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‘Moving artworks a highly-skilled task’

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Moving artworks

New Delhi, May 26 : Moving a work of art, whether for repositioning or an exhibition, is a highly specialised affair that requires both the skills of a professional mover and an appreciation of aesthetics, says the head of arguably the only Indian firm offering the service.

“No one wants to take a chance with art works that have a monetary or a sentimental value; so moving artworks is a specialized field. Moving art requires handlers to be design specialists and no one size that fits in this trade,” Anil Jagtiani, COO of Santa Fe, a large firm of professional movers that counts shifting artworks among its speciality.

“Aside from just packing, transporting and storage of art works, Santa Fe specializes in the security and installation of all types of fine art and antiques,” he added.

Santa Fe was established in Hong Kong in 1980 and then expanded in Asia. In 2008, it bought IR Moving Concepts, a privately-owned Indian company established by Jagtiani.

“Trust is a big thing in art moving. It can be very expensive to buy cheap in this field. The object of packing and creating works of art is to isolate them from vibration and protect from scratching and crushing. This can be done in many ways, but the basic theory remains the same,” said Jagtiani.

“Our in-house specialists produce special crates for every artwork. These crates are made from fumigated wood and the works are provided complete protective cushioning to save them from shocks or vibrations,” he explained.

“The interiors are lined to prevent damage from friction and sealed to provide protection against a range of climatic changes. Crates can be built to any specification requested by the museums when it comes to their international loans and travelling exhibitions or to the demands of a private owner for ensuring a safe transport of his/her collection. All the packing materials are non-toxic, chemically tested and approved by conservators,” Jagtiani added.

“The height and width of the art works are restricted by the sizes of trucks and containers. For bigger pieces, artists plan it in multiple pieces to ensure its transportation,” the COO said.

“Our qualified technicians, with years of experience in handling artworks, guarantee the most accurate and safest packing methodology using specialized materials for artworks,” he added.

Along with the package come instructions on how it should be opened at the other end and also about how it should be repacked, he said.

“Any artwork or installation that needs assembly at destination needs detailed instructions. This is usually done through images,” he explained.

The users have given Santa Fe a resolute thumbs-up.

“We use Santa Fe’s services extensively at the gallery. It is a great idea and very important, especially for international art shipments back and forth from India. Most collectors expect shipments to arrive well packed and transported professionally with utmost safety and security – this service enables all of that,” said Roshini Vadehra, director of the Vadehra Art Gallery here.

Well-known sculptor Shanthamani Muddaiah, who uses ephemeral natural materials in her artwork, said that she had “a very pleasant experience working with the organisation”.

“I didn’t have to chase them around like other companies. My work was delivered very efficiently,” she said, adding: (in terms of other movers) “there hasn’t been any such division between art and other things.”

Noted artist Krishna Raj Chonat appreciated the concept, saying: “Santa Fe has been my primary mover. I am quite satisfied with it,” adding: “There is a big procedural problem when we do it by ourselves.”

For instance, there are major issues when moving an artwork aborad.

“There is no separate window (during custom checking) and the technical panel refers to items only as breakable/non-breakable, perishable/non-perishable commodities. It is a bizarre process including questions like why the material is being relocated.

“Santa Fe has been doing the job for years; so they’ve found a way out to explain to the authorities and also deal with us (artists) efficiently. For us, it’s about time and also about safety” and the organisation takes care of that, he added.

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Male sex hormones may help treat breast cancer: Study

While endocrine therapy is standard-of-care for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, resistance to these drugs is the major cause of breast cancer mortality.

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Sydney : Researchers have found new evidence about the positive role of androgens, commonly thought of as male sex hormones but also found at lower levels in women, in breast cancer treatment.

In normal breast development, estrogen stimulates and androgen inhibits growth at puberty and throughout adult life.

Abnormal estrogen activity is responsible for the majority of breast cancers, but the role of androgen activity in this disease has been controversial.

The new research published in the journal Nature Medicine showed that androgens have potential for treatment of estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.

A cancer is called estrogen receptor positive if it has receptors for estrogen, according to Breastcancer.org.

Using cell-line and patient-derived models, the global team, including researchers at the University of Adelaide and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia, demonstrated that androgen receptor activation by natural androgen or a new androgenic drug had potent anti-tumour activity in all estrogen receptor positive breast cancers, even those resistant to current standard-of-care treatments.

