Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Picasso portrait fetches ?75 million

Picasso's `Dora Maar with a cat´ (1941) was auctioned off by Sotheby's in New York last night for $95.2 million (?75 million), slightly less than the record of $104 million (?82 million) that was paid for the same artist's `Boy with a pipe´ in 2004.
It was thought that the portrait would fetch a maximum of $50 million, although a second Picasso had fetched twice its reserve price of $15 million when it went under the hammer the evening before.
`Dora Maar au chat,´ which is a colourful and impactful portrait of one of the artist's former lovers and muses with a cat sitting on her lap (photo), has been off the market for the last fifty years.

It is thought that Ms Maar, whose tempestuous relationship with the artist spanned the 1930s and 40s, helped paint the iconic `Guernica,´ which depicts the devastating blitz on the Basque town by Nazi dive-bombers during the Spanish Civil War.

Pablo Picasso was born in Málaga on the 25th October, 1881, and died in France on the 8th April, 1973.


From The Sunday Times article:

MalagaDISNEY is drawing up plans for a possible park on the Costa del Sol which could transform the area?s tourist industry. The company has held talks with Spanish officials about building on farmland near the town of Manilva, southwest of Marbella, although the two sides have given different accounts of the venture. Disney said it was in negotiation for various new schemes in Manilva, including a summer camp for children, offering the opportunity to improve their sports and languages.

Javier Sansierra, the executive who has been running negotiations with Manilva town hall, denied it planned a full-scale theme park like Disneyland Paris, operated by Euro Disney. ?While I completely agree that a Euro Disney would do well in Spain and personally I believe it should have opened here in the first place, there are no plans to open a second or mini amusement park in Spain for the time being,? he said. However, officials in Manilva suggested a more ambitious project was being considered.

?The discussions are well advanced,? said Lucy Fernandez, a town hall spokeswoman. ?It is at a sensitive stage, so I can?t say too much, but the eventual aim is to open a Euro Disney-type park in four or five years.? Francisco Alvarez, the local tourism officer, who has been closely involved in the negotiations, said: ?We have the space here for Disney and are urbanising a couple of large areas for them. I know the company has acquired at least one estate here and we hope they will begin building soon.?

It is understood that in return for permission to build a new park in the area, Disney could be expected to contribute towards the cost of a new motorway from Seville to the Costa del Sol.

The company had originally planned to open a Disney theme park on the Costa del Sol in the late 1980s. After a long search, it narrowed down its options to a choice between Estepona and Paris. Although Spain?s climate gave it the edge, the company eventually plumped for Paris, largely because of its better communications. Some executives now admit that the site in Estepona ? where a 247-acre safari park has since opened ? would have been the better option.

Other large theme parks in Spain have proved successful. These include the highly rated PortAventura near Barcelona, Warner Bros Park in Madrid and Isla Magica in Seville. Disneyland Paris has been affected by problems ranging from bad weather to cultural differences between the US and France.


Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who pioneered cheap flights in Europe with EasyJet said he believed that the landing fees at Gibraltar?s ruled out the airport as a destination. He was speaking during the MedCruise conference held in Gibraltar and stated that the Rock?s airport was too expensive when you had much cheaper Málaga nearby.

EasyJet?s currently flies daily from nine British cities and four in mainland Europe to Málaga. Whilst Gibraltar seemingly stands no chance of winning any flights the close proximity of Easyjet could encourage EasyCruise to use the Rock?s port as a stopping point. EasyCruise was launched last year and operates on radically different ?no frills? basis to the traditional cruise industry.

EasyCruise attracts a younger clientele and is good news for destination ports, as the vessels usually stay overnight. With few amenities on board cruise passengers spend more time and cash ashore. The attraction of Gibraltar to EasyCruise is its close proximity to Málaga with its extensive cheap flight connections.


San Roque has celebrated its third centenary with a major polo tournament held at the Santa María Polo Club in Sotogrande. The event, for the trophy donated by the town hall, was sponsored by Turismo Andaluz and attracted many top players.

The final held on Sunday was between Pueblo Nuevo and Campamento. Although Pueblo Nuevo started stronger with a 4.5 to zero goals victory Campamento came back to make a match of its but Pueblo Nuevo emerged the victors thanks largely to Pablo Mora and the young Juan Carlos Gavira.

Eight teams battled for the trophy and each team took on the name of one of the zones of San Roque. Eleven of the 32 players were foreigners drawn from Russia, Italy, Luxembourg, South Africa and Egypt. The trophy was presented by the vice president of the International Polo Federation, Younes Faruk, and the matches were held in the presence of the mayor of San Roque, José Vázquez, along with many of the government team.


According to a survey carried out by Cohispania in to the rise in housing prices in Andalucía so far in 2006 the town of La Línea shows the biggest increases.

La Línea records a leap of 14.64 per cent that beats Veléz-Málaga and Torrox in to second and third places with their rises being 14.56 and 14.2 per cent respectively.

However La Línea is still in the catch up mode when it comes to the price of property per square metre. The survey shows that as of March 31 of this year the price of a new, unoccupied property in the border town was 1,918 euros per square metre. In the province the most expensive was Rota with 2,268 euros and in the Campo de Gibraltar the municipality of San Roque recorded 2,074 euros.

In Andalucía generally the average rise in the first three months of this year has been 8.83 per cent, compared with the figure for 2005 of 11.25 per cent. The average price per square metre in the region is 1,641 euros.