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Jan. 12, 2012 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Museum not amused by lingerie stunt

PARIS, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Officials at Paris' Musee d'Orsay are not amused by a lingerie company's publicity stunt -- filming models parading in the museum dressed in their undies.

The museum in a converted Beaux Arts railway station is home to one of the world's great collections of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art, known for its works by Courbet, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh and Gauguin.

In the video, the models shuck fur coats after entering the museum and then walk around in Etam lingerie and stiletto heels until they are escorted out by security guards, thelocal.fr reported. They can be heard giggling nervously as museum-goers react in shock.

The museum's director told the newspaper Liberation its lawyers are making a formal complaint to Etam.

"I'm responsible for filming and such a shoot would never have been accepted. It's unthinkable," Amelie Hardivillier said.


Beethoven complained of 'low salary'

LUBECK, Germany, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A handwritten letter by Ludwig van Beethoven reveals the German composer was displeased about his "low salary."

The letter, written in July 1823 and addressed to Franz Stockhausen, concerned Beethoven's search for wealthy people to sponsor his latest composition, "Missa solemnis," The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.

Beethoven wrote he needed more money, in part, because of his worsening deafness.

"My low salary and my illness demand efforts to make a better fortune," he wrote at the age of 53, four years before his death.

The letter, which has been valued at $188,500, was found recently among items bequeathed to Germany's Brahms Institute of the Lubeck School of Music by Stockhausen's great-granddaughter, Renate Wirth. Wirth died last year.

"The bequest is of extraordinary historic value; this was a huge piece of luck for us," institute Director Wolfgang Sandberger said.


Japan's oldest elephant turning 65

TOKYO, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The oldest Asian elephant in Japan will turn 65 next month and officials at the Inokashira Park Zoo in western Tokyo say they're planning a party for her.

The elephant, named Hanako, has been living at the zoo for more than 50 years and has never had a major disease or injury, her keepers say.

"She likes people very much," Miwa Saito, 28, one of four keepers who look after the pachyderm, told Kyodo News.

Hanako is fed about 120 to 175 pounds per day of fruit and vegetables, fresh grass and hay and bread, keepers said. Her food is cut into small pieces since the elephant lost all but one of her four teeth about 30 years ago.

Although friendly, Hanako is very timid and nervous, keepers said, and dislikes sounds such as sirens, thunder and passing aircraft.

When the March 11 earthquake struck, Hanako began running around her compound area but calmed down after a staff member hurried there to see her, Saito said.

Born in Thailand in 1947 -- her actual birthday is not known -- Hanako arrived in Japan in 1949, the first elephant to come to the country after World War II.


Court overturns 'exorcism' conviction

LUND, Sweden, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A Swedish court has reversed the conviction of a man sentenced to jail for having his wife exorcised while she was tied down.

The appeals court said bruises and other physical damage the wife said she suffered during the proceeding could have been faked with makeup, The Local reported.

The man, a resident of Lund in southern Sweden, was convicted after his wife testified in June 2010 her husband entered her bedroom with a black-clad stranger, tied her hands together and held her legs. She said she managed to get away from him and flee.

He was ordered to spend six months in jail and to pay his wife $5,800 in damages.

The "exorcist" testified he believed the woman was possessed by demons. He said he has had years of experience praying evil spirits away but the wife's resistance, which he took as a sign of possession, made it impossible for him to exorcise her.

The man had previously been convicted and sentenced to eight months in prison for beating his wife. He said his wife is the one who is physically brutal and has told people at his children's school that he is living with a "wild animal."

Topics: Van Gogh
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