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Quick Takes: Door moves indoors

June 08, 2012

An eight-ton gilded bronze door so splendid Michelangelo dubbed it the "Door of Paradise" will be unveiled to the public again after 27 years of restoration work.

But Lorenzo Ghiberti's 15th century door — which bears scenes from the Old Testament — won't be going back in its place on the baptistery of Florence's duomo, or cathedral. Instead, starting on Sept. 8, it will go on display in a case at a Florence museum, the Museo dell'Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, to preserve it from renewed damage.

Culture Minister Lorenzo Ornaghi announced the destiny of the baptistery's east door at a news conference in Rome on Thursday.

—Associated Press

'Idol' winner is OK after surgery

"American Idol" winner Phillip Phillips, who was plagued by serious kidney problems during the singing contest, is recovering from surgery.

Leslie Fradkin, a spokeswoman for series producer 19 Entertainment, said Thursday that the operation went well for the 21-year-old singer and he will be ready for the July 6 start of the "American Idol" national concert tour.

The guitar-playing Phillips, from Leesburg, Ga., defeated 16-year-old Jessica Sanchez to become the Fox talent competition's 11th season victor last month.

—Associated Press

Lauryn Hill faces tax charges

Multiple Grammy winner Lauryn Hill has been charged with failing to file income tax returns for several years with the IRS, the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey announced Thursday.

Hill, 37, who lives in South Orange, N.J., earned more than $1.6 million during 2005, 2006 and 2007, the three years that she failed to file returns, federal prosecutors said.

She is scheduled to appear before a federal magistrate on June 29. She could face a maximum penalty of a year in prison and $100,000 fine on each charge.

Messages left Thursday for her California-based attorney, Nathan J. Hochman, and an email sent to her publicist weren't immediately returned.

—Associated Press

A younger pick for poet laureate

In a surprising change from its trend of selecting octogenarian poets, the Library of Congress announced Thursday that 46-year-old Natasha Trethewey will be U.S poet laureate for 2012-13.

Despite her relative youth, Trethewey has logged accomplishments, notably receiving the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for her collection "Native Guard." She is the author of two previous poetry collections, "Domestic Work" (2000) and "Bellocq's Ophelia" (2002), and the 2010 nonfiction book "Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast." Another collection of poetry, "Thrall," is set to be published later this year.

Trethewey is to take over the post in September after Philip Levine, 84, concludes his term. Levine succeeded W.S. Merwin, who was named poet laureate at 81.

The selection of Trethewey marks a shift in more than generational focus. Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Miss., and is now a professor at Emory University in Atlanta. She is the first Southern writer to be selected as U.S. poet laureate since the first, Robert Penn Warren, in 1986.

"Her poems dig beneath the surface of history — personal or communal, from childhood or from a century ago — to explore the human struggles that we all face," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

—Carolyn Kellogg

Douglas season is announced

John Hurt performing Samuel Beckett's "Krapp's Last Tape" will be among the highlights of the Kirk Douglas Theatre's 2012-13 season, which was announced Thursday by Center Theatre Group.

The season will feature five main productions, including the world premiere of the plays "The Royale" by Marco Ramirez, a boxing drama, and "The Nether" by Jennifer Haley, a futuristic work about crime and the Internet.

Also on the bill: "Elephant Room," an offbeat comedy about three illusionists holed up in a basement, and "A Christmas Carol: Twist Your Dickens!," by the Second City, the famous comedy and improvisational company.

"Krapp's Last Tape" is a production from the Gate Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, and will mark the first time Hurt has performed theater in Los Angeles.

—David Ng

New player in memorial design

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is taking a direct interest in helping to resolve a dispute over the design of a national memorial to Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Interior Department spokesman Adam Fetcher said Thursday that Salazar has expressed interest in viewing models of architect Frank Gehry's design with the key parties involved.

No meeting has been set, but Salazar could hold discussions about how the memorial project in the nation's capital could move forward.

Eisenhower's family has objected to the design.

—Associated Press

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