Friday’s Art Notes

BY Molly Finnegan  August 12, 2011 at 10:36 AM EST

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Prateep Rodpai, one of Thailand’s last traditional Khon mask makers, works in his outdoor studio in Angthong, Thailand. The paper mache masks are part of the ornate glittering costumes used in the stylized classical Thai dance form known as Khon, originally imported from India around the 10th century. The painted Khon masks are essential to conveying the characters and moods of a Khon performance. Photo by Paula Bronstein/ Getty Images

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An online petition calling for Sesame Street stars Bert and Ernie to get married as a lesson in tolerance and social acceptance for gay marriage has been turned down by the characters’ creators, via BBC. Sesame Workshop responded in a statement saying, “They remain puppets and do not have a sexual orientation.”

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Ai Weiwei talked to American media on Friday, recounting more details of his jail time to The New York Times.

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Amnesty International criticizes the Edinburgh International festival for accepting funding from the Chinese government, via BBC.

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art canceled planned loans to the Moscow Kremlin Museum over the continuing Russian embargo on cultural loans to the U.S., via the New York Observer.

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When Stephen Sondheim learned that a new production of Porgy and Bess would have a happy ending, he sent a critical editorial to The New York Times. NYT has posted the response from the opera’s director, and rounded up other responses from readers.