Lost frescoes back


januari 21, 2022

Construction workers discover lost frescoes belonging to the Medici family.

During a restoration of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, construction workers came across the two frescoes.

The frescoes – quickly painted works in watercolor on wet plaster – dating back to the 1600s. The paintings, depicting members of the wealthy Medici banking family, are believed to have been covered up in the 18th or 19th century and their existence was previously hidden and unknown.

The museum of Italian Renaissance art was originally a building for the magistrates of Florence and served as a repository for the extensive art collection of the Medici.
The larger and more impressive of the two frescoes, attributed to the circle of Italian Mannerist painter Bernardino Poccetti, is a life-size portrait of Cosimo
II de Medici, the fourth duke of Tuscany and a patron of Galileo. At his feet sit two women next to a lion and a wolf, allegories of the cities of Florence and Siena.

“It was common to have paintings of rulers above the doors of government buildings and this one shows the young Cosimos recounting the conquest of Florence’s conquest of Siena,” said museum director Eike Schmidt.
The second, smaller fresco is a tondo portrait of Cosimo’s father and predecessor, Duke Ferdinando I de’ Medici. Both paintings were probably painted over when the rooms were re-purposed. In another room, the team found several 18th century paintings with plant motifs on the walls and vault of the ceiling.

From: Hyperallergic. Translated with (free version)

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The Legend of Merlin


januari 21, 2022

The legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is perhaps one of the earliest manifestations of European egalitarianism: The table was round so that no one, not even the king, would sit at the head and each would weigh equally . The twelve stars in the European Union flag seem to refer to the twelve knights – 24 knights are also mentioned. The duodecimal system is early European and (except on the clock face) has been supplanted by the simpler annotation in Arabic numerals in the decimal system. In the European flag, the twelve stars allegedly symbolize the halo around Mary’s head, but I actually like the symbolism of the Round Table better: every participating Member State is seen as equal: sovereign and therefore with veto power.

I read the following news item today on Scientias:

The fragments, carelessly tucked away in the binding of other books in the fifteenth century, date from the early thirteenth century.

That is what British researchers say after they have thoroughly examined the seven fragments. However, their research not only results in a fairly accurate dating of the fragments; the scientists also managed to read the entire text, which was no longer visible to the naked eye in places due to damage. They also managed to determine what kind of ink the writer used to put Merlin’s story on parchment.

Merlin is a wizard who plays an important role in the famous legend of King Arthur. In the fragments that were recently recovered, it is described, among other things, how King Arthur – together with a few allies, including Merlin – takes up arms against King Claudas. Merlin devises a plan of attack. And a detailed description of the battle follows. That battle seems to be turning against Arthur and his companions, but then Merlin makes a fiery argument and the tide is turned.

From: Science. (

Image: Merlin Taking Away The Infant Arthur By: Newell Convers Wyeth, found at:

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Danish light from Vlissingen


januari 21, 2022

Willem Koolmees goes to great lengths to earn his living. He drives to Denmark about once every six weeks for a new supply of old lamps. He fixes them up and sells them. Seems too simple to live on, but Willem can do it.

During the holidays I came across a book at our guest house about a group of Danish painters in Skagen who made beautiful paintings. I couldn’t read the story of that group of painters, so at home I googled the book, which I think was called ‘Danish Light’.

I didn’t like the Skager painters, but I did like a different Danish light. Namely lamps by Louis Poulsen. I forgot the book and googled further for these lamps. Because such a lamp fits perfectly with our dining table.

Louis Poulsen is ‘design’ and therefore much too expensive… then look at the marketplace, maybe there is a good second-hand copy. That’s how I ended up on the Facebook page of Willem Koolmees, ‘specialized in custom made vintage Danish lamps’ . My ‘refurbishing’ is therefore too disrespectful for what Willem does, see the photos below.

Buying only a photo on the internet is difficult for me, so I called Willem for an appointment in Vlissingen. ‘Are you coming by train? But how do you get here? I’m far from the station.’ To my answer that we would take a taxi, he said: ‘I can come and get you with my van, but then 1 has to be in the back’ . No sooner said than done. On the way Willem said: I really think a taxi is a waste of money, then I’ll come get you.

