso Battlo, has a fantastical and imaginative façade with the use of glass and stone, wavy lines and covered in a rainbow of cleared mosaics in colours of the sea and sand made from glass and ceramics. The roof is shaped like the back of large scaled animal, often likened to a dragon, the ornamental spine forms the top of the building. The main gallery overlooks passersby on the Passeig de Gracia and a full panorama of the outside view is possible running the whole width of the room. The interior pillars are decorated with modernist floral designs. Balconies adorn the exterior projecting outward over the pavement. Much like Gaudi’s work Caso Batllo is an organic and colourful representation of the time, a representation of a creature adorning the pavement.
Michael Nyqvist has died at the age 56, his family has announced.
The Swedish actor was best known for starring in the movie adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Michael Nyqvist played journalist Mikael Blomkvist in that movie and its sequels, which formed the Millennium trilogy.
He died on June 27 after suffering from lung cancer for a year, according to a family statement.
Michael Nyqvist’s love of the arts was “felt by all who had the pleasure of working with him”, the family added.
“Michael’s joy and passion were infectious to those who knew and loved him,” the actor’s family said.
“His charm and charisma were undeniable.”
They said Michael Nyqvist had left a “huge void behind him”, local media report.
Image source Wikipedia
The actor’s death was announced “with deep sadness” by a family representative who said that “one of Sweden’s most respected and accomplished actors” had “passed away quietly surrounded by family”.
The popular actor and writer began his training at the Malmö Theatre Academy in Sweden.
He was best known for his role in Dragon Tattoo (2009), starring as the investigative reporter who teams up with feisty computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, played by Noomi Rapace.
In a subsequent American version of the movie, his role was performed by James Bond actor Daniel Craig.
Michael Nyqvist later appeared in a number of Hollywood blockbusters. He played the villain alongside Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and starred as Viggo Tarasov in John Wick with Keanu Reeves.
He went on to star in the 2015 movie Colonia, opposite Daniel Brühl and Emma Watson.
Michael Nyqvist also wrote an acclaimed memoir, Just After Dreaming, published in 2010, about his earliest childhood memories following adoption and how he later traced his biological parents.
Michael Nyqvist is survived by his wife, Catharina Ehrnrooth, and their children, Ellen and Arthur.
Stieg Larsson himself died in 2004, a year before the first of his Millennium trilogy crime novels was published.
Europe has a lot to offer travellers, whether you’re going on a month long inter-rail tour or for a weekend away. Every city has something unique to experience, from culture to landscapes, so we’ve shortlisted the five best to visit this summer. Before you travel make sure you are protected against any health costs by filling out your EHIC Application Form.
Amsterdam offers a mix of historical culture (a visit to the famous Anne Frank house is essential) and diverse nightlife. There are over 300 festivals every year and most of these take place in the summer. There is sure to be something happening every weekend, from dance music to food and beer festivals. Although it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a trip to Amsterdam, there are beaches just half an hour outside of the city by train. Alternatively, you can spend the day exploring along the canals by bike, which is the most popular mode of transport in the city.
Night view of The Széchenyi Chain Bridge from Buda Castle in Budapest, Hungary
Budapest is great for travellers on a budget, with food, drink and accommodation being inexpensive. The picturesque city is a great place to soak up the sun, with plenty of parks to explore and its famous thermal baths to relax in. A river cruise on the Danube is the perfect way to spend a day seeing all the sights, including the Royal Palace and Buda Castle.
A collage of Venice: at the top left is the Piazza San Marco, followed by a view of the city, then the Grand Canal, and (smaller) the interior of La Fenice and, finally, the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
The canals of Venice have long been a favourite of travellers in Europe. Although the summer months may be the busiest, it is the best time to explore the waterways by gondola or water taxi. You’re never far from a secluded spot or a hidden pathway in the historic city. A highlight in the summer is stopping to enjoy some gelato in the scenic Saint Mark’s Square.
Courtyard of the Museum of Louvre, and its pyramid.
