Londoner's Diary: Beard brings in a new Bronze Age (with eBay)

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Goodbye trolls, hello culture vultures. Historian Mary Beard, pictured, is going to be a star at this year’s Frieze art fair. The Cambridge classicist, who has had a bumpy ride on Twitter this past week after providing the historical evidence for the BBC’s multiracial depiction of a Roman family in Britain, has teamed up with Hauser & Wirth.The contemporary gallery is planning a show at this year’s Frieze in October with a historical angle. It will be a “fictional Bronze Age presentation from a forgotten museum” and titled Bronze Age c. 3500BC to AD2017.Hauser & Wirth promises a “tongue in cheek” display, but should we expect the Bronze Age answer to Tracey Emin’s bed full of what might be the Roman equivalent of condoms? And hasn’t this the whiff of Damien Hirst’s Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable in Venice?“From my point of view it’s a rather more cerebral version of Damien Hirst,” Mary told The Londoner this morning. “There is an attempt to enjoy the display aesthetics and amusements of the museum alongside contemporary art, putting real ancient bronze next to a modern work,” she said. 

So how did it come about — has Beard always harboured artistic ambitions? “I did it because it was an opportunity to bring a few museums, especially those in regions, many of which are dead pressed for funds, into the limelight and make a small contribution to their work.” 

The exhibition will, according to The Art Newspaper, feature pieces from UK museums and private collections, and sculptures by Marcel Duchamp, Louise Bourgeois, Henry Moore, Fausto Melotti, Rashid Johnson and Paul McCarthy. “Most fun,” it notes, “are the ‘ancient bronze objects’ bought on eBay.” Someone has to buy them.

Plan to take over Britian originated in Edinburgh: Tony Blair (Photo by Stefan Rousseau – WPA Pool/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

TONY Blair has finally corrected an historic mistake. For 20 years the story has persisted that he and Gordon Brown made a pact in Islington’s Granita restaurant that Brown wouldn’t stand in the Labour leadership election in 1994 to increase Blair’s chances of winning. But on Radio 4 this morning he said: “The truth is it wasn’t Granita… the actual conversation took place in a couple of different places in Edinburgh.”

Miriam’s no chicken about US fowl play

Miriam proves she has the cojones when it comes to erm..chicken: Miriam Gonzalez Durantez (Getty Images)

Miriam González Durántez is stirring the pot. The lawyer has made her feelings for American poultry crystal clear, via her food blog Mum and Sons. “I thought I would post a ‘proper’ summer roast chicken as I am in the US for a few days and all we can get here is the chlorinated chicken that the UK Government seems so keen to allow into the UK,” she writes. It’s not the first time González Durántez has used her blog to give the Government a roasting. “Apparently in fantasy planet Brexitland this is called ‘taking back control’… taking control of all but your chicken, that is!”

Quote of Day:

(Photo credit should read PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images) (AFP/Getty Images)

“I guess there shouldn’t be that many people looking at one person constantly”  Model Bella Hadid on feeling overexposed on social media. Maybe she should tell her 14.3 million Instagram followers that. 

Tony’s Dreamgirl is not who he tweets she is

IT WAS quite the song and dance at the Dreamgirls press night last night as stars of TV and radio watched a new Effie White take to the Savoy Theatre stage. Trevor Nelson and Penny Smith were in fine spirits, as were Tony Blackburn, Martine McCutcheon and Claire Sweeney, watching Marisha Wallace make her West End debut as Effie, though it seems the BBC Radio 2 DJ was unaware of the cast change. “If you want to see a cast bubbling with talent  @DreamgirlsLDN is the show,” Tony tweeted. “Great songs and the voice of Amber Riley who is just brilliant.” Erm…

At times like these we remember the advice of the late Frank Johnson, the Telegraph journo who always made the most of impending nuclear war. Johnson was a ladies’ man, once linked with Anna Ford and Lord Wyatt’s daughter Petronella. It was during the Cuban missile crisis that he honed his technique. He took a pretty young girl out to dinner. She was rather reluctant, then Frank launched his missile. “I fear,” he whispered, “we may not have much time.”

Tyler makes the papers

IT’S what every hipster CEO needs on their summer holidays — Monocle magazine is defying the supposed demise of print media by releasing a weekly newspaper. Available at all good European resorts, as well as Gatwick and Heathrow throughout August, The Summer Weekly will contain the thinking person’s magazine’s typically esoteric view on global affairs. 

“Everyone is very down about newspapers but there is something very exciting about this form,” Monocle chief Tyler Brûlé, pictured, says. “You don’t mind if it gets a bit of suncream on it, or if it gets waterlogged.” The launch issue features an interview with Margrethe Vestager, the  EU competition commissioner, a piece on museum-building by former Tate Britain director Stephen Deuchar, and a profile of Angela Merkel by author James Hawes, explaining why few understand the German chancellor’s plans. Sounds just like beach reading to us.

Tweet of The Day: “All the nuclear warmoaners need to stop whining, get behind it and try to make it a success”

The Thick of It writer Simon Blackwell on the impending war between US and North Korea 

Selfie of the day: former British Vogue editor, Alexandra Shulman poses for a bikini selfie, which she posted on Instagram. Will other magazine editors follow suit?

Douglas hounded out of the UK 

Dog Days are over: Douglas Booth- Instagram

DOUGLAS Booth, the darling of period dramas, is headed out of the country. “Sad to say goodbye to London for a little while,” he posted on Instagram, posing outside his friend’s Dalston bar For.Fuk.Sake. Hope he leaves the dog behind.

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