On the shelves in his workshop at the business park in Vlissingen are countless old lamps, parts and Danish trinkets from thrift shops. ‘It’s not a showroom, is it, people work here.’ I choose a lamp and the colours, Willem tells me in the meantime.

Willem is not an average salesperson, nor is an average person. He adheres to all the rules, but is regularly surprised as to why. Anyway, he counts his blessings. He walks with his girlfriend in the area around Vlissingen, in the summer it’s like being on vacation. He goes his own way, driving alone all night to Denmark. Nice and quiet. Initially he looked for the lamps himself in thrift shops, now he has people in Denmark looking for him. In passing, he also takes other items with him that he expects to sell well.

He watches his money, how much do you really need? And he watches my money: he explains that he has the paint made special, it is more expensive than regular hardware store paint, but then the lamp gets exactly the right old-fashioned finish, what a new cord costs, and what it earns. Apparently it is a way of earning money that is catching on: he is now quite busy.

Last week I received my lamp, properly packed in recycled packaging material.
He is beautiful William! I’m very happy with it.

And … if you come across a painting by a Skager painter, I’ll recommend it!

Laurits Tuxen – pouring the morning coffee (Skager museum)

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Baron stole from Europe


januari 21, 2022

From: The Standard. Karel Pinxten (69), ex-politician of the Open VLD, loses two thirds of his pension rights. This was decided by the European Court of Justice on Thursday morning. According to the Court, it has been proven that Pinxten, as a member of the European Court of Auditors, enriched himself between 2006 and 2018 at the expense of his employer.

Source: Wikipedia

In its decision, the court followed the demand of Irish Solicitor General Gerard Hogan in December last year. An investigation by the European anti-fraud service Olaf had shown that Pinxten, among other things, had private trips to Cuba and Crans-Montana in Switzerland, but also hunting parties in Ciergnon in the Ardennes and Chambord in the Loire region paid for by his employer the European Court of Auditors .

He is also accused of fraud with fuel cards, as is a long list of dinners paid for by Europe with political and personal friends. At the end of his investigation in 2018, Olaf estimated the financial loss that Pinxten would have caused to his employer at 570,000 euros. The Court of Audit itself reduced that amount to 160,000 euros in its claim to the European Court.

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Italy as a political trendsetter


januari 21, 2022

By: Robert Visscher/NemoKennislink, cover image: Wikipedia

Many people see Italian politics as the exception within Europe. But the Italians are trendsetters, say Utrecht University scientists. The approach of Mussolini, Berlusconi and Grillo was followed by the rest of the world.

Laying lazily on the beach, lounging around a bit and taking a dip every now and then. “Long days doing nothing in the sun and enjoying life. That is the image that many people have of the holiday country Italy,” say researchers and Italy experts Pepijn Corduwener and Arthur Weststeijn (Utrecht University). “It seems above all a country of stagnation and disorder, but when you think of political innovation you probably don’t think of Italy. The country is indeed a trendsetter,” argue the two scientists.

Lazing in the sun, like here in Sicily. Many holidaymakers are familiar with Italy, but from a political point of view the country is a trendsetter, argue Weststeijn and Corduwener. Photo: Robert Visscher

In their book ‘The Italian experiment’ the authors provide a refreshing look at the modern political history of Italy. They describe how Benito Mussolini, Silvio Berlusconi, Beppe Grillo and Matteo Salvini became popular and set an example for many other politicians across the border. This is remarkable, because most historians argue the opposite. They emphasize that Italy is an exception in Europe and has therefore not been imitated at all. Now that many people are on holiday in the southern European country, NEMO Kennislink is questioning the scientists.

Read more at:

Featured photo (Wikipedia): Alessandra Mussolini, Italian conservative politician, member of the European Parliament, former actress and model, granddaughter of Benito Mussolini, niece of Sophia Loren. Photo Nicoloro Giuseppe. Milano 07/10/2007 Festa Tricolore del secolo d’Italia. nella photo l’ unoriginal Alessandra Mussolini.

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Other times in Italy


januari 21, 2022

Hi Erwin,

Did you have a good holiday?

