Lebanese masterpieces go under the hammer
Lebanon is enjoying a cultural revival: the Sursock museum reopened last year, along with a spate of new galleries across Beirut. Timely then, a sale of Lebanese modern art from Bonhams in London. One of the leading works is The Beirut City Center Egg by Ayman Baalbaki. The Egg is a partially destroyed cinema in Beirut that serves as a testament to the civil war. Other works to go under the hammer include pieces from Shafic Abboud, considered the father of Lebanese modernism, and Farid Aouad, an experimental artist who was under-appreciated in his lifetime. The sale takes place in London on April 27. For more information visit www.bonhams.com.
Vienna museum celebrates good times
Museums are not always the place one would associate with parties. But not so in Vienna: this exhibition traces the evolution of European festivities, from the Renaissance until the French Revolution. Unsurprisingly, the court banquet is prominent, and it looks at the types of dancing and music that could be found at these events. But the show also explores outdoor parties, from those held to mark coronations, weddings or births to more modest events held on fair or market days. The exhibition marks the 125th anniversary of the museum. Celebration! runs at the Kunsthistorisches Museum until September 11. For more information visit www.khm.at.
Diverse programme for Istanbul film festival
In the news for a deadly bomb attack a few weeks ago, the Istanbul International Film Festival comes at a welcome time for the city. This year more than 200 films will be screened, from the best in world cinema to the latest Turkish features. The festival also includes a human rights in cinema award, partly supported by the Council of Europe with a prize fund of €10,000 (Dh41,548). Competing for this includes 3000 Nights from Palestine, about a woman who learns she is pregnant after being wrongly jailed in an Israeli prison and Interrogation, a Tamil film about police brutality. The festival runs from April 7 to 17. For more information visit www.film.iksv.org.