Imelda Marcos Artworks Seized by Philippines Authorities!

Artworks belonging to former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos have been seized by authorities who claim they were acquired with stolen state funds.

A small number of works were taken away from properties owned by the 85-year-old on the order of the courts.

Pieces by Picasso, Gauguin and other masters are thought to be in the possession of the family of the country’s former dictator.

Mrs Marcos lived a lavish lifestyle during her husband’s 21-year rule.

She is best known for amassing a huge collection of designer shoes during the family’s tenure in power, but has never been imprisoned despite being charged with a number of crimes.

State authorities claim that a selection of paintings were illicitly obtained using public funds during the Marcos era, which lasted from 1965 to his overthrow in 1986. Ferdinand Marcos died in exile three years later.

The family and associates are estimated to have amassed more than $10bn (£6.1bn) in property, jewellery, cash and other assets during their time in power. Mrs Marcos, who was elected to the Philippine congress in 2010, has consistently denied embezzlement.

Pablo Picasso’s Reclining Woman VI, Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child, and a still life by Paul Gauguin are among those the Philippine courts are keen to seize.

State spokesman Nick Suarez confirmed that a number of pieces of art had been removed from Marcos properties, but they “have yet to determine which ones or how many”.

The other works on the court’s list are Francisco de Goya’s portrait of the Marquesa de Santa Cruz, Pierre Bonnard’s La Baignade Au Grand Temps, Vase of Red Chrysanthemums by Bernard Buffet, Joan Miro’s L’Aube, and one of Camille Pissarro’s Jardin de Kew series.

Mrs Marcos is said to be a keen art collector, and her lawyer said that the court order and seizure were “highly questionable” and there would be an appeal.

Robert Sison said that the paintings were not included in a forfeiture case which the Philippine government brought against the Marcos family more than a decade ago.

There are thought to be a total of 150 works of art in Mrs Marcos’s possession, which the authorities are keen to track down

Sri Lanka’s Mihin to Expand routes, Frequencies!

Sri Lanka’s state-run budget carrier Mihin Lanka plans to add destinations and increase frequencies on existing route as it plans to meet the growing demand for flights due to an increase in tourism and trade.

TThe state-owned airline plans to start flights to Lahore in Pakistan where the airline says has immense potential in export – import cargo.
“The new route will enhance regional connectivity and strengthen economic and trade ties between Sri Lanka and Pakistan,” Rohana Perera, Head of Commercial, Mihin Lanka said. “The potential for export cargo is immense in Lahore as the city is a thriving commercial hub and exports textiles, raw material, carpets, sports goods, surgical equipment, fresh fruits and vegetables,”

“There is also a significant demand for cargo uplifts from Sri Lanka to Pakistan, especially with the export of beetle leaves which are in high demand.”

The airline will fly to Lahore in November 2014 with three flights per week, scheduled every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It will take approximately four hours to fly Lahore the airline said.

“At present no other airline directly services the Lahore route,” Perera said.

Perera said the city has a growing demand for outbound travel to the Far East and destinations in South East Asia which the airline hopes to capitalize on further together with its code share partner SriLankan Airlines.

Mihin Lanka also expand its frequency to the Seychelles with effect from 30th October 2014, the airline said.
“Mihin Lanka has experienced immense growth in passenger and cargo uplifts to the Seychelles over a short period of time and the flights have contributed significantly to the airline’s success,” Perera said.

“Mihin Lanka commenced its operations to the Seychelles with two flights per week with just over 50 percent cabin factor. In the short span of six months, the airline has managed to achieve 70 percent cabin factor,”

“Mihin Lanka hopes that the third flight in the schedule will provide passengers with the opportunity to increase their travel between both countries for business and leisure.”

At present, Mihin Lanka operates two flights per week to the Seychelles every Tuesday and Saturday.

The airline will operate its third flight every Thursday.

Happy Birthday Julie Andrews!

She gained fame for her beloved musical roles in Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, and became a Dame for the performing arts for Queen Elizabeth II. She became the most successful actress in the world after appearing in Torn Curtain and Thoroughly Modern Millie in the 1960s.

She was a child actress who began singing onstage with her parents in 1945 and who appeared in a stage production of Jack and the Beanstalk.

In 2010, she supplied the voice of Marlena in the animated film Despicable Me.

She married Tony Walton in 1959, and then married Blake Edwards in 1969. She has five children.

She played the role of Mia’s grandmother in the Princes Diaries alongside Anne Hathaway.

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