Tag Archives: Far East

Looking for a long-term fix

imageMaria Fitzpatrick asks five experts for their home improvement advice

What’s in a name? Not much if you are Volkswagen, which trades model names like Top Trumps. As from this year, the 39-year-old Passat name graces the rumps of two entirely separate models, the first in Europe, the second in North America and the Far East. The larger American Passat is built at VW’s new Chattanooga plant in Tennessee, whereas European Passats continue to be built in Emden, Germany.

Going, going, gone for a song

imageThe salerooms are booming and new records are being set – no wonder Lord Coleridge was aggrieved that his Tudor chain of office was sold for a fraction of its worth.

Two years ago, a couple from Pinner found a Chinese vase in a dusty recess of their parents’ house and took it to an auctioneer in Ruislip. Everyone was astounded when it was knocked down for £53 million. It was, as headline writers noted at the time, the ultimate cash in the attic.

Is Damien Hirst trying to influence the art market?

imageDespite his huge wealth, Damien Hirst is still obsessed with making his paintings pay.There is an old joke that the clue to contemporary art is in the name: it is a con, and it is temporary. Even those inured to the industry’s excesses, however, might have been surprised by a report at the weekend about Damien Hirst. Not apparently content with his £215 million fortune, the original Young British Artist has allegedly taken to “bullying” auction houses into refusing to sell prints individually, insisting that they should be sold only as a complete package.

The work in question was In a Spin, the Action of the World on Things, a 4ft by 3ft box covered in one of Hirst’s iconic spin paintings, which are created by a machine pouring paint on to a canvas. Inside each box (Hirst made 68 of them) are 23 signed prints of spin images.

Living the high life: homes in skyscrapers

Cities around the world are capitalising on people’s desire for a home in the sky. Graham Norwood looks at an elevating trend

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Traditionally the British have seen towers as rather undesirable places to live. High-rise buildings are often associated with council housing or brutalistic modern architecture.

But that’s changing. More and more Britons are choosing to reach for the skies, and towers are getting ever taller to accommodate them.

The finishing touches are being put on The Heron, a 36-storey tower near Liverpool Street in the City of London. Meanwhile, in Vauxhall, south-west London, building is under way on The Tower at St George Wharf. At 49 storeys, it will be London’s tallest residential building when completed in 2013.

“Until recently, it was difficult to secure a mortgage on a flat in a building with more than six or seven storeys,” says Robert Bailey, who runs his eponymous buying agency for some of the world’s richest purchasers wanting homes in the capital.

Cultural city breaks: Great art, kept all to yourself

How do you avoid the ever-growing crowds that pack the big European museums? Nick Trend suggests some ways to make the experience more positive.

imageOn a packed London tube train I was contorting my neck, trying to see through the crowd and check which station we had arrived at. The experience reminded me of something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I remembered – it was visiting the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael rooms in the Vatican Museums.

The same feeling of half-suffocated, frustrated claustrophobia had overwhelmed me a few years ago as I shuffled along with the tide of tourists, waiting for a gap to open so that I could steal a glimpse of Raphael’s frescoes, or find an unencumbered vantage point from which to view Michelangelo’s ceiling. When God created Adam, he surely didn’t imagine quite so many of his progeny crammed into one place at the same time.

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