New York, Nov 16 (AP/UNB) — The Statue of Liberty's original torch, which has been housed in the base of the statue since a replica replaced it in the 1980s, was moved across Liberty Island on Thursday to its new home in a museum that will open next year.
Visitors watched as the base and the detached flame of the 3,600-pound (1,633-kilogram) torch were trucked slowly and carefully to the museum construction site about 100 yards (91 meters) from the statue.
Officials with the National Park Service and the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation said the torch was removed in 1984 because it was too badly damaged to restore.
"Taking it down was very frightening," said Stephen Briganti, president and CEO of the foundation. "We had the largest freestanding scaffolding that at that point had ever been built."
Thursday's brief trip to the museum site was the latest chapter for an icon that "has crossed many miles in its lifetime," Briganti said.
The torch left France in 1876 for the United States, where it was exhibited at the Centennial celebration in Philadelphia and then in New York City's Madison Square Park. The trip was intended to raise funds to pay for the statue's pedestal, Briganti said.
It went back to Paris in 1882, then returned to the New York Harbor along with other crated pieces of the statue in 1885.
The torch was held high by Lady Liberty from 1886 to 1984, but modifications to the flame changed its original design over the years.
The flame resembled a stained-glass sculpture lying on its specially designed flatbed truck. That's because the sculptor Gutzon Borglum, who also designed Mount Rushmore, "put all the holes in it with amber glass" during a 1916 redesign, park Superintendent John Piltzecker said. "It led to the flame's deterioration."
The torch was further weakened in July of that year by the Black Tom explosion, an act of German sabotage at a munitions plant nearby in Jersey City.
The 1980s gilt flame that the statue is holding now restores sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi's original design, officials said.
The old torch, meanwhile, made another fundraising trip at the end of 1984, traveling to Pasadena, where it starred in the Rose Parade.
A trench was dug under the statue so that the 16-foot (4.9-meter) original torch could be moved into the pedestal when it returned to New York.
It couldn't depart the pedestal that way Thursday, Piltzecker said. "It had to come out in two pieces."
Joining the torch's two pieces was a full-scale copper replica of the statue's face. The torch and the face will be highlights of the new $100 million museum, which is scheduled to open in May 2019.
Dhaka, Nov 15 (UNB) – Dhaka International Folk Festival commences Thursday evening with Bhabna, a dance troupe, from Bangladesh presenting the inaugural show from 6pm.
Dikanda from Poland, Wadali Brothers from India, Abdul Hai Dewan from Bangladesh, and Satyaki Banerjee will also perform on the first day of the three day long folk fest.
Sun Communications in association with Sun Foundation is organizing the festival in the country for the fourth year.
Anjan Chowdhury, Chairman of Sun Communications LTD and Sun Foundation, said that their mission is to conserve and patronize the folk genre, make it popular among people, secure the legal rights of Bangladeshi folk artistes and ensure royalties due to them through this festival.
The performances will run from November 15 -17 at Bangladesh Army Stadium every day from 6pm to 12am.
Some 174 artistes from 7 countries including Bangladesh are gathering in one stage to celebrate the music of the heart.
Prominent artists Momotaz Begom, Baul Kabir Shah, Arnob, Nakshikatha, Swarobanjo and Bhabna Nritya Dol will be performing from Bangladesh in the rest of day.
The Raghu Dixit Project, Shafqat Amanat Ali from Pakistan, Majaz from Bahrain, Grammy award winner Los Texmaniacs from the USA, and Las Migas from Spain will come to this bustling city to celebrate the spirit of folk music.
The audience needs to print their Entry Pass for each day to enter the festival with the photocopy of NID, Passport.
The audience will also be able to enjoy the programme through Grameenphone online video streaming service ‘Bioscope Live’.
Dhaka, Nov 15 (UNB) – The two-day long “Jatiya Nabanna Utsab” kicked off on Thursday at Bakultala of the Fine Arts Faculty of Dhaka University (DU) as part of the countrywide celebrations with this year's theme "Esho Mili Shobe Nabanyer Utshobe".
Jatiya Nabanna Utsab Udjapan Parishad, the celebration committee of the festival, chalked out different day-long cultural activities including Folk songs, Lalon giti, Tagore song and dance to welcome the first day of Bengali month Agrahayan.
Eminent Cultural personality Ramendra Majumder officially inaugurated the cultural programme around 7:00 am.
Poets, painters, musicians, bauls and people from all walks of life joined together at the DU campus to celebrate the festival.
First part of the celebration was ended following a ‘Nabanya Shobhajatra' that started from Charukala around 9:30 am and paraded the entire campus.
President of Sommilito Sangskritik Jote, Golam Kuddus, organiser Laila Hasan and convener of the organising body Shahriar Salam, among others, attended the inauguration session.
A total of 1200 artistes of 68 cultural organisations are participating in the two-day long celebration.
Geneva, Nov 15 (UNB/AP) - A large, drop-shaped natural pearl pendant sold for more than $36 million Wednesday at a rare auction of jewelry that once belonged to French Queen Marie Antoinette, which Sotheby's is calling a record price for a pearl at auction.
The "Queen Marie Antoinette's Pearl," a diamond-and-pearl pendant, was among the highlight offerings on the block at the Sotheby's sale of jewelry from the Bourbon-Parma dynasty in Geneva.
