(Reuters) – The desk where Bram Stoker wrote his famed 1897 book “Dracula” is going up for auction next month after having been restored and turned into a work of art, auction company Profiles in History said on Wednesday.
The desk, which will be auctioned off by the California company on December 15 and 16, has had a long history, which, over the past century, has left it battered, with missing drawers and legs sawn short.
The Irish-born Stoker, who died in 1912, initially gave the desk to his friend J.S.R. Phillips. The current owner commissioned British-based furniture maker and designer Mark Brazier-Jones to preserve the desk, but also make it a stand-alone art piece, the auction house said.
Brazier-Jones said in a statement that he wanted to preserve the desk’s scars and textures, but also pay homage to the man who introduced the vampire Count Dracula to today’s pop culture.
The man who became Nazi dictator was born in the house in Braunau on the Inn, a town near Salzburg on the German border, in April 1889. His family lived there only three years, but his link to the three-storey building has left an indelible mark.
A retired local woman now owns the property, which Austria’s federal interior ministry has been renting since 1972 and has sublet to Braunau.
According to media accounts, the building – an inn when Hitler‘s family rented space there – has housed a library, a bank, classrooms and most recently a charitable organization‘s workshop for handicapped people, which moved out a year ago.
The question of what to do with it now is exposing splits between those who want to highlight its past and those who want to turn the page on an inglorious chapter of local history.
The mayor of Braunau, Johannes Waidbacher, caused a stir with a newspaper interview in which he proposed making the house into a standard residence.
“You have to ask in general whether another Holocaust memorial makes sense when there are already many around here,” the mayor, born 21 years after the war’s end, told Der Standard.
“We are stigmatized anyway. Hitler spent the first three years of his life in the city, and it was certainly not the most formative phase of his life. We as the city of Braunau are thus not prepared to take responsibility for the outbreak of World War Two,” he was quoted last week as saying.
This advertisement has been on several very large banners around the Diagonal Mar Shopping Centre here in Barcelona for the past few weeks. It offers people the chance to take part in a competition and win modelling prizes. Which is great, despite the fact that yours truly will not be taking part for humanitarian reasons.
Unfortunately, the people that wrote the copy may wish they had consulted their dictionaries first of all.
Whereas a SHOOTING is:
Noun 1. shooting – the act of firing a projectile; “his shooting was slow but accurate”
2. shooting – killing someone by gunfire; “when the shooting stopped there were three dead bodies”
the word they were probably looking for is SHOOT, which is defined, among other things, as:
6. A session in which something is photographed, filmed, or videotaped
So if someone approaches you in a shopping centre for a shooting opportunity, just decline politely!
- Investors’ appetite for shopping centres grows (independent.co.uk)
- Store giants battle to be best online mall (news.theage.com.au)
It is not often that one is delivered a press release quite so dispiriting as last week’s little number for a flight comparison site that had thoughtfully “mapped out exactly where to find the world’s richest people in order for women to know where to bag a billionaire”. If you can hear a distant thud, don’t worry, it is only me bashing my head against my desk. Said website apparently pooled the recent Forbes Billionaire List and a map, to produce every woman’s indispensable guide to hunting down a rich husband if that’s not attractive, I don’t know what is.
Strange Random Money Quote:
Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to shop. — Bo Derek
- Richest People (socyberty.com)
- BRIC countries gain more billionaires -Forbes (reuters.com)
- Here’s How Long It Will Take For You to Hit the Forbes Billionaire List (businessinsider.com)
- President Trump? Billionaire considering 2012 run (ctv.ca)
- The Billionaire Factory: Roaring Markets, Sudden Fortunes (forbes.com)
- China, Russia drive growth in world’s billionaires (facebeyond.wordpress.com)
Tomorrow we’ll be back with another interesting article, cool site, video and maybe even a game.
But not today.
Strange Random Strike Quote:
“When you are an anvil be patient; when a hammer, strike” – Arabian Proverb
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- Strikes hit flights in Spain and Belgium (telegraph.co.uk)
- European day of action against cuts: live updates (guardian.co.uk)
- Spanish flight chaos as general strike takes hold (independent.co.uk)
- Huge anti-austerity protest to descend on Brussels (newstatesman.com)
- European unions stage day of action over spending cuts (cnn.com)
- Special report: Is there power in Europe’s unions? (reuters.com)
- Spain braced for travel chaos, protests in general strike (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
Ahh, the wonderful world of translation … Here’s a great example of what could have happened with the character Iron Man. Many thanks to Míquel for making us laugh with this one yesterday!
Strange Random Superhero Quote:
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- Chris Nolan Talks Superman; No Joker in Batman 3 (screenrant.com)
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In the run-up to Thursday’s general Election in the UK, the Conservative Party, many would say favourites to win, have launched a fake TV ad on behalf of the Hung Parliament Party. The aim is to show voters what might happen if none of the parties receives a majority and of course, get them all to vote Conservative! Although rare in the UK, a Hung Parliament has happened before, as this article points out. The reason for the rope in the picture is the double meaning of hang – hanged – hanged for people and hang – hung – hung for things …
Strange Random Politics Quote:
Politics, n: [Poly “many” + tics “blood-sucking parasites”] – Larry Hardiman
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- Votes or seats? Why Nick Clegg won’t, can’t and shouldn’t answer that hung Parliament question (libdemvoice.org)
- Latest polls indicate hung parliament is still most likely (newstatesman.com)
- Osborne ramps up fear of a hung parliament (leftfootforward.org)
- Tories Fight For Swing Districts (online.wsj.com)
- Q&A: The UK political system explained (cnn.com)
- U.K Election: Why Winning Could Feel a Lot Like Losing (time.com)