February 25, 2012

The American ambassador’s jewels have been found

Filed under: Weird by Branko Collin @ 12:25 pm

So this news was already covered two weeks ago by DutchNews.nl, but I thought it so remarkable that I felt it’d warrant another mention.

Six years ago Dawn Arnall, wife to then-US ambassador, sub-prime crisis architect and billionaire Roland Arnall, forgot her 9,000,000 US dollar jewellery in the lobby of an unnamed hotel in The Hague.

She reported the jewellery as stolen, though the press doesn’t say to whom.

Hotel staff found a satchel containing the jewellery, which was apparently so big and garish that they mistook it for costume jewellery.

Presumably neither the insurer (who paid out) nor the police bothered to check with the hotel, and the treasure went unclaimed for six months. It was then handed over to a cleaning lady who left it in her linen closet for five years, until her curiosity got the better of her.

The cleaning lady brought the jewellery for appraisement to a jeweler who, the police of The Hague joke, is probably still on artificial respiration.

She then brought the jewellery to the police, who sent it back to the US, whatever that is supposed to mean.

The jewellery consisted of a necklace containing a 4 million euro pink 5-carat diamond, and various other jewels worth 3 million euro. The finder is hoping for a reward, although it is not certain that anybody is obliged to pay one.

Since there are holes in this story big enough to park an entire zoo in, if our readers have any additional information I would sure like to hear about it.

(Photo of unrelated costume jewellery by GlitzUK, some rights reserved)

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March 30, 2011

All fallen football players look alike

Filed under: Photography,Sports by Branko Collin @ 12:32 pm

Photographer Hans van der Meer wanted to express how football players feigning injuries all look alike:

The look of grown men on the football pitch often takes the form of little theatre pieces, lying down ‘injured’ being a remarkable sub-category of this art. […] The way we ‘died’ as children playing Cowboys and Indians is how we now see our heroes in the Champions League go down on TV. […] When somebody has actually been injured they usually keep pretty still.

To that effect Van der Meer took photographs of football players acting injured, and these photos now adorn the pitch of ASV Arsenal in Amsterdam, near the old Olympic Stadium. They are part of an art project for the club called Terreinwinst, involving 11 artists and which is still in the process of being finished.

I am a great admirer of Van der Meers earlier series of European and Dutch football pitches, in which the football field was shown in its sometimes adverse surroundings. The strength of his new work, Ten Ways to Lie Down Injured, is that it paves the way for amateur photographers to add context themselves. My tip: bring a telephoto lens, as the photos are all mounted across the field.

(Submitted by Nienke van Beers)

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