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Tuesday's letters: Fund the essentials before art – Edmonton Journal



The Alberta Branded shop in the Federal Building. File photo.

Ian Kucerak / Postmedia

Re. “UCP branding Alberta as place devoid of art,” Opinion, Jan. 31

Personally, I love art and the arts, but I also think those things should be up to a person to provide for themselves. I would much rather see funding go to health care and infrastructure for essentials than to the “optional” things like the arts.

Arts are fabulous, (my dad is a reasonably well-known Alberta artist) but right now, I don’t know if we can afford to support them. Dad takes care of himself and so can the other artists.

Paulette Halitsky, Vegreville

Simple solution for bench fees

Re. “City reverses 2016 decision on $2.5K bench upkeep fees,” Feb. 1

After encountering objections to introduction of a new 10-year renewal fee for commemorative city benches, city bureaucrats decided to forego the fee for some existing benches.

But the 10-year fees will be maintained for benches purchased since 2016. I assume some donors may feel that they might not still be around for every 10-year anniversary and would nevertheless like to have the bench maintained in perpetuity.

This could be handled very simply if the benches are covered by an endowment with the original amount contributed by the donor determining the maintenance period for the bench, including the option of having the bench in place in perpetuity.

The city may know a high school graduate with Math 30 who could do the sum for them.

James Muldowney, Edmonton

Key component missing in education

Comments regarding Alberta’s education curriculum are both encouraging and concerning.

It is encouraging that literacy and numeracy, properly taught, are to be major focuses. Logically, history, geopolitics, economics, and the fine and practical arts will also be included.

What is concerning is the absence of a recognition that education is about the human person. The curriculum must be based on a philosophical consideration of: what constitutes an “authentic education” and the unique nature of those who are to be engaged by it — the students.

The truly educated person will have a world view that recognizes the dignity and worth of every individual including, in a particular way, themselves, their responsibility to the common good, and their responsibility to the world (environment) itself.

Given the pervasive sense of a coming dystopia, it is essential that the curriculum have the human person as the central focus. When our children are 28 or 38 or 48, we will be much more concerned about the quality of their relationships and sense of personal worth then we will be about their knowledge of the binomial theorem or periodic table.

John Acheson, Edmonton

Letters welcome

We invite you to write letters to the editor. A maximum of 150 words is preferred. Letters must carry a first and last name, or two initials and a last name, and include an address and daytime telephone number. All letters are subject to editing. We don’t publish letters addressed to others or sent to other publications. Email:

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Tehran unveils Western art masterpieces hidden for decades – CityNews Toronto



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Tehran unveils Western art masterpieces hidden for decades  CityNews Toronto

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Fake psychics helped woman steal $180M in art from elderly mom, police say – Global News



A Brazilian woman was arrested Wednesday after police found that she orchestrated an elaborate scheme to defraud her elderly mother out of precious works of art.

Sabine Coll Boghici, 48, is accused of using a ring of fraudulent psychics to swindle her mother, Genevieve Boghici, 82, out of around 724 million reais, or $180 million, in art, jewelry and money, according to a statement by police in Rio de Janeiro.

Police say the racket began in January 2020, when Genevieve, the widow of renowned Brazilian art collector Jean Boghici, was contacted by someone claiming to be a psychic who had seen a vision of her daughter Sabine’s death.

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The phoney psychic then introduced her to other seers, who used personal information provided by Sabine to convince the elderly woman that their claims were real. The ring of psychics used their leverage to get money out of Genevieve for “spiritual treatment,” in order to save her daughter from her prophesied death, according to NBC News and the BBC.

The suspects were later alleged to have physically threatened the elderly woman and Sabine eventually kept her mother confined to the house after she became suspicious of the scheme.

Sabine and a psychic then began to take artwork from Genevieve’s house and told her that the paintings were cursed with negative energy that needed to be “prayed over,” said police officer Gilberto Ribeiro, according to Reuters.

Eventually, Genevieve sought help from the police, who uncovered the scheme.

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At least 16 paintings were stolen from the elderly woman, police said, including works from celebrated Brazilian artists Cicero Dias, Rubens Gerchman and Alberto Guignard.

Three of the stolen paintings were works by famed modernist Tarsila do Amaral. Those three paintings alone were worth a reported 700 million reais, or just under $175 million.

Police say they have recovered 14 of the stolen paintings, having found 11 during a raid of the home of one of the accused psychics and three that were sold to an art gallery in Sao Paulo. At least two paintings have yet to be recovered, though, including pieces that were sold to a museum in Buenos Aires.

A video posted on Twitter by a local media outlet shows the moment one of Amaral’s paintings, Sol Poente (which means setting sun), was found inside a bed frame hidden under a mattress.

At least seven people were involved in the years-long plot, Reuters reported. Police said four were arrested, including Sabine, on Wednesday but the others remain at large.

The accused are facing charges of embezzlement, robbery, extortion, false imprisonment and criminal association.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Community meetings planned for massive Rodman Hall art collection – Niagara Falls Review



A series of community meetings next month will help decide the fate of Rodman Hall’s 1,000-piece art collection.

The massive collection is in the hands of a registered charity called the Rodman Art Institute of Niagara after the historic St. Catharines gallery closed in 2020. Earlier this year, it was revealed the 19th-century building on St. Paul Crescent would be converted to a 13-room boutique hotel.

The community meetings will be held with the aid of international planning firm Lord Cultural Resources.

The meetings are scheduled for:

  • Sept. 13 via Zoom at 6:30 p.m.

  • Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at a location to be announced.
  • Sept. 17 at 11 a.m. at Salem Chapel BME Church, 92 Geneva St., St. Catharines.

The Rodman Art Institute was created with the purpose of protecting and supporting the gallery’s collection, with a goal of creating a new public art gallery.

Opened in 1960 as an art centre, Rodman Hall struggled financially in the ’90s before it was purchased by Brock University in 2003 for $2 — with a commitment to continue running it as an art gallery for 20 years.

Brock ended its ownership in 2015, having opened its Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.

The 2.88-hectare property was sold to developer Nino Donatelli in October 2020. Donatelli has previously restored the 19th-century Lybster Mill in Merritton, now called Stone Mill Inn. He also rehabilitated a former rubber plant on Glendale Avenue into a Keg restaurant.

Rodman Hall and its grounds are designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. No major alterations or additions are planned for the building.

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