Names & Faces: Adolf Hitler, Michael Jackson, Â?Mona Lisa,' Chris Brown and Oprah

Monday, September 7, 2009

Adolf Hitler, Artiste?

Three watercolors thought to be the work of a young Adolf Hitler were auctioned Saturday, Reuters reports. The paintings -- "House With a Bridge Over a River," "Bullet-Riddled Mill" and an Austrian landscape -- were sold for $60,000 in Nuremberg, the Bavarian city where the Nazi war crimes trials took place following World War II.

"The people who will buy these paintings are academics and businessmen," an auction house spokesman, Herbert Weidler, told Britain's Independent. Weidler was not impressed by the works, which he called "rather modest."

This is not the first time paintings attributed to Hitler have fetched high prices -- 13 watercolors sold for $177,000 at a British auction house in April. Hitler, who was rejected by Vienna's Academy of Fine Arts before World War I, may have produced more than 700 artworks.

'Mona Lisa' Speaks

Breaking five centuries of silence, a digitized version of Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" is greeting visitors to an art exhibition in Beijing, Reuters reports. The World Classic Interactive Arts Exhibition, featuring 61 virtual versions of masterpieces, opened last month. "It's the first time the 3-D technology, holographic technology and voice-recognition technology is fused together in one exhibit," said Wang Hui, the organizer.

No mere animatronics golem, the digitized "Mona Lisa" trumps Walt Disney's talking Abraham Lincoln -- she greets visitors and answers biographical questions in Mandarin, not her native Italian.

"Hello, I am the 'Mona Lisa,' " the display reportedly says. "It's nice to meet you."

Glove Story

A sparkling white glove thrown to a fan in 1997 by Michael Jackson sold in Australia for $48,400, the Associated Press reports. A buyer for the Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino bested five bidders to claim the bejeweled accessory.

The glove dates from the Sydney premiere of the Stephen King-penned short film "Ghosts," which starred Jackson, who died in June. At the screening's conclusion, the Gloved One tossed his eponymous accoutrement at an unsuspecting audience member.

Oprah vs. Chris Brown

Oprah Winfrey and Chris Brown have sparred over Winfrey's treatment of domestic abuse on her popular television show, People reports.

"I commend Oprah on being, like, 'This is a problem,' but it was a slap in my face," said Brown, who was arrested in February for beating then-girlfriend Rihanna. "The Oprah Winfrey Show" ran a special on domestic abuse after Brown's arrest. "If a man hits you once, he will hit you again," Winfrey told her studio audience. "I don't care what his plea is."

Said Brown, who pleaded guilty to felony assault in June: "I did a lot of stuff for [Oprah], like going to Africa and performing for her school. She could have been more helpful."

According to E! Online, Oprah remains unmoved. "Oprah is very appreciative that Chris Brown performed at her school, but she takes domestic abuse very seriously," said a spokesperson for the talk-show host.

-- Justin Moyer, from staff, wire and Web reports

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