Published: May 1, 2001
AP’s Denis D. Gray reports that the Champasak Cultural Landscape area, Laos, nominated last year for UNESCO World Heritage Site status, could be degraded by tourism and hastily restored with tourist dollars rather than historic authenticity in mind. Built between the Seventh and Twelfth centuries, Wat Phu is the site of two ancient cities discovered in the area. Shrestrapura, dating back to the Fifth Century, was a cradle of the great Angkorian empire that held sway over much of mainland Southeast Asia and created Cambodia’s magnificent temples. Lingapura thrived from the Ninth through Thirteenth centuries.
eBay, says Brian Bergstein of AP, reported on April 20 better-than-expected earnings and predicted increased revenue over the next two quarters. In the first three months of the year, eBay earned $21 million, or 8 cents a share, more than 11 times the profits of $1.8 million, or 1 cent per share, in the first quarter of 2000. Excluding one-time charges, eBay earned $30.6 million, or 11 cents per share, up from $4.4 million, or 2 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call had been expecting earnings of 8 cents per share, excluding charges. The value of goods traded on the site rose 72 percent from a year ago, to $1.98 billion. About 30 percent of sellers are opting for a “buy-it-now” plan rather than the traditional auction format, lowering the average transaction length below seven days for the first time.
eBay Inc. also announced April 24 that it has expanded its Live Auctions tool with the addition of new product categories and support for 17 monetary currencies which, according to the firm, “will open the doors of traditional auction houses to [our] marketplace and enable trade internationally between bidders and auction houses.”
Arts outlets in recent years, writes Jennifer Szweda Jordan of the Associated Press, have expanded opportunities for disabled people to experience artifacts and other treasures. The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act raised expectations of arts organizations and made those organizations look to accommodate disabled arts supporters, said Stanley Eichner, litigation director at the Disability Law Center in Boston. More and more institutions are adopting “touch” tours, for example, such as those that have been available at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City since 1972, and used in tours of historic artifacts in Colonial Williamsburg, Va.
The work of Augusta County’s most famous Grandma is going on a national tour, and her historic house and farm are about to be restored. Art Services International is taking her work from the early part of the century on a seven-city national tour that has begun in Washington. “Grandma Moses in the 21st Century” will be presented at the National Museum of Women in the Arts until June 10. While Moses’ work is on tour, local efforts to restore the Augusta County farmhouse she once called home in Verona, Va., are gearing up. The renovations to the home and a nearby house from the same era are expected to cost between $400,000 and $450,000, reports the Associated Press.
Rienzi, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s center for European decorative arts, has acquired Angelica Kauffman’s “Portrait of Eleanor, Countess of Lauderdale” (circa 1780-81). Rienzi is the former home and collection of Houston philanthropists Carroll Sterling Masterson and Harris Masterson III. The Mastersons collected Eighteenth Century English furniture, paintings, and Worcester porcelain. The Kauffman painting was purchased with proceeds from the Rienzi Society.
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