Tuesday’s Art Notes

BY jbreslow  December 15, 2009 at 10:09 AM EDT
An installation in Copenhagen; Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images.

—Sitting on a lake in Copenhagen during the climate summit, this cube is constructed of 12 shipping containers and is intended to show one ton of CO2, which is the amount of CO2 the average person in an industrialized country emits each month. It’s about the size of a three-story building. (Photo by Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images.)

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Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged more than a billion dollars to a government project to digitize French books. The move is seen as a reaction to a dispute with Google over whether the company would have access to the French National Library as part of its Google Books project.

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Another cultural treasure whose preservation is weighing heavily on the French citizenry is Johnny Hallyday, the so-called “‘French Elvis” who introduced rock ‘n’ roll to their country.

Hallyday had been in a medically-induced coma in Los Angeles, but reportedly awakened yesterday. His condition and actual medical diagnosis have not been released.

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In Russia, artists and preservationists are outraged by an act signed late last month by Vladimir Putin that may allow the destruction of the Central House of Artists, a Soviet-era cultural center that has hosted concerts, films, book fairs and art exhibits for almost three decades.

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In another development, the Guardian reports that tens of thousands of China’s historic landmarks have disappeared over the last several decades due to the country’s rapid pace on new construction — worse, even, than the destruction that occurred during the Cultural Revolution when the government was actively getting rid of them.