First pics and film from new Titanic survey

The new expedition to fully map and record the wreck of the Titanic has had to repair to St. John’s, Newfoundland temporarily to avoid getting whupped by Hurricane Danielle. Inclement weather notwithstanding, the team has already captured impressive new 3DHD footage of various parts of the wreck. Here’s the famous bow so goofily captured by …

Titian painting damaged in Venice fire

Titian’s David and Goliath (1542-44) in Venice’s Basilica Santa Maria della Salute was damaged by water when firefighters soaked the roof while fighting a fire in the seminary next door. David and Goliath was displayed on the ceiling of the basilica’s sacristy along with 2 other works by Titian (Abraham and Isaac and Cain and …

MEGA database to track Jordan archaeological sites

The Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles has created a new web-based tracking system for archaeological sites in Jordan. Financed in part by the World Monuments Fund and with extensive support from the Jordanian Department of Antiquities, the million dollar project has been in the works for 3 years and will be available for authorized …

Original Kermit donated to Smithsonian

Jim Henson’s widow Jane has donated the original Kermit the Frog to the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. Along with Kermit, Jane Henson also gave the museum the original Sam, from the 1955 TV show Sam and Friends where Kermit first appeared, Henson’s first puppet, Pierre the French Rat, what appears to …

2,000-year-old wall paintings revealed in Petra

British conservation specialists from the Courtauld Institute in London have removed centuries of soot, grease, grime and graffiti from Hellenistic-style paintings on the wall of a cave in the canyon of Siq al-Barid in Beidha, about 3 miles away from the main city of Petra. They’re at least 2,000 years old and may have been …

Stolen Nimrud earrings returned to Iraq

The 3,000-year-old neo-Assyrian gold earrings stolen from Iraq in the post-invasion chaos and almost sold by Christie’s 2 years ago have been returned to Iraq. Christie’s claimed when they put up for sale that they were bought in 1969 and “similar” to the 8 identical pairs of elaborate gold earrings found in 1988 in the …

Taiwan craftsman saving traditional lead type

Chang Chieh-kuan, a Taiwan printer, is dedicating to keeping the ancient art of Chinese character movable lead type alive in the digital era. He owns one of the only remaining foundries that still casts lead type from copper molds for thousands of Chinese characters. Because there is no alphabet in Chinese, putting together all the …

19th c. silk trade guild banners for sale

The Maine Charitable Mechanic Association in Portland, Maine, is selling its exquisite collection of early 19th century silk guild banners. Trade associations used to promote their wares by carrying painted silk banners describing their art with clever puns and beautiful images during town parades. Everyone from freemasons to blacksmiths to hatters made these kinds of …

Van Gogh ‘Poppy Flowers’ stolen from Egypt museum

Brazen thievery seems to be a theme this weekend. A painting by Van Gogh knows as Poppy Flowers or Vase with Flowers was stolen Saturday from the Mahmoud Khalil Museum in Cairo. Thieves cut it out of the frame with box cutters. The work, measuring 30cm by 30cm (1ft by 1ft), depicts yellow and red …