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Artist eats $120,000 banana at exhibition

Jack Burton

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A performance artist shocked a crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami by eating a very expensive snack: an art exhibit that had already been sold for US$ 120,000.

The exhibit, a banana duct-taped to the wall at Galerie Perrotin, was a work by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Comedian,” and had already been sold to a French collector.

David Datuna, a self-described “Georgian-born American artist living in New York,” posted a video on Instagram in which he walks up to the banana, pulls it off the wall with the duct tape attached, and eats it.

“Art performance … hungry artist,” he says as he peels the fruit and takes a bite.

“Thank you, very good,” he says in the video.

Gallery guests can be heard laughing before staff whisk Datuna away for questioning.

But the commotion was resolved without a food fight, according to The Miami Herald.

“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” the director of museum relations Lucien Terras told reporters.

“The value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity. The banana is meant to be replaced.”

A replacement banana was taped to the wall about 15 minutes after the stunt.

“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles. But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”

Cattelan is best known for a fully functional 18 carat gold toilet titled “America” which he offered to lend to US President Donald Trump.

Valued at 5-6 million dollars, the toilet was in the news in September when it was stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Artist eats $120,000 banana at exhibition | News by The Thaiger

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

World

Mount Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano, erupts

Caitlin Ashworth

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Mount Merapi, Indonesia’s most active volcano, erupts | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Associated Press

The most active volcano in Indonesia, Mount Merapi, erupted yesterday, shooting rocks and a cloud of ash into the sky and streaming a river of lava down the side. Local residents within 5 kilometres of the volcano evacuated the area due to the risk of lava flows reaching the roads. Officials say the sounds from the eruption could be heard 30 kilometres away.

Mount Merapi is a 2,963 metre high volcano on Java island near Yogyakarta. Its last major eruption was in 2010. 347 people were killed and around 20,000 residents evacuated.

The vast archipelago is on the Pacific’s “Ring of Fire” and is prone to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. Just a week ago, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake shook Sulawesi island, killing dozens and injuring hundreds.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

China starts using anal swab tests to detect Covid-19 infections

Caitlin Ashworth

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China starts using anal swab tests to detect Covid-19 infections | The Thaiger

A Covid-19 nasal swab test isn’t pleasant. Many will say the long stick inserted deep inside the nasal cavity feels like it’s hitting their brain. A method arguably much more discomforting is now being used in some cities in China… an anal swab test. And, they say, it’s more effective at detecting a coronavirus infection.

After a Covid-19 infection was detected at primary school in Beijing, more than 1,000 teachers, staff members and students were tested using the anal swab method as well as the usual nose and throat swab tests. For the anal test, a cotton swab is inserted around 3 to 5 centimetres into the anus and then gently rotated around.

Beijing officials say anal swab samples were also taken from people living in neighbourhoods with Covid-19 cases as well as those in quarantine facilities.

Since the virus is detectable on faecal samples for a longer time than the respiratory tract, the anal tests can “increase the detection rate,” according to respiratory and infectious disease doctor Li Tongzeng.

An official in the Weinan, a city in the northern Shaanxi province, says a 52 year old man whose symptoms of cough and appetite loss tested negative for Covid-19 in a throat test. He then tested positive using nose and anal swab tests, according to the city official.

SOURCES: Reuters | AFP

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 death toll exceeds 100,000 in the UK, government mulls quarantine for travellers

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Covid-19 death toll exceeds 100,000 in the UK, government mulls quarantine for travellers | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bloomberg

With the Covid-19 death toll exceeding 100,000 in the United Kingdom, the British government is considering a mandatory hotel quarantine for visitors entering the country. A quarantine system is considered to be an effective way to limit virus transmission and stop new coronavirus variants from spreading into the country.

Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with senior officials in a meeting yesterday, saying that the government will consider tighter border measures. UK citizens and residents arriving from most of southern Africa and South America, as well as Portugal, will have to quarantine in a hotel for 10 days at their own expense.

Currently, people arriving in the UK from abroad must show the Covid-19 test results, while direct flights from South Africa, Brazil, and Portugal are banned to prevent the spreading of new variants in the Kingdom.

Hotel quarantine measures have been used in Australia, New Zealand, China, India, and Singapore, but the disease control practice has not been widely used in Europe.

In Thailand, those who enter the country from abroad must quarantine for 14 days at either a state quarantine facility or at an alternative quarantine hotel. Travellers must also be tested for Covid-19 before their flight to Thailand and tested at least another 2 times before they are released from quarantine.

SOURCE: Associated Press

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