Shortly before closing time yesterday at the Louvre’s new outpost in northern France, Louvre-Lens, a 28-year-old woman used a permanent marker to write graffiti on Eugène Delacroix’s iconic painting “La Liberté Guidant le Peuple” ("Liberty Guiding the People") — a piece that had been relocated to the museum from its Paris parent institution in November.
Everyone wants to know what she wrote. It was “AE911.”
Agence France-Press reports, a mysterious inscription that some have speculated may refer to the abbreviation for the group Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, though the tag's true meaning may never be known.
It’s probably safe to say that’s what she was promoting. Why, the entire world right now is rethinking their preconceptions about 9/11. Masterpiece defacement always gets respect for your cause.
Here’s an explanation of why the painting was radical, and why it still commands our attention.
SCIENCE! Comet ISON is supposed to be spectacular, but as Scientific American notes:
Of course we’ve all heard this before. Over the years many newly spotted cometary bodies have been touted as ‘the next great comet,’ only to sputter and fizzle to something less than impressive. The problem is that the precise composition and physical structure of any cometary chunk is hard to predict, as is its reaction to increasing temperatures. No two cometary bodies are the same.
But we keep hoping, because a bright comet is something amazing.
The last comet to let everyone down was Kohoutek, right? It suffered partial disintegration when it got close to Sol, and people were so disappointed they turned their backs on science, and burned the books and the labs and libraries in an orgy of destruction that lasted weeks. It would be decades before people trusted science again. I am of course lying, but the effect on popular culture was not insignificant. Wikipedia notes: “Burl Ives recorded a single called "The Tail of the Comet Kohoutek / A Very Fine Lady."
It is exactly and completely as bad as you can imagine and worse. Burl Ives, Disco Style.
In other comet news: the Daily Galaxy says it was most certain a comet or asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs. There was controversy about this? Apparently. Once the theory got out there, everyone thought it was accepted fact.
Anyway, not to worry. ISON will be close, but it won’t hit us. Bellus, though that’s another story.
GEEK The first trailer for Star Wars VII is up. It’s fake, of course - that’s the dialogue and music from the next “Star Wars” movie. The source of the footage appears to be from games, which have been better than the movies for a long time. (Old graphics aside, there have been few moments in gaming that match the escape from the Sulon Star in “Dark Forces II.) Anyway:
AH HAH! More details on the Alan Partridge Project.
The film will reportedly find Alan battling for his job at North Norfolk Radio when the station is bought out by a large corporation. Will they too remain deaf to the prospect of Monkey Tennis?
Probably. If this news does nothing for you, you can acquaint yourself with Steve Coogan’s most enduring character here, where the web episodes are now available for all.