Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Odalisque original...

Odalisque in Red Pants, a painting by Henri Matisse has been handed back to Venezuela by the USA officials. Having been stolen in the early noughties it was found two years ago in Miami. An odalik was a sort of chambermaid/understudy concubine, and if she had 'extraordinary beauty or had exceptional talents in dancing or singing' [Wiki] Later, the word odalisque came to refer to a mistress of a wealthy man or, for some Turks, a wife: "If any lady possesses a pretty-looking slave, the fact soon gets known. The gentlemen who wish to buy an odalisque or a wife, make their offers. Many Turks, indeed, prefer to take a slave as a wife, as, in such case, there is no need to dread fathers, mothers, or brothers-in-law, and other undesirable relations."

A smidgeon of good news I suppose in a country where shortages and rationing is the norm; that is getting harder and harder to get to and where the communicational hegemony (Caracas Chronicles) got a whole lot worse last week when El Universal (oft linked to from Owsblog and is/was Venezuela's oldest and last remaining independent newspaper and almost alone in having an English on-line version) was sold: apparently bought by a Spanish investment group which started barely a year ago and claims to have over one billion dollars in capital investments. [INFODIO]. There, Alex mentions that "according to current legislation, it is illegal for foreign corporations to own newspapers in Venezuela" ...so maybe we can guess where at least some of that countries stolen assets are going.

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