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World’s most expensive painting isn’t full da Vinci: officials

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World's most expensive painting isn't full da Vinci: officials

True colors exposed!

The world’s most expensive painting was only partly made by Leonardo da Vinci — a revelation that allegedly sparked a cover-up and an international political scandal, according to a new documentary.

The 16th century masterpiece titled “Salvator Mundi” was reportedly sold to Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman for a record-setting $450 million in New York City in 2017, according to “The Saviour for Sale,” a French documentary that premieres next week.

But experts at the Louvre museum in Paris discovered through scientific analysis in 2019 that da Vinci only “contributed” to the painting, which depicts Jesus Christ in Renaissance garb, according to excerpts of the film published by The Times of Malta.

When French officials told Saudis about the discovery, they allegedly asked officials to hide that the artwork was not a full da Vinci, senior officials working for French President Emmanuel Macron said.

“Things turned incomprehensible,” one unnamed French official said.  “The request by [the prince] was very clear: show the ‘Salvator Mundi’ next to the ‘Mona Lisa’ and present it as 100 per cent a da Vinci.”

The Saudis then offered various deals in an effort to brush the painting’s origins under the table, the documentary alleges.

“The Saudis are afraid of this debate on the authenticity,” said Chris Dercon, who heads one of France’s top museum groups and advises the Saudi government on art. “They are afraid that people will say, both at home and abroad, ‘You spent all this money for something that is not a da Vinci.’”

Some members of the French government, including Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, lobbied on behalf of the Saudi prince’s request, according to the documentary.

Macron decided to reject the prince’s request, leaving it to the Louvre to negotiate with the Saudis on how the painting should be presented. 

Ultimately, the painting was never shown at the Louvre and the museum has refused to comment on the case, according to the filmmakers.

The painting was first bought in  2005 for just $1,175 by a New York art dealer and restored in the US.

British experts later authenticated the art and presented at London’s National Gallery in 2011. It was then sold to a  Russian oligarch for $127.5 million two years later.

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‘Fairy doors’ open hearts in California neighborhood

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'Fairy doors' open hearts in California neighborhood

A California community has bonded over a profusion of tiny, colorful wooden doors that are popping up all over.

The so-called “fairy doors” in Alameda, an island community adjacent to Oakland, have been around for years but they’ve grown in number since the pandemic.

So many of the brightly colored, diminutive portals have turned up at the bottom of trees, fences and benches that an army of volunteers has created a Facebook group to celebrate and map the phenomenon — helping fairies and human fans alike find them during self-guided walking tours.

Fred Hogenboom and his daughter are credited with launching the fairy door movement in Alameda about seven years ago, only to watch it grow.

“It’s a great phenomenon that was embraced by the whole community,” Hogenboom told SFGate.com.

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Author reveals how his brother killed his mother in new memoir

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Author reveals how his brother killed his mother in new memoir

Most memoirs are a recounting of the author’s own life and experiences. “Everything is Fine” by Vince Granata (Atria Books), out April 27, is a memoir of an entire family — and a tragedy that forever changed its members. 

Granata was an only child for the first 4 ½ years of his life. On the day his mother and father returned home from the hospital, he remembers writing “welcome home mommy” in sidewalk chalk outside their Connecticut home. His parents had arrived home with not one but three siblings in tow — triplets Christopher, Timothy and Elizabeth. It was a joyful event. But the birth of his siblings put in motion a tragedy that would take years to unfold. 

On July 24, 2014, his brother Tim, 24, attacked and killed their mother in the family home. Claudia Dinan Granata was 58. Tim suffered from schizophrenia. “I won’t take the medication, the medication destroys me, takes my mind, takes me away from God,” he ranted to his mother on the morning of the attack. He had frequently threatened suicide. 

“Tim’s demons, electric in his ill mind, convinced him that the woman who had made him peanut butter sandwiches when he was a grass-stained child was the source of his constant pain,” Granata writes. “…After he killed her, he dialed 911, sitting on our front steps, clutching a white Bible.” 

This is a memoir about a horrifying crime, but it is also a book about mental illness, and the family’s ongoing attempts to get help for Tim in a system that is hopelessly flawed. Tim was hospitalized at the Yale New Haven Psychiatric Hospital in February 2014. In the weeks leading up to the murder, there were numerous signs that he needed to return, but he refused to go back. 

“Eventually, I had no choice but to look at loss and pain, at all the pieces of my family’s story that I didn’t think I could ever understand,” Vince writes. “It was this process, recognizing the pieces, struggling to put them in order, that almost destroyed me. It’s also what allowed me to live again.” 

Tim was found not guilty by reason of insanity.

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These colleges require students to get vaccinated if they want to live on campus

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These colleges require students to get vaccinated if they want to live on campus

As academic institutions look toward the post-COVID-19 future of education, some are implementing strict vaccine requirements ahead of the upcoming semester as others incentivize or urge students to pick up the inoculations.

Many colleges already require students to provide proof of certain vaccines, but those have been in use for years. The three FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccines are all less than a year old.

But now that vaccines are open in many places to people age 16 and up, colleges are beginning to look into how that can benefit their reopening plans.

Colleges that will require proof of vaccination for students who want to live on campus include Oakland University in Michigan, Cornell University in upstate New York, Rutgers University in New Jersey, and Brown University in Rhode Island.

“Students have an option to come to Oakland University and not stay in residence halls,” Oakland President Dr. Ora Pescovitz told Fox 2 Detroit this week. “Only 20% of our students live on campus. The other 80% are commuter students.”

The school is offering religious and medical exemptions to students who provide proof to the dean of students.

But she said more than 1,000 people signed up for vaccines within the first six hours after the school announced the new requirement.

Northeastern University in Boston is going a step further and requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all students before the fall 2021 semester as part of its plan to return to full-time, in-person learning.

Nova Southeastern University announced last week it would require vaccinations by Aug. 1 – then backtracked after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced a statewide ban on “vaccine passports,” citing concerns about individual liberty and patient privacy.

“We will continue to follow all state and federal laws as they evolve,” Nova President George L. Hanbury II said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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