Germany: Paintings belonging to Adolf Hitler auctioned

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Hitler armchair auction
Auction of furniture owned by Hitler. Source: Creative Commons

Five pictures said to have been painted by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler have failed to sell at auction in Germany. Starting prices ranged from €19,000 to €45,000.

It is a controversial auction because of the identity of the works’ alleged author and the doubts raised about their authenticity.
Attributed to Adolf Hitler, leader of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945, the paintings were put on sale this Saturday in Germany. The five tables represent bucolic landscapes.

They were on sale at the Weidler House in Nuremberg. Ulrich Maly, mayor of the city which was a high-ranking city of the regime, denounced in the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung an event of «bad taste».

In addition to the five paintings, the sale offered a wicker chair, a Meissen porcelain vase representing the anchor of the German navy, and a tablecloth.

Doubts about the authenticity of the paintings

All the pieces were seized because of doubts about their authenticity despite the signatures “A. H.” or “A. Hitler”. The sales house, which explains that the objects come from 23 owners, denies any irregularity and ensures cooperation with the authorities. The prosecutor in charge of the file explains that some pieces of art were accompanied by certificates of authenticity but that they could also have been altered.

Hitler’s paintings remain difficult to authentify due to lack of accurate catalogues and the mediocrity of the works of the one who failed to enter the Vienna Academy of Arts. As for the graphological study of the signature, it remains an insufficient method.


Leïla Lopes, IEJ2C

40th birthday of Islamic republic of Iran !

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Source: Reuters

Forty years ago, after several months of massive protests against social injustice and corruption in Iran, the authoritarian regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, abandoned by his American ally, falls to the benefit of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, returned triumphantly, after 15 years of exile, on February 1st 1979, on board an Air France flight from Paris. February 11th marks the anniversary of the Iranian revolution, which initially brought together students, communists, laypeople, liberals, merchants from the Grand Bazaar of Tehran and Shiite clerics in the streets. But it is the latter who finally seized power. On April 1st, the Islamic Republic is proclaimed by Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini. Exclusively from the ranks of the Shiite clergy, in the name of the principle of “velayat-e faqih” which gives religion the primacy over political power, the Supreme Leader must be “fair, virtuous and at the same time, courageous, manager and clever”. He is the religious reference and guide of the people of Islam, according to the terms of the Iranian Constitution. Forty years after the revolution, the Islamic Republic is still in place, but inside the country there are tensions. Since late 2017, protests against the living cost and financial corruption have multiplied.

Maxime Forgac, IEJ 2C Group 2


British Academy Film Award : and the winner is …

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Yesterday, Rami Malek arrives at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

The 72th ceremony of the British Academy Film Award (BAFTA) in the Royal Albert Hall yesterday revealed its winners. And the great winner of this night is the video platform Netflix with the movie “Roma” by Alfonso Cuaron.

Finally! A Netflix Production movie won a prize in a ceremony of cinema. Under Alfonso Cuaron’s direction “Roma” received two of the most prestigious BAFTAs: the greatest movie and the best film director before the Oscars. Netflix can dream a little more of a reward in the American ceremony.

BAFTA’s best male actor is Rami Malek for his interpretation of Freddy Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody”, already rewarded by a Golden Globe for this role. In the female category, it’s Olivia Colman who won the BAFTA for best female actor for her performance in “The Favourite”.

“A star is born” by Bradley Cooper and “BlackkKansman” by Spike Lee just won the best original music for the first and the greatest original script for the second. A big disillusion for the American blockbusters, nominateded in the best movie category.

Benjamin Dewet, IEJ 2C

Was Drake’s speech voluntarily cut at the 2019 Grammy Awards?

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Coming home to the prize for the best rap song, Drake delivered a keynote speech whose ending will never be known …

Like Kanye West before him, Drake had a message to convey. The unexpected presence of the rapper at the 2019 Grammy Awards will surely not overshadow his prize and even less the speech he made on the stage of the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 10.

Nominated in several categories and present to everyone’s surprise, Drake did not make the trip for nothing since his “God’s Plan” received the prize of the best rap song of the year. Invited to perform on stage, Drake then embarked on a speech for young artists, evoking the passing ceremony of the American music awards.

As Drake’s speech reached its peak, his microphone was abruptly cut off and the ad launched, while it seemed that the latter had more to say. A disconcerting moment in a speech that began to take a really inspiring turn, especially when you know that the artist in question usually keeps lips tight. For a rather entertaining show that had so far managed to avoid major blunders throughout the ceremony, it’s an explosive and disruptive choice.

