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Weird National Briefs (10/06/2021)

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Art of the steal?

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A Danish artist who was was given a pile of money by a museum with which to create a piece of artwork, submitted two empty canvases — titled “Take the Money and Run.”

Jens Haaning was given the equivalent of nearly $84,000 in Danish kroner and euro bank notes by the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg.

For its exhibition on labor conditions and money, entitled “Work It Out” that opened Sept. 24, the museum commissioned him to recreate two of his earlier pieces, which featured bank notes attached to a canvas representing the average annual wage in Denmark and Austria. As well as lending him the notes, the museum also paid him 25,000 kroner ($3,900) for the work.

But when museum officials received the completed artworks, they were blank.

“The artwork is that I have taken the money,” Haaning told a radio show on the P1 channel that is part of Danish broadcaster DR this week. He declined to say where the money was.

Haaning, who is known as a provocateur, said the artwork represented his current work situation.

“I encourage others who have just as miserable working conditions as I to do the the same,” Haaning told P1. “If they are being asked to give money to go to work, then take the money and run.”

The museum says Haaning has broken the agreement on how to use the money. However, it has not yet decided whether to report Haaning to the police if the money is not returned before the exhibition ends in January.

Haaning, however, denies having committed a crime and insists he did produce a work of art.

“It’s not theft, it is a breach of contract, and the breach of contract is part of the work,” Haaning told P1. He was not reachable for comment on Wednesday.

TME - *intentionally left blank*

Catfish conundrum

COVENTRY, Conn. (AP) — Uncertainty about the species of a massive catfish that was eaten before it could be vetted by authorities in August has led Connecticut to withdraw its awarding of a new state record.

Connecticut Fish and Wildlife wrote in a Facebook post on Monday that because it was not able to examine the actual fish, authorities cannot confirm it was a white catfish.

“Without the ability to examine the actual fish, identification is left to still images and videos, which have proven to be ambiguous and inconclusive to definitively identify the species of catfish in this case,” state Fish and Wildlife wrote, adding that it is not disputing the weight of the catch that was made on Aug. 21.

Ben Tomkunas, 25, of Coventry, who caught the 21.3-pound (9.66-kilogram) fish, said he gave it to his grandfather the morning after he caught it and it was eaten.

“I can’t believe that they think it’s OK to do this to someone,” Tomkunas told the Journal Inquirer. “It’s such an embarrassment.”

It can be difficult to distinguish between white catfish and channel catfish, which are generally larger.

The previous state record for a white catfish was a 12.7 pound (5.76 kilogram) fish. The International Game Fish Association has recorded the world record for a white catfish catch to be 19.3 pounds (8.75 kilograms) for a fish caught in 2005 in California.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesperson Will Healey urged anglers to keep any potentially record-breaking fish until authorities have confirmed its species. He acknowledged, in an email to the Journal Inquirer, that the initial announcement of a new state record was premature.

TME – This story always seemed a little fishy.

Carry-on ordnance

BERLIN (AP) — A 28-year-old man in Germany faces a hefty bill after trying to catch a flight at Munich airport Thursday with a live mortar shell in his rucksack.

German news agency dpa reported Friday that the explosive device was discovered during a security check, prompting an immediate lockdown of parts of the airport.

The man told police that he had found the shell during a hiking trip in Switzerland and forgotten it was in his bag. Specialists were able to safely remove the live ammunition and destroy it.

The man is likely to face criminal charges for breaching aviation safety and explosives laws, and will have to pay for the cost of the police operation. It was unclear whether the operators of Munich airport, Germany’s second biggest, will also sue the man for damages, dpa reported.

TME – That’s a shell of a story.

Marathon mishap

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois man unexpectedly won the Quad Cities Marathon this weekend when the two Kenyan runners who had far outpaced him were disqualified after being diverted off the course by a race volunteer bicyclist.

Tyler Pence crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 15 minutes, 6 seconds to become the first U.S. runner since 2001 to win the race through the Quad Cities along the Mississippi River in Illinois and Iowa. Pence, the head track and cross-country coach at the University of Illinois-Springfield, logged his fastest time ever with the win and took the first prize of $3,000.

Pence’s win came after Elijah Mwangangi Saolo and Luke Kibet diverted from the course a little more than halfway to the finish line when the bicycle rider leading them mistakenly went straight when he should have turned, the Quad-City Times reported.

Race director Joe Moreno confirmed that the bicyclist went the wrong way but said the two runners also should have known not to follow him.

“At that intersection where that incident happened, the course was well-marked,” Moreno said. “The signage is well-displayed. The volunteers are there. And the fourth element is those elite runners have a meeting the day before to get familiar with the course.”

Saolo — the grandson of Kenya running great Joseph Nzau — was on a near-record pace before the mishap. He has been training in New Mexico and trying to scrape together enough money to stay in the U.S. with his wife and two children.

Moreno said the race was planning to find a way to compensate Saolo and Kibet.

TME – Oh well. They had a good run.

Last modified on Wednesday, 06 October 2021 08:50

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