Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Celebrity restorer sells her own work

Plus, tax on witch doctors in Swaziland; Twinkie’s last stand in Chiicago; Lagos gets its own version of the board game Monopoly.

Now is your chance to buy an original artwork from the woman renowned as the worst art restorer in recent history. Cecilia Giménez, the 80-year-old who tried – and famously failed – to restore the Ecce Homo fresco at the Santuario de Misericordia church in Spain earlier this year, is auctioning off her own painting on eBay. Proceeds of the painting, which depicts rural buildings near her hometown of Borja, will go to charity.

The church is also cashing in on Giménez’s infamy, now charging visitors to see the botched restoration. So far, it has raised €2,000 (Dh9,549) in the first week.

Tax on witch doctors

One government official in the African nation of Swaziland has decided the way to solve the country’s deficit is a higher tax on witch doctors.

The practitioners of magic, also known as sangomas, already pay a licence fee of 10 emalangeni (Dh4.22). But Majahodvwa Khumalo, a member of parliament, said the sangomas have recently raised their own rates and must pay higher taxes.

Swaziland’s budget deficit rose to 15 per cent of its annual economic output in 2010, one of the worst on the continent.

Twinkie’s last stand

Possibly the last chance to get a Hostess Twinkie off a supermarket shelf will come in Chicago.

More than 20,000 boxes of the snacks have been shipped to Jewel-Osco supermarkets in Illinois, US; the company has posted delivery schedules on its Facebook page to meet demand.

Twinkies have been in production since 1930, but earlier this year Hostess declared bankruptcy, marking the end of the line of the popular American snack. Sales of the product have skyrocketed on internet sites such as eBay and craigslist.

Lagos Monopoly game

Lagos has become the first African city to have its own version of the popular board game Monopoly.

The priciest property on the board is Banana Island, replacing Boardwalk in the original version. Makoko, a slum in Nigeria’s capital with buildings on stilts, becomes the cheapest property.

Other changes to the Parker Brothers game include a playing card that reads “Go directly to Kirikiri jail”, referring to the maximum security jail in the city, and another that reads “You’ve been caught driving against traffic. Report for psychiatric evaluation”.

The dumb smartphone

Police in Mildura, a small town near Victoria, Australia, have warned motorists not to use their iPhones as guidance after several people have got lost.

Officers say they have rescued six motorists in the last two months who were stranded in the Murray Sunset National Park trying to get to Mildura, which is more than 70 kilometres away.

Apple has come under fire for its Maps app, which was introduced with the iPhone 5. The company has since updated its software with fresh guidance for the Australian town. Last month, it also sacked the executive who was in charge of developing its map software.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National