This sequence has obviously not gone unnoticed on social networks. The viewers in front of their posts were very surprised by this abrupt cut, not knowing if it had been intentionally interrupted or not. Drake’s passions with the ceremony also contributed to the feeling of unease shared by many netizens on Twitter this Sunday.

Aliaume Arrebolle, IEJ 2C Group 2

Video games: Ubisoft is entering hospitals in France

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In early September, the famous French video game industry Ubisoft, partnered with Petits Princes association, created playrooms in hospitals of Lyon, Bordeaux and Parisian suburbs. There, children can play different games coming from the franchise.

Un moyen d'évasion pour les enfants hospitalisés.
Children playing Ubisoft’s video games in Montpellier. © Midi Libre

Added to the video games, the playroom should include board games, television and books. Everything is provided by Ubisoft. The company is aiming to “let children access to their dreams in the hospital itself,” said Sandra Vernus, in charge of the Human Ressources in Ubisoft Montpellier, to the Midi Libre‘s journal.

To do this, Ubisoft partnered with Petits Princes, a French association linked to more than 150 hospitals all over France. Their goal is to help sick children in their fight. Dominique Bayle, co-founder of Petits Prince, is delighted with the collaboration with Ubisoft : “It’s wonderful, because it allows children to leave aside their disease […],to share a moment with their roommates. Their hospitalisation is softer.”

Un petit prince en chevalier
A child disguised as a knight. © Petits Princes

More than just a pleasant moment, having a space to play is also advisable for their recovery. Video games allow children to let down huge emotional charges that can sometimes prevent their body from being resistant to medicines. The time they are spending in hospitals seems also shorter. Ubisoft and Petits Princes are aiming to extend their work to all hospitals in France, as they said in Le Parisien.


France urged to return looted African artworks

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A picture of a African’s art exposition at Dapper Museum in Paris.

The situation is critical for African art. With more than 90% of Africa’s cultural heritage currently found outside the continent, France has to react. The times have changed, and these artworks have to go back to their original continent.

That is the subject of the report Emmanuel Macron will receive, this Friday, on his desk. Written by two French researchers, Bénédicte Savoy and Felwine Sarr, appointed by the French president, the report lists the arguments for the return of the largest part of African cultural pieces.

This debate is dear to Macron, who fights in favor of a complete restitution. “I cannot accept that a large part of the cultural heritage of several African countries is in France,” said the French president during an auditorium in Ouagadougou, in November 2017, as reported by The Guardian. “Starting today, and within the next five years, I want to see the conditions put in place so as to allow for the temporary or definitive restitution of African cultural heritage to Africa.” French collection is estimated to more than 90,000 pieces originating from sub-Saharan Africa. A large part of this heritage has been looted during the colonial era and were intended to French museums.

The task seems complicated for Emmanuel Macron. The French president wants to appear positive, like he explained in Ouagadougou last year, with the same wish “to build a new intellectual connection between France and Africa”. 

Alexandre D’Agostino, IEJ 3E

Michael Jackson reborn in Paris

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Michael Jackson on the wall will be exhibited at the Grand Palais in Paris

A major exhibition on Michael Jackson is opening in Paris’ Grand Palais today. Named almost like his first album, the exhibition “On the Wall” shows paintings, pictures, sculptures and videos of the singer everywhere and especially on the walls. There is no music in the program but mostly works of the artists who have been inspired by Michael Jackson since the 1980’s. Chronologically exposed in order to show the evolution of the King of Pop, the pieces of art invite the visitors to explore his life since his childhood.

One of the main artists exposed in the exhibit is David LaChapelle, showing Michael Jackson as a martyr of modern times. Symbols like Jesus or the Devil are represented in his paintings, next to the singer. Michael Jackson was already a legend, and with David LaChapelle, he is now becoming an angel. Andy Warhol’s works can also be found in the Grand Palais, like the cover of the King of Pop ordered by the Time magazine in 1984. The centerpiece of the exhibition is “Dangerous”, Mark Ryden’s original painting which served as the cover of  the eponymous album.

With this event, Michael Jackson is more than an iconic singer: he’s an art object attracting the interest of visual artists…

The exhibition will be held at the Grand Palais until 14th of February.

Jonas Hattab, IEJ 3E