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First You're Big, Then You're in Storage


The Codex Hammer, Leonardo da Vinci's manuscript that recently sold for $30.8 million, isn't the only piece of art gone from the UCLA/Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center.

The oversized likeness of the late founder that dominated the museum's entrance was recently removed. For those who never viewed the painting, it was the approximate size of a Lenin portrait one might have expected to see in a 1950s Soviet party headquarters.

Museum spokeswoman Anna Graham described the Hammer likeness quite accurately as, "large. I don't know the exact dimension. It was large." The oil company chairman/art collector will now be remembered by a discreet bust.

At the moment, two things are certain: "It's in storage and we don't have any plans to hang it in the future," Graham says. And, if it's sold, it won't be bringing in $30.8 million.


Finn in the Sun: As an example of cross-cultural pollination, Laika & the Cosmonauts would seem hard to beat.

This is a Finnish rock group that revives the early '60s Southern California surf music style of Dick Dale, the Ventures and the Surfaris (remember "Wipe Out"?).

Perhaps appropriately, the Helsinki group's album is titled "Instruments of Terror."


Ugly Trend: For those cleaning out their closets, it's come to our attention that the French have fallen in love with some castaways Americain.

It seems vintage '70s running shoes in the brightest colors possible are the latest Paris rage.

These would be early, pre-aerobics Nikes--the clunkier and uglier the better.

"I think they like them because it's just an ugly, twisted piece of Americana," said a woman who observed French visitors wearing the shoes at the recent Comme des Garcons show.

"What makes them like anything? It's a mystery to me."

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