Art Mache

May 17, 2009


Archaeologists find wooden spear tip dated 38,000 years


Slovenian archeologists have found a wooden spear tip believed to be between 38,000 and 45,000 years old, in a river near the capital Ljubljana, newspapers reported.

“A spear tip made of wood is something absolutely new for that period,” the head of Slovenia's Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (ZVKDS), Barbara Nadbath, was quoted as saying.

The tip, unique for being made of wood, was found by the institute's underwater archaeology team last September at a riverbank construction site in Sinja Gorica, in the Ljubljansko barje wetlands west of the capital.

“Due to its form, the object was compared to Szeletian stone spear tips, typical for central Europe between 50,000 and 35,000 BC,” the institute was quoted as saying.

“The dating was later confirmed by radiometric research in a laboratory at Beta Analytic in Miami and the Oxford Research Laboratory for Archaeology.” The spear tip was made of yew, the most appropriate wood to make hunting equipment, and a resin coating was preserved on one of its sides, ZVKDS added.

“Finding the wooden spear tip provides additional information on the presence of Palaeolithic hunters in the area and answers the question about the materials used at that time for making tools,” Nadbath said.

The Ljubljansko barje area is one of Slovenia's main archaeologic sites, famous for the discovery in 2002 of a wooden wheel and axle of a two-wheel chariot dating back 5,600 years. — AFP


Christie's routs rival with 102-million-dollar art sale


Christie's auction house beat off rival Sotheby's muted start to the spring auction season by hailing a successful night for its 102-million-dollar sale of art masterworks.

After Sotheby's saw two masterworks — a Picasso painting and a Giacometti sculpture — go unsold earlier this week, Christie's celebrated the results within its presale estimates of between 87 million and 125 million dollars.

Leading the sale was Pablo Picasso's 1968 portrait of a pipe-smoking musketeer, which brought in 14.6 million dollars from a collector who media reports said was a victim of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scam.

Christie's, which always conceals client identities, declined to confirm the buyer was Nine West shoes CEO Jerome Fisher, who according to press reports lost 150 million dollars through Madoff investments.

Of the 50 lots on the block, only 'Mousquetaire' topped the 10-million-dollar mark.

Picasso's 1971 portrait 'A woman with a hat', of a wide-eyed woman sporting a green hat, brought in 7.7 million dollars.

The sale of Tamara de Lempicka's painting 'Madame M' broke a new record for the artist, selling for 6,130,500 dollars.

The global financial crisis has put a damper on the high-flying art auction world, with fewer works being put up for sale compared to a year ago, and with prices expected to be lower across the board. — AFP


Engineer honoured

By Moniza Inam


Renowned Pakistani artist and social worker Jimmy Engineer has been appointed an Honorary Citizen of the City of Houston, Texas, by its mayor Bill White in recognition of the artist's remarkable accomplishments.

The mayor also appreciated his valuable public service for the benefit and welfare of humanity and handed over the Official Seal of the City of Houston to him on February 7, 2009. The Pakistani artist has also become a good will ambassador of the city.

Jimmy Engineer exhibited his work at the Shangri-La Art Gallery in Houston which consisted of a limited edition of prints and 33 of his latest paintings. The large architectural series of artwork attracted many people to the exhibition. The show was reviewed in the Houston Chronicle by Barbara Karkabi who interviewed Engineer and described his work as “striking in its detail.” Keeping the tradition of public service through his art, Engineer donated part of the proceeds from the exhibition to DIL — Development in Literacy — a US-based non-profit group initiated by Pakistani Americans operating schools in remote areas of Pakistan.

The artist had also recently exhibited his work in Dubai, Germany and France and was on a peace mission to the US. In the Proclamation Deed presentation ceremony, Engineer highlighted his nation's desire for peace and hoped his work would promote peace all over the world. Concluding his speech he said, “We all work for a peaceful world, good for all of us.”

Jimmy Engineer has always been a staunch supporter of humanity, diversity, tolerance and of an egalitarian system of governance. He doesn't believe in the barriers of class, creed or religion. Over the years, he has emerged as a passionate campaigner for all the oppressed sections of society.