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Weird National Briefs (12/16/2020)

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Mural imperative

LONDON (AP) — Banksy’s latest mural has delayed a homeowner’s plans to sell in England after it recently appeared on the house’s exterior wall.

The elusive British street artist’s piece — titled “Aachoo!!” — depicts an elderly woman sneezing, sending her dentures flying out of her mouth. It’s painted on the side of the house on a steep street in the southwestern city of Bristol. The resulting effect is that her sneeze appears to be knocking down buildings.

The creation was discovered on the wall of the semidetached house on Thursday. British media reported that the owners, who had previously put a “sold” sign outside, were pulling out of the sale, because Banksy’s art could send the property’s value soaring.

However, Nick Makin told the BBC on Saturday that it wasn’t true his mother, Aileen Makin, had taken the house off the market.

“It does increase the value, and you have to take a moment to think about it, but it’s not changing anything in terms of the house sale for us,” Makin said.

He said the sale has been put on hold for 48 hours and the family was trying to ensure the artwork would be protected.

Banksy has posted the piece on his website and Instagram page and his publicist confirmed he created the artwork. He began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol and has become one of the world’s best-known artists. Some of his art sells in the millions.

TME – Banksy, if you’re listening – my house could use a fresh coat.

One man’s trash …

BERLIN (AP) — A surrealist painting worth more than a quarter million euros (dollars) that was forgotten by a businessman at Duesseldorf’s airport has been recovered from a nearby recycling dumpster, police said Thursday.

The businessman, whose identity was not given, accidentally left behind the painting by French surrealist Yves Tanguy at a check-in counter as he boarded a flight from Duesseldorf to Tel Aviv on Nov. 27.

By the time he landed in Israel and contacted Duesseldorf police, the 280,000-Euro (340,000-dollar) oeuvre, which had been wrapped in cardboard, had disappeared.

Despite multiple emails with details about the 40x60-centimeter (16X24-inch) painting, authorities could not locate the artwork, police spokesman Andre Hartwig said.

It was only after the businessman’s nephew traveled to the airport from neighboring Belgium and talked with police directly with more information that an inspector was able to trace the painting to paper recycling dumpster used by the airport’s cleaning company.

“This was definitely one of our happiest stories this year,” Hartwig said. “It was real detective work.”

TME – I may not know art, but I know it when I see it in a dumpster.

Case clothed

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) — Police in South Florida descended on what they thought was an armed break-in at a men’s clothing store Tuesday morning after people were spotted storming in with rifles — but officers arrived to find a music video filming, all with the store owners’ knowledge.

The guns were not real and the men holding them were actors in a video, said Amanda Conwell, a spokeswoman for the Pembroke Pines Police Department.

The music video was being filmed inside the men’s clothing and accessories store with a film crew while the larger shopping center was closed, The Miami Herald reported, citing a store manager. The manager said the filming was supposed to take less than an hour.

But a witness saw the events unfolding, and not knowing it was staged, called police, authorities said. The scene being filmed depicted two men with guns entering the store and demanding workers to put money in the bag, according to the news outlet.

Pembroke Pines officials said the city had not given a permit for the filming, and the shopping center’s management team said in a statement that it was also not aware of the video.

“We are extremely disappointed that our guests’ experience and peace of mind were compromised this morning ... and unfortunately proper protocol was not followed in this instance,” property manager Annette Alvarez said in an email obtained by The Herald. “We are very thankful for the Pembroke Pines Police Department’s immediate response and their assistance in expeditiously resolving this unfortunate situation.”

Those involved were not charged because they had permission to be in the store and did not display the fake guns in a threatening manner, Conwell said.

“Officers have determined that the individuals were filming a video using fake guns,” the department posted on Twitter just before 11 a.m. “Access to the shopping plaza is being reopened at this time.”

TME – Unless this was all just an elaborate cover story …

Trash cash

LOGANSPORT, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana man whose cash-filled wallet was accidentally thrown out got it back last week after a crew waded through tons of trash and found it, wet and smelly, near the bottom.

Logansport resident Robert Nolte said his wallet ended up in the trash Thursday when he asked a friend to throw out a pair of green camouflage pants that were covered in white paint. After his trash was hauled away, Nolte realized his wallet was missing and that it had been in the discarded pants.

At his wife’s urging, he called a city code enforcement officer, Johnny Quinones, and explained the situation.

“I originally told the caller that there would be no way to find it,” Quinones told the (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune.

Quinones nonetheless worked with a crew from trash-hauler Republic Services to search for the pants after determining which driver had collected Nolte’s trash. They made their way through 9 tons (8 metric tons) of garbage dumped onto a concrete slab, looking for the pants, which Nolte’s friend had rolled up and placed, unbagged, on top of Nolte’s trash.

They eventually discovered the pants at the bottom of the trash pile, with the cash-filled wallet still in one of its pockets. Quinones thanked Republic Services for allowing the search then summoned Nolte, turning the wallet over to him.

“It smelled a little bad and it was a bit wet, but I can buy another wallet,” said Nolte, who had made a trip to the bank before his wallet went missing.

“I took out a $100 bill to give to Johnny for finding my wallet. He refused it. Johnny, being the nice guy that he is, wouldn’t take the money,” Nolte said. “He just said, ‘God will do me better down the road.’”

TME – Dump picking at its finest.

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 December 2020 08:36


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