Book fetches record price
The Bay Psalm Book, one of 11 surviving copies of the first book printed in the nation in 1640, sold for US$14.2 million on Tuesday evening at Sotheby’s in New York, setting a new world auction record for any printed book.The book easily surpassed the previous mark of US$11.5 million, paid in December 2010 for John James Audubon’s Birds of America. David Rubenstein, cofounder and co-CEO of the Carlyle Group private equity firm, purchased the book. Sotheby’s said Rubenstein plans to loan it to libraries across the nation, before it will be put on long-term loan to one of them. .
Police charged in ‘plebgate’
A policeman was charged on Tuesday with lying and seven others face disciplinary proceedings over the so-called “plebgate” scandal, which brought down a minister. Former Conservative chief whip Andrew Mitchell was involved in an altercation with police as he tried to push his bicycle through the gates at Prime Minister David Cameron’s Downing Street residence. Prosecutors said they had charged a police officer, Keith Wallis, with lying about witnessing the row in September last year, but said there was no evidence of a conspiracy against the former international development minister. Mitchell hit back after the decision, accusing the policeman with whom he had the argument of falsely claiming that the minister had called police “plebs,” a derogatory word used to describe commoners.
Wolf causes panic
An escaped wolf sparked panic in southern England on Tuesday after a pack of five animals escaped from a zoo. The timber wolves got through a damaged fence in their enclosure at Colchester Zoo in the early hours of the morning. Two were shot dead shortly after they escaped, one returned of its own accord and one was shot with an anaesthetic dart and captured, but one animal remained at large in woodland for several hours. People living nearby were reportedly warned to keep small children at home while police used a helicopter to scour the forest. The wolf was later found and destroyed by zoo staff, police tweeted.
Painting thieves sentenced
A Bucharest district court on Tuesday handed down sentences of six years and eight months to Radu Dogaru and Eugen Darie, the ringleaders of a gang who stole seven paintings by Matisse, Monet and Picasso from the Dutch museum Kunsthal in Rotterdam in October last year. The pair, who were not in court to hear the verdict, were ordered to pay 6,000 lei (US$1,830) in court costs. The sentences can be appealed. Dogaru’s mother, Olga, added a twist to the case by telling prosecutors that she burned the paintings — then retracted her statement. She is on trial on charges of destroying the works.