Thursday’s Art Notes

BY Arts Desk  January 28, 2010 at 10:20 AM EST

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A Palestinian woman stands at a new museum in the ancient Pasha’s Palace in Gaza City. The Emperor Napoleon considered it the most suitable place to stay with his entourage during three nights spent in the ancient city in the middle of his military campaign in Egypt and Syria in February 1799. The museum does not only tell the history of the building, but addresses other periods of history, and displays exhibits from the Gaza Strip Department of Antiquities collection. The museum has become a place for hosting cultural and educational activities for the local community and visitors. Photo by Mahmud Hams/ AFP/ Getty Images

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J.D. Salinger, the author of the classic modern novel about teenage rebellion, “The Catcher in the Rye,” has died at his home in Cornish, N.H., at the age of 91. We’ll have more on Salinger later today.

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After initial assurances that it would be restored in time for an upcoming exhibit this spring, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is starting to ponder how exactly to fix its newly-damaged Picasso.

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A new budget proposal for the city of Los Angeles would cut more than a thousand city jobs, many of which are related to arts and culture.

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Those potentially affected city employees may join a handful of other L.A. workers who will be laid off today when Hollywood arthouse mainstay Miramax shuts its doors. The studio — currently owned by Disney, but first founded by the Weinstein brothers — produced among others “Pulp Fiction,” “The English Patient” and “My Left Foot.”

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Mohamed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, attempted to sell looted Afghan antiquities to a German archaeologist in order to pay for flying lessons.

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According to a survey of 25 institutions, America’s leading museums are reporting more optimistic outlooks for 2010. Last year, museums suffered dramatic financial cuts and high anxiety, but also high attendance rates.

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Paul R. Jones, 81, who amassed one of the largest collections of 20th-century African-American art, died in Atlanta on Tuesday.

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Howard Zinn, the historian and activist who wrote “A People’s History of the United States,” a populist, progressive alternative to the traditional American history textbook, died Wednesday in California at the age of 87. In this segment from 2003, he discusses the start of the Iraq war:

You can read the full transcript from that segment here.