Sotheby's billed the sale as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to scoop up heirlooms and jewels that have been held in the Bourbon-Parma dynasty for generations. Some of the Marie Antoinette jewelry hadn't been seen in public for 200 years — until now.
Like many of the 10 former Marie Antoinette pieces up for sale, the pendant obliterated the pre-auction estimate — in its case, $1 million to $2 million. It sold for a hammer price of 32 million Swiss francs ($32 million), but with the buyer's premium and fees, the total sale rose to more than $36.1 million.
The buyer wanted to remain anonymous, the auction house said.
All told, the Marie Antoinette pieces reaped nearly $43 million.
The diamond and pearl jewelry of Marie Antoinette that went under the hammer epitomized the aloof, pre-Revolutionary opulence of French royals brought down by the uprising. The wife of King Louis XVI, she was executed in France's revolutionary fervor in 1793.
Before falling to the guillotine, she had secretly smuggled abroad some of her most treasured possessions to her relatives amid rising the revolutionary fervor that ultimately marked the beginning of the end of France's centuries-old monarchy.
"The Marie Antoinette pendant is simply irreplaceable," Eddie LeVian, CEO of jewelers Le Vian, said before the sale. "This is about far more than the gems themselves: Marie Antoinette's jewelry is inextricably linked to the cause of the French Revolution."
The queen's jewelry also included a set of pearl and diamond earrings, a diamond brooch, and a natural pearl and diamond necklace. A monogrammed, diamond-set ring bears a lock of Marie Antoinette's hair.
Nearly all of those lots far outstripped the pre-sale estimates, a testament to the difficulty in assessing the value of such rarely available jewels.
"It was really the Bourbon-Parma factor, plus certainly the Marie Antoinette factor," said Daniela Mascetti, Sotheby's chairman for jewelry in Europe. "Prices really rocketed. Some items sold for, I think, 20 or 25 times more than the presale estimate."
Added Andres White Correns, senior director for jewelry: "We had said when we did the press conference for this sale that this was going to be the sale of this century — and I think that the results tonight prove that this is the case."
New York, Nov 14 (AP/UNB) - A solid 70 percent of Americans plan to shop on Black Friday this year, according to a recent NerdWallet study conducted by The Harris Poll.
But the nature of a day centered around shopping can almost inevitably lead to overspending.
Here are three ways to tell whether participating in Black Friday is really right — or actually wrong — for you.
CONSIDER WHAT YOU'RE BUYING
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is known for long lines, big crowds and low prices.
And while the shopping holiday often does deliver unbeatable deals on things like electronics, certain items are cheaper at other times of the year.
Clothing is generally a bargain on Black Friday, but some clothing reaches its lowest price off-season, according to Charlie Graham, founder and CEO of Shop It to Me, a sale alert app.
"If you're really penny-pinching, you can find better deals when items go on clearance outside of Black Friday and Cyber Monday," Graham says of some apparel.
Think buying swimsuits at the end of winter or sweaters in the middle of summer.
TIP: Consider the items you want this Black Friday and write them down. Then, check Black Friday ads to see if those products will be on sale. Retailers usually release their ads ahead of time — online, by email or in the mail. If you don't see what you want at the price you want, think about waiting to buy.
CONSIDER WHY YOU'RE BUYING
Of those who plan to shop in stores this Black Friday, 42 percent said they plan to do so because they enjoy the in-store hype (e.g., doorbuster deals, camping outside of stores the night before), according to the NerdWallet study.
Enjoying this annual tradition is one thing, but going shopping "just because" isn't always a good idea. Even if you've set a budget before putting on your comfiest sneakers and standing in the cold, you may be susceptible to making additional purchases once you're among the merchandise.
On Black Friday, retailers compete for a share of your wallet, says Jeff Inman, a marketing professor at the University of Pittsburgh and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Consumer Research.
Traditionally, retailers draw in Black Friday shoppers with a few great deals — called "loss leaders" — and hope they'll buy additional items as well. Imagine going for a TV and leaving with clothing and Christmas decorations, too.
While Inman says he hasn't always seen shoppers with huge baskets on Black Friday, he does point to toys as one category where shoppers may spring for something even if they didn't see it in a Black Friday ad.
For example, while in the store, you may come across a toy and decide to buy it for your niece for Christmas. This isn't necessarily an impulse purchase; you already planned to buy a gift for your niece. But since you didn't know the exact item you wanted to buy, he calls selecting this toy an "impulse allocation" of your holiday shopping budget.
This isn't a problem if you can afford it, but be conscious of this possibility when you step foot in the store.
TIP: Think about why you want to shop on Black Friday, and whether you're financially prepared. If you're not sure you can resist the temptation to overshoot your budget, consider skipping.
CONSIDER WHEN YOU'RE BUYING
Finally, plan your timing. With deals launching earlier each year, some Black Friday sales really happen the whole week of Thanksgiving, according to Graham from Shop It to Me.
"To compete with each other, the retailers have been pushing their sales earlier and earlier during that week," Graham says.
Because of this, sometimes shoppers can get Black Friday-level prices before Black Friday.
TIP: Although this might not be true for every product category, monitor sales in the days leading up to Black Friday for an early shot at a good deal.
TO STAY OR TO GO?
Once you decide the what, why and when of your Black Friday shopping, you'll be able to decide whether you should join the crowds or stay on the couch.