The city of culture may be an all-year-round attraction but the summer months are the best time to explore. Not only can you experience the clearest view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, you can also enjoy the park beneath it. Although it is worth arriving early in the morning to avoid long queues and make the most of your day! A cruise on the river Seine will take you through the heart of the city with its distinct architecture. Alfresco dining in Paris is unmissable, so plan to visit between July-August.
Bikini-Haus, Berlin. In the background: Gedaechtniskirche, Upper West and Zoofenster
Berlin comes alive in the summer, people can be found eating and drinking in bars and restaurants outside all day. The historical sites such as Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall are a great way to spend a sunny day. Afterwards, you can unwind in one of the many beautiful parks around the city. Day trips are easily accessible from the city if you’re looking to get the most out of your visit, Potsdam is just half an hour away and is home to Schloss Sanssouci the largest World Heritage Site in Germany.
First-time visitors start planning their trip to “The Big Apple” from a kind of confusion, the feeling perfectly described by PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke as “this mess we’re in”. The city is huge, full of all kinds of things from tempting to scary. Where to even start when you are here for the first time?
It’s no use sorting the locations by rating or distance. Let’s start from something simpler, like basic emotions and conditions. In this short guide, the most popular tourist spots of the city are sorted by the mood they evoke.
1. Relaxing places
Just arrived from another city nearby? Recovering from a terrible jetlag caused by one of those Kiev New York cheap flights; then, opt for something like the High Line or Central Park. Located 8 ft below the surface of the city, this is a perfect place to take long quiet walks amid beautifully designed gardens. No noise, no fees at all. Another good choice is a running path by the ocean, like the one on the West Side Highway.
2. Extrovert’s heaven
Start missing people? Hurry up to the Times Square, crowded as ever. The place is your best shot for experiencing the mix of shiny billboards, sounds, and conversations. You will find many places to sit, stop with children, even watch broadcasted TV programmes. Also, take a subway ride, even if you didn’t plan it. No jokes, traveling underground is initial part of the so-called “real NY” tours. If you’re fond of nightlife and dancing, try Output, C’mon Everybody and the like.
3. Places to know more
Don’t miss such destinations of intellectuals as Guggenheim museum, MoMA, and The Metropolitan Museaum of Art. All these locations need quite a lot of attention and energy; this is a plan for no less than a day or two. If you’re interested in history, pay a visit to the September, 11 Memorial or the museum of the NYC history.
4. Weird places
Everybody loves feeling entertained, but how about feeling funny or weird? Here is just a couple of the places to go with this twist of mood. The first is Dream House, a neon-walled media installation that responds to every move you make with sound and visuals. The second is Obscura Store in East Village, full of skeletons and medical instruments, often creepy and old-fashioned.
By speaking about not-to-miss places, most people mean iconic objects which you have seen a hundred times, but only online. It’s time to explore how they feel (and, let’s just admit it, take selfies). Take a tour to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, enjoy the view from Empire State Building, cross the Brooklyn Bridge, enjoy the brightness of Coney Island — opportunities are endless.
Barry Gibb has revealed a man tried to molest him when he was a child, saying the memory was still “vivid”.
The Bee Gees star told Radio Times he had “never said this before”, adding: “Should I be saying it now?”
He explained: “A man tried to molest me when I was about four-years-old.
“He didn’t touch me, but other things happened and happened to other kids. And eventually they came and arrested him, and woke me up during the night.”
The singer added: “Four years old and a policeman on your bed at four in the morning interviewing you. If that doesn’t teach you about life, nothing does. But it’s vivid for me still. I’ve never told anyone.”
Image source Flickr
Barry Gibb was living with his family in the Isle of Man at the time.
He was speaking ahead of his performance on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury on June 25, 16:00 local time.
Barry Gibb is following in the footsteps of the likes of Johnny Cash, James Brown and Dolly Parton in the legends slot.
In 2016, Barry Gibb joined Coldplay, who were headlining Sunday night, performing renditions of To Love Somebody and Stayin’ Alive.