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Quick Takes: Paintings by Goya and El Greco recovered

April 16, 2011

Investigators have recovered stolen masterpieces by two of Spain's most revered artists: Goya and El Greco, Spanish police said Friday.

The oil-on-canvas works, Goya's 18th century "The Apparition of the Virgin of Pilar" and El Greco's 16th century "The Annunciation," were stolen 14 years ago after an exhibition tour.

Works by these painters are highly valued and most are kept in museums such as Madrid's Prado. However, these two were privately owned when stolen.

They were found in a private house near the southeastern city of Alicante, a police statement said.

—Associated Press

Autry wins funds for renovation

The Autry National Center said Friday that it has received a $6.6-million grant from the California State Parks' Nature Education Facilities Program that will be used to fund a major renovation of first-floor galleries and outdoor areas into an exhibition focused on Native Californians.

"The renovation will highlight the history and culture of Native peoples and include two dedicated California Indian galleries and an indigenous teaching garden with bioregions and interpretive centers," the Autry said in a news release.

If all goes according to plan, the museum said, the facilities will be completed in early 2014.

—Lee Margulies

Orchestra board to hold a vote

The board of the Philadelphia Orchestra is scheduled to vote Saturday whether to pursue Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Board members told WPVI-TV that the orchestra's $31 million in revenue is $15 million less than its costs.

Management has been seeking givebacks, including a 16% pay cut from the orchestra's musicians.

Members of the orchestra distributed leaflets to audience members before a concert Thursday night to express their opposition to what they say would be a devastating blow to the famed ensemble's future. They walked into the audience to hand out the leaflets and got applause as they returned to the stage, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

—Associated Press

SLJ to play MLK on Broadway

Samuel L. Jackson will have his first starring role on Broadway this fall as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Producers of "The Mountaintop" said the Academy Award-nominated actor will star in the play that reimagines the night before the civil rights leader's assassination.

The play by Katori Hall made its debut in London in 2009. It had been rumored that Halle Berry would join Jackson, but producers said "child custody issues" ruled her out.

Performances will begin Sept. 22 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre in New York City. The official opening is set for Oct. 13.

—Associated Press

Bilingual drama sets street date

A bilingual Spanish-English action drama about the underground street car racing scene is to debut on U.S. television next month.

"RPM Miami," a co-production between Telemundo and the Spanish-language network's cable arm, mun2, is aimed at the 50 million Latinos living in the United States, producers said Friday. It premieres on mun2 May 1.

"It is designed for the new multicultural American audience. We hope it will grow and that we will be able to cater to this new growing audience in the United States," executive producer Alonso Galvez said.

—Reuters

AMC announces unscripted series

AMC network says it's venturing into unscripted TV series with a show that tells the inside story of the Department of Homeland Security.

Filming for "Inside the DHS" is set to begin this summer, with the cooperation of that agency and its boss, Secretary Janet Napolitano. The network said Friday that the series will premiere in late 2011.

AMC also plans a second unscripted series that will probe the advertising industry.

The unscripted genre is new for AMC, which until now has focused on feature films and original scripted series. AMC has found critical and popular success with such dramas as "Mad Men" and "The Walking Dead."

—Associated Press

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