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Morning Report

Arts And Entertainment Reports From The Times, News Services And The Nation's Press.

June 13, 2002|Elaine Dutka

THE ARTS

Gallery Owner Sentenced in Conspiracy

In a ruling seen as a warning to those dealing in illegally imported antiquities, a prominent Manhattan antiques dealer has been sentenced to 33 months in prison and fined $50,000.

Frederick Schultz, a former president of the National Assn. of Dealers in Ancient, Oriental and Primitive Art, had been convicted Feb. 12 of taking part in a conspiracy to sell antiquities stolen from Egypt and valued at $1.5 million.

Schultz was also ordered to return an Old Kingdom bas relief he illegally acquired from corrupt members of Egypt's antiquities police--an object he was selling for $80,000, the New York Times reports.

Egypt is one of several countries that have banned the export of antiquities in recent decades. The Schultz case establishes that Americans who deal in them may be found guilty of handling stolen property.

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TELEVISION

Press, Buchanan Part of MSNBC's New Slate

MSNBC's ongoing revamping of its lineup is taking the cable channel further and further away from straight news.

In a jab at CNN, the network said Wednesday it has hired liberal Bill Press and conservative Pat Buchanan, former adversaries on CNN's "Crossfire," to anchor a two-hour program weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Press lost his "Crossfire" seat earlier this year when the program was revamped.

The duo will start on July 15, when MSNBC is changing its prime-time lineup

Weekdays from 9 to 11 a.m., beginning next week, MSNBC is also adding another team of political opposites, Curtis Sliwa and Ron Kuby, the morning-drive anchors on New York's WABC-AM radio. Conservative Sliwa is founder of the volunteer crime-fighters the Guardian Angels; Kuby is a civil rights lawyer.

Couple Not Amused by 'Harassment' Gag

A Washington couple has slapped a $10-million lawsuit on MTV and Las Vegas' Hard Rock hotel-casino, charging that they were given a room with hidden cameras.

The equipment was intended to record their reaction to finding what seemed to be a mutilated corpse on the premises. The footage was to air on an MTV series, "Harassment."

When James and Laurie Ryan tried to leave the room, two actors posing as security guards forced them inside, and the show's host emerged to reveal the gag.

The Ryans claim their privacy was invaded. MTV and the Hard Rock had no comment.

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QUICK TAKES

Joel Grey will induct Bernadette Peters into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame, and actor-director Eric Idle will lead a tribute to George Harrison at the June 28 event, to be hosted by Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins.... Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck will star as parents of a teenage daughter in the next Kevin Smith film, "Jersey Girl," which will be shot in Philadelphia this summer.... Director Barry Sonnenfeld ("Men in Black 2") is reuniting with producer Scott Rudin, Variety reports, on "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," the first of what Nickelodeon hopes will be a series based on Daniel Handler's eight books about a pint-sized trio of orphans.... Universal Television Enterprises has signed Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, to host "Fergie," a talk-variety show set to debut in September 2003.... Topanga Canyon's Theatricum Botanicum has completed the S. Mark Taper Youth Pavilion, a 100-seat outdoor amphitheater.

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