In contrast, androgen receptor inhibitors had no effect.

“This work has immediate implications for women with metastatic estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, including those resistant to current forms of endocrine therapy,” said lead researcher Theresa Hickey, Associate Professor at the University of Adelaide.

“We provide compelling new experimental evidence that androgen receptor stimulating drugs can be more effective than existing (e.g. Tamoxifen) or new (e.g. Palbociclib) standard-of-care treatments and, in the case of the latter, can be combined to enhance growth inhibition,” said Wayne Tilley, Director of the Dame Roma Mitchell Cancer Research Laboratories, Adelaide Medical School, University of Adelaide.

Androgens were historically used to treat breast cancer, but knowledge of hormone receptors in breast tissue was rudimentary at the time and the treatment’s efficacy misunderstood.

Androgen therapy was discontinued due to virilising side effects and the advent of anti-estrogenic endocrine therapies.

While endocrine therapy is standard-of-care for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer, resistance to these drugs is the major cause of breast cancer mortality.

“The new insights from this study should clarify the widespread confusion over the role of the androgen receptor in estrogen receptor driven breast cancer,” said Elgene Lim, a breast oncologist and Head of the Connie Johnson Breast Cancer Research Lab at the Garvan Institute.

“Given the efficacy of this treatment strategy at multiple stages of disease in our study, we hope to translate these findings into clinical trials as a new class of endocrine therapy for breast cancer.”

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Elizabeth Olsen: Nepotism creates fear that you don’t deserve the work you get

The actress added that she “always had this need to prove myself to everyone around me that I work really hard”, adding: “I couldn’t walk in a room without everyone already having an opinion.”

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Elizabeth Olsen

Los Angeles, Jan 19 : Hollywood star Elizabeth Olsen says she once thought of changing her surname and distance herself from the success of her family because it was insanity growing up in the spotlight.

“It was insanity. There were times when my sisters would always be spotted and I would be in the car with them and it would really freak me out. It has helped me navigate how I want to approach my career,” said the actress, whose older sisters are Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen.

The actress added that she “always had this need to prove myself to everyone around me that I work really hard”, adding: “I couldn’t walk in a room without everyone already having an opinion.”

Elizabeth opened up om the fears of nepotism.

“The thing about nepotism is the fear that you don’t earn or deserve the work. There was even a part of me when I was a little girl that thought if I’m gonna be an actress I’m going to go by Elizabeth Chase, which is my middle name. And then, once I started working, I was like, ‘I love my family, I like my name, I love my sisters. Why would I be so ashamed of that?’ It’s fine now,” she said.

The actress said fame has made her more of a homebody.

“Fame has also made me someone who is more of a homebody than maybe I would like to be but I know where not to go. If I could do whatever I wanted for the day, I’d start with the gym, then I’d go to the grocery store, because it’s my favourite thing,” Elizabeth told The Sun.

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Bill Gates is America’s biggest farmland owner

Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates owns the largest chunk of private farmland in the US across 18 states, a new report has revealed.

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Biz Billgates

San Francisco: Bill and Melinda Gates amassed 242,000 acres of land in the US, with the largest holdings in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres), according to The Land report.

Bill Gates also owns a stake in more than 24,800 acres of transitional land outside of Phoenix.

Research indicated that the lands across the US is held by Cascade Investment LLC, Gates’ private investment vehicle.

“Gates also backs online used-car seller Vroom through Cascade as well as the Canadian National Railway Company,” Geek Wire reported.

According to the Tri-City Herald, a 14,500-acre swath of choice Eastern Washington farmland in the Horse Heaven Hills in Benton County has just traded hands for almost $171 million – part of Gates’ holdings.

It is unclear why Gates has invested so heavily in farmland, but it could be connected to climate change.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a new nonprofit group a year ago, focused on helping small-scale farmers in developing countries with the tools and innovations they’ll need to deal with the effects of climate change.

Bill Gates is currently at the third spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index with a net worth of $132 billion.

But even with his big new agricultural holdings, Gates still doesn’t rank in the Top 100 private landowners overall in the US, considering owners of land of all types.

The list is topped by Liberty Media’s John Malone, with 2.2 million acres of ranches and forests. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos makes that list at No. 25 with 420,000 acres.

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