I would have liked to stay in Italy a bit longer, I noticed when I got home, because no, I haven’t really completely rested this summer.

Naturally. I had a nice meal, a good location and also a good read, but I didn’t feel like watching, didn’t want to really delve into it. My curiosity was locked.

I noticed it in Brisighella ’s bell tower. For two weeks straight it stood like an exclamation mark on a rock in the undulating hilly landscape around me.

I saw the tower from our garden. I saw the tower on the way to the Conad. I saw the tower when I went to get bottles of Albana and Romagna Sangiovese at wine cooperative. I saw the tower as we walked through Brisighella. And I saw the tower as we drove to Faenza, Ravenna or further up the coast.

But I didn’t see him.

Take a good look at that tower, yes, the photo at the top. The clock does not indicate the traditional 12 hours, but has a division of six areas, the Ora Italica. A time indication that they used in Italy from the 14th to the 18th century.

Certainly, even in Italy a day consisted of 24 hours. But they didn’t divide it into two times twelve hours, but into four parts of six. When the sun went down, it was 24 hours and a new day began. If it was eighteen, there were still six hours to go until sunset, which coincided with the closing of the city or castle gates. Disadvantage: the time was nowhere the same, because yes, the sun did not set at the same time everywhere.

When Napoleon occupied large parts of Italy, he introduced the ‘French’ era – which we still use today. Time took on a different appearance in Italy. In some towns it just stayed on the Ora Italica.

From: Cor Hospes’ newsletter

Copyright © 2021 Cor Hospes, All rights reserved.
You have signed up for the Cor Hospes Newsletter.

Image: Ciao Tutti. An initiative of Saskia Balmaekers, weblog about Italy.

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lava flow

news, Uncategorized

januari 21, 2022

This image, taken on September 30 by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission, shows the lava flow from the erupting volcano on the Spanish island of La Palma. The lava flows into the Atlantic Ocean and extends the coastline. This ‘lava delta’ covered about 20 hectares when the photo was taken.

On September 19, a fissure opened in the Cumbre Vieja volcano, sending plumes of ash and lava into the air. The lava poured down the mountain and flowed through villages swallowing everything in its way. By September 28, the 6 km lava flow had reached the ocean on the west coast of the island. Clouds of white steam were reported where the red-hot lava hit the water in the Playa Nueva area.

This Sentinel-2 image is rendered in true color, using the shortwave infrared channel to emphasize the lava flow. The Sentinel-2 mission is based on a constellation of two identical satellites, each carrying an innovative high-resolution multispectral wide-angle camera with 13 spectral bands, capable of tracking changes in Earth’s land and vegetation.

contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2021), edited by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO
Observing the Earth

Translated with (free version)

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Angela Merkel saved the West


januari 21, 2022

(James Hawes on “So even now that Angela Merkel’s own CDU is no longer the largest party, she has won.

How come? Because she saved her one true love: the West. The real, European West, that is, not the “West” of the wild, free-spirited Ayn Rand-esque fantasies that arose when communism fell. She understood what the West really means.

How could she have done otherwise, with her life story? Unlike almost everyone in East Germany, she was not there because of bad luck and barbed wire. Her father, a pastor, moved of her own free will from Hamburg to the East shortly after her birth in 1954, and there became a leading figure in the Lutheran Church. This is less surprising than it sounds, because the Lutherans, with their strict delineation of secular and spiritual realms (meaning in practice that they never seriously criticize the state), have been welcome helpers to the rulers of East Germany since the Teutonic Knights embraced Luther, broke with Rome and founded their own new state: Prussia.

The Wall was built when she was seven. She must have grown up knowing she could have been a West German. As a very talented young scientist working within the insane ideological confines of Marxism-Leninism, she must have felt the direct effects of her father’s misguided utopianism every day. At 35 she experienced the triumph of the West not only as simple, literal freedom, but also as a spiritual liberation, at last, from the structural mendacity in which millennial ideas inevitably derail.

