It's tough to lose a thumb, especially if you're 2,200 years old. The victim was a statue of a Chinese warrior that visited Minneapolis in 2012 as part of the exhibition "China's Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor's Legacy" and is now on display at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute. During an after-hours "ugly sweater" party in December, a visitor sneaked into a closed gallery and took a selfie with the terra cotta statue. Surveillance video showed him grabbing the warrior's hand, snapping off its thumb and slipping it into his pocket. "The museum security seems to be problematic — why are people walking into this exhibition space when it was closed?" said Liu Yang, curator of Chinese art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, where the exhibit drew record crowds. The Franklin Institute said a security contractor did not follow "standard closing procedures." It's tempting to blame Philadelphia, especially since a rabid Eagles fan stole a purple plastic seat from U.S. Bank Stadium following his team's Super Bowl win. The alleged thief actually was wearing a Phillies cap in the surveillance video. Michael Rohana, 24, of Delaware, was charged with theft and concealment of an object of cultural heritage from a museum, and interstate transportation of stolen property.ALICIA ELER
A star is born?
Classical piano superstar André Watts, an Orchestra Hall favorite for five-plus decades, was supposed to return this weekend. But in a last-minute switch due to the flu, 23-year-old Kenny Broberg will take his place. Who? Broberg is a Minneapolis native and winner of the silver medal last year at the prestigious Van Cliburn competition. While mostly unknown, he actually made his Minnesota Orchestra debut while still a student at Washburn High School, playing Saint Saëns' "Carnival of the Animals" for a family series. He will open Friday's and Saturday's concerts with Beethoven's ever-popular "Emperor" Piano Concerto. "There will be a lot of pressure on him," said orchestra spokeswoman Gwen Pappas. But Watts' career was launched in similar fashion, she noted: "Watts was 16 when he was asked by Leonard Bernstein to replace Glenn Gould, who was sick, in performances with the New York Philharmonic."
The X men
As ESPN's X Games return to Minneapolis for the second summer in a row, organizers are doubling down on hip-hop and electronic dance music for the accompanying concerts. In the music lineup revealed Thursday, rap legend Ice Cube and hometown hip-hop hero Brother Ali are listed alongside dance music stars Zedd and Kaskade for the July 19-21 games. The concerts will take place in Commons Park outside U.S. Bank Stadium (where most of the televised sports competition is held). Tickets to the music side of the event are now available starting at $20 for general admission and $50 for a three-day pass via xgames.com/tickets. More names will be added as the event nears.
A Walker Art Center veteran is taking over as executive director of the Minneapolis-based American Craft Council. Sarah Schultz led the Walker's education department and launched its Open Field program — including the much-loved mini-golf course — during a 22-year tenure that ended in 2014. She will start her new job April 2, just in time for the St. Paul American Craft Show. "I'm keen to create more opportunities for artists and audiences to engage in craft," Schulz said by phone from New York, where she is interim vice president of public programs and education for Friends of the Highline. "I'm excited to jump back into the community again."A.E.
'Merchant' in Palestine
We weren't able to reach Twin Cities playwright Jeffrey Hatcher for a recent story on plays-about-plays tied to the opening of "Indecent" at the Guthrie. (His "Compleat Stage Beauty" is partly about "Othello.") It turns out there's a good reason Hatcher couldn't immediately return calls to his office: He was in Israel, researching a new play for Canadian super-producer Garth Drabinsky. And — surprise! — it's also about a play: a British tour of "The Merchant of Venice" that visits Palestine during its years under British rule.CHRIS HEWITT
Schubert Club season
Old friends and familiar faces make up the Schubert Club's 2018-19 season. The hottest ticket stars Russian-German pianist Igor Levit (Oct. 30 at the Ordway). "Levit is riding high right now," said Schubert Club director Barry Kempton, having just won the $300,000 Gilmore Artist Award, given only once every four years to an outstanding pianist. Other Ordway highlights include the return of Kansas-born mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato (Feb. 25, 2019) and two of the very first U.S. performances by young German baritone Samuel Hasselhorn (Nov. 29 and Dec. 1). And the Music in the Park series, at St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ in St. Paul, brings two premier string quartets, the Miró Quartet (Sept. 23) and the Brentano String Quartet (April 14, 2019). Info at schubert.org.
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