The Daily: Vatican wishes JK Rowling's new novel was more magical
Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Daily: November 14

Written by Catriona Grew
BBC marks 90th anniversary
The BBC is preparing to celebrate the 90th anniversary of its first ever broadcast by playing a piece composed by Damon Albarn (frontman of ‘Blur’ and the brains behind the animated band ‘Gorillaz’) on every one of its channels simultaneously this afternoon. Albarn’s composition, entitled 2LO Calling, is a three minute audio collage that takes its name from the 2LO transmitter which made the first BBC broadcast on November 14th 1922. The Science Museum is also lending its support with a display featuring part of the original device. The broadcast is set to air on at least 55 BBC stations at 5.33pm today (if a manager can be found to sanction it on time) and it is estimated that the number of listeners could reach 80 million.

New book of artists’ interpretations of the London Underground logo
‘The Roundel: 100 Artists Remake a London Icon’ is a new compilation of one hundred international artists’ interpretations of the familiar sign for the underground. Fisherbone’s entry puts the roundel to especially good use: he uses it to clad a 2008 Royal Academy poster of Lucas Chranach’s Venus - who was initially outlawed from the underground on account of her raciness - in a more suitably modest bikini, which has now enabled her return. On the opposite page, Rose Finn-Felcy stamps the roundel through a stack of toast. Inventive, original and mischievous, the collection prompts us to look at London with fresh eyes and renewed affection.

The Vatican wishes Rowling’s new novel was more magical
Although the Holy See’s official newspaper Vatican L’Osservatore gave ‘Skyfall’ an emphatic thumbs-up – headlines in the wake of the premiere read ‘007: License to Cry’, and commended the psychological realism behind the latest incarnation of Bond – the paper’s review of Rowling’s ‘A Casual Vacancy’ were frosty. “There’s something missing”, it wrote, and suggested that the Harry Potter author’s unconvincing narrative in her new novel could have been remedied with ‘a sprinkle of magic’. However, the paper maintains that it has only respect for Rowling’s considerable donations to charity, and her personal resilience ‘through wretched times’.

Spanish photographer wins the Taylor-Wessing Prize
Jordi Ruiz Cirera, a London-based Spanish photographer, has won the Taylor-Wessing portrait prize for his image of a 26 year-old camera shy Bolivian woman seated at a wooden table. The photograph was felt to deserve the £12,000 prize on account of its sensitive depiction of a representative of a community for whom photographs are widely distrusted. Cirera’s subject is a Mennonite, for whom images are forbidden and believed to be a form of graven image. Cirera gradually won the trust of the residents of several colonies located south of Santa Cruz in order to take this shot; “her awkward expression says a lot about the tradition, isolation and lifestyle of this community," he says.

Diamond breaks record at Christie’s auction
An internally flawless stone the size of a strawberry was sold at an auction in Geneva on Tuesday night for a record £13.5 million, Christie’s has confirmed. The 76 carat stone originated in India’s Golconda mine and was once owned by Archduke Joseph August of Austria (1872-1962), a prince of the Hungarian line of the Habsburgs. Francois Curiel, director of the international jewellery department at Christie’s, described the sale as “flabbergasting – particularly given that the market is not on the best form at the moment”. The diamond fetched more than double the price paid for it at an auction twenty years ago. The diamond was sold by American jeweller Black, Starr & Frost, and bought by an anonymous buyer; however, the stone is reportedly destined for a museum.


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