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March 06, 1997|SHAUNA SNOW


Ownership Battle Continues: The Russian parliament approved a draft law Wednesday claiming ownership of 200,000 artworks seized by the Soviet Union from museums and private homes in Nazi Germany during World War II. However, the bill must be signed by President Boris Yeltsin, who has been urged by deputy culture minister Mikhail Shvydkoi not to sign. Shvydkoi maintains the law would "harm Russia's position" in world negotiations. The German government has demanded the return of the artifacts and has appealed to Yeltsin several times for help. Many Russians, however, view the treasures as compensation for Russian artworks destroyed by the Nazis.


Macaulay's Coffers: A New York judge has ruled that "Home Alone" star Macaulay Culkin, now 16, can use some of his $17-million fortune to buy housing for his family. Culkin's parents--currently engaged in a custody battle over their seven children--have often been unable to pay the rent on the family's three apartments. The judge also removed Culkin's parents as guardians of his property, replacing them with Culkin's longtime accountant Billy D. Breitner. A child star's earnings generally can be tapped only by court order.


Praising NBC: Forty Congress members, led by Californian Walter Capps (D-Santa Barbara), have written to NBC commending the network and its sponsor, the Ford Motor Co., for airing Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List" in its entirety. The letter objects to comments made after the Feb. 23 airing by Rep. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who had chastised NBC for exposing children to violence and nudity in the Holocaust-themed film. Coburn later said his criticism was "misinterpreted."


It won't be in theaters until the summer, but Hollywood is already banking on Columbia Pictures' "Men in Black," the forthcoming movie starring Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. Columbia TriStar Television announced plans Wednesday to make an animated television series based on the film for the WB network, with the show to premiere in the fall. . . . KABC-AM's (790) Michael Jackson has been named talk-show host of the year by the National Assn. of Radio Talk Show Hosts. . . . Actor Robert De Niro was honored by the Kennedy family in New York Tuesday when he received the Municipal Art Society's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal for his devotion to the city's TriBeCa area. De Niro founded a pair of trendy restaurants and a film center there, and also executive produced "TriBeCa," a short-lived series for Fox TV.

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