Translated with (free version)

read the entire essay at

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WWW was invented in Europe


januari 21, 2022

The World Wide Web (WWW) is a European invention, invented by Tim Berners Lee at CERN (Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire), an organization founded in 1954 by twelve European countries. The WWW is the most public manifestation of the Internet because the social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Youtube, Instagram, etc.) are private companies where you can create an account but which as a ‘publisher’ can directly intervene in what you publish and are increasingly doing so under the pressure of governments as a precaution.

This is not the case on the World Wide Web. The ICANN is an American ‘multi-stakeholder corporation’, a kind of foundation for which we must be eternally grateful to Jon Postel (1943-1998, an academic hippie who has remained true to his idealistic principles).

Incidentally, the WWW also has limits to the freedom of expression, just as they apply in the open, but EVERYONE is allowed on it and in any case there is no private administrator who acts as a precautionary censor, what on Youtube, Facebook, etc. is the case. Such as: When is naked pornography and when does pornography break the law. An algorithm or a moderator lacks the intelligence and knowledge for this, so everything exposed on such a platform is ‘blacked out’ as a precaution. Which leads to censorship on art showing nude (and that’s quite a bit!) ‘Online’ as

Fortunately, the World Wide Web is still a sanctuary for political expression with much to experience. I think it is invaluable for the pluriformity – the multiplicity of differing views – in the social debate. There is more to read and watch and listen to than ever before. Like on is a nice Belgian news & opinion site that is reminiscent of Geen Stijl, Cafe Weltschmerz and Blackbox: rowing against the prevailing opinion. Defying authorities who think they have a monopoly on the truth in the form of facts (their facts).

Doorbaak is upset about the leftism of the mainstream media. But that is slowly starting to look a bit aggrieved. After all: how ‘mainstream’ are the mainstream media anyway? Just as the ‘political centre’ is increasingly eaten up by newcomers on the right and left flanks. Perhaps it’s better to say by the ‘margin’, because populism carries both right-wing and left-wing agenda items at the same time.

The whole idea that there are mainstream media and mainstream political parties that can direct public debate is based on the idea that they have exclusive media access, but that has long since ceased to be the case. The Internet and social media have completely fragmented ’the media’ and made ‘public opinion’ extremely volatile. Anyone can gather a circle of like-minded people around them by becoming active online. And it can go viral.

I am still a loyal user of old media that I trust, such as NRC that I read and the NOS-Journaal and Nieuwsuur that I watch almost daily. I certainly won’t write it off. I appreciate people who count to ten before shouting. Who are self-critical by hearing both sides of the argument.

But I think it’s a huge asset that there are all kinds of online initiatives that critically and annoyingly monitor this often lazy, smug media. If you just surf the web a lot and just sniff around and browse around, then as a media junkie like me, you’ll have the time of your life. Whether it concerns the climate, the economy, the pandemic, Afghanistan or whatever. Every glass is not only half empty, but elsewhere also half full. I read the newsletter of Groenlinks with as much interest as that of Forum for Democracy. Every morning my inbox is full of newsletters from home and abroad and I can indulge myself again.

Favorites? BBC, Euro News, Deutsche Welle, Arte, TV5 Monde,The Financial Times, The Economist but also: De Bicker, Clintel, Syp Wynia’s Week, The Poverty Project, The Project Syndicate, The Conversation, Media Part, De Correspondent, , Smithsonian Magazine, IEEE Spectrum, De Groene Amsterdammer, AAAS en Science, Roger Pielke Jr., Unherd, 7DTV, Issues in Science and Technology, Hyperallergic, Mediapart,
The Associated Press, Reuters, Eurozine, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Perlentaucher, The Spectator, 360 Magazine, Politico, The New York Review of Books, London Review of Books, Pew Research, Nature, Open Democracy, University of the Netherlands, pfff.. ….just to name a few. The first thing you do when you hear an expert or authority declare a firm truth (which real experts very rarely do, be firm) is: take a look online.

So I don’t see the problem of that mainstream, biased media that way.


  • Title: Tim Berners-Lee
  • Author: Photographer Elise Amendola
  • Licensee: Supplier AP, Supplier NTB scanpix
  • Source:

World Wide Web verkocht als NFT: broncode levert fortuin op

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