x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

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.