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Quick Takes: A Fendi makeover for Trevi Fountain

January 29, 2013

Rome's 18th century Trevi Fountain, famed as a setting for the film "La Dolce Vita," is getting a $2.9-million restoration courtesy of the Fendi fashion house.

The 20-month project on one of the city's most iconic fountains was unveiled at a city hall news conference Monday featuring Fendi designers Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi, who said the project combined a love of Rome's past with a need to preserve its future.

It's the latest example of Italian fashion companies coming to the aid of Italy's chronically underfunded cultural heritage. The founder of the Tod's footwear company is footing the bill for the nearly $34-million restoration of Rome's ancient Colosseum, and Fendi is also donating $430,000 to restore another fountain complex in Rome, the Quattro Fontane.

—Associated Press

The best in books for kids

"The One and Only Ivan," written by Katherine Applegate, a book for children ages 8 and older, has been awarded the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature.

The American Library Assn. announced its 2013 book award winners Monday in Seattle at its annual national conference.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children was given to "This Is Not My Hat," written and illustrated by Jon Klassen.

—Carolyn Kellogg

'Evita' revival goes dark

Even with 8 million Twitter followers, pop star Ricky Martin couldn't make "Evita" profitable.

Undone by high weekly running costs, Broadway's top-selling show to open in 2012 closed Saturday night without earning back the $11 million raised from investors.

The 1979 original, with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, ran nearly four years, the revival just 46 weeks. Given its sales, it would have taken at least 63 weeks for the production to break even.

A budget and early results were obtained from the office of New York Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman through a Freedom of Information Law request and from a Broadway investor.

The show was capitalized at $11 million, including $1 million held in reserve. Ticket sales averaged about $1.03 million per week after deducting credit card commissions and other fees that producers don't keep. Weekly expenses were about $880,000 including royalties paid to the director, composer and others.

—Bloomberg News

U.S. films on tap at Berlin fest

New movies from directors Steven Soderbergh and Gus Van Sant and a trio of films starring French divas will be competing this year at the Berlin International Film Festival.

A diverse selection of 19 movies, including films from Kazakhstan and Iran, will vie for the main Golden Bear prize at Europe's first major film festival of the year. The event runs Feb. 7-17.

Van Sant's film about the shale gas industry, "Promised Land," starring Matt Damon, and Soderbergh's thriller "Side Effects," featuring Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones, are the most prominent U.S. offerings.

French actresses Juliette Binoche, Catherine Deneuve and Isabelle Huppert star in separate competition entries this year — Binoche in "Camille Claudel 1915," about the French sculptor's later years; Deneuve in "On My Way;" and Huppert in "The Nun."

The top prize will be awarded by a seven-member jury under Chinese director Wong Kar-wai, whose members include actor-director Tim Robbins.

—Associated Press

Walters catches the chicken pox

Barbara Walters is still in the hospital, now with chicken pox.

That's right: The disease many people get as children is now afflicting the 83-year-old newswoman.

Walters has been hospitalized since Jan. 19, when she fell during a pre-inaugural party at the British ambassador's residence in Washington and cut her head. She has since been transferred to a hospital in New York.

—Patrick Kevin Day

Finally

Split: Liberty Ross, Rupert Sanders' wife of more than nine years, has filed for divorce five months after it was revealed that the director had a brief affair with actress Kristen Stewart during the production of "Snow White and the Huntsman."

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