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Banksy's New Dystopian Amusement Park-Themed Exhibition Opens this Weekend

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The Tropicana, an outdoor pool in the small British resort town of Weston-super-Mare, has been empty since it closed 15 years ago. But before then, the kid who grew up to be the internationally-famous graffiti artist known as Banksy used to spend time at the facility. This past January, Banksy went back to Weston-super-Mare and, after a visit to the abandoned Tropicana, decided to give the rundown vacation destination new purpose: The soon-to-be-opened Dismaland.

CLAIRE HAYHURST/PA Photos /Landov

The facility has been transformed into a dystopian amusement park that serves as an interactive exhibition space for Banksy and more than 50 other artists, including Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, and Jimmy Cauty. Past the fake airport security are grim spins on county fair classics, centered around a dilapidated interpretation of Disneyland's Cinderella castle.

YUI MOK/PA Photos /Landov

The park is "a festival of art, amusements, and entry level anarchism," Banksy writes in a statement shared with the press. "[A] family theme park unsuitable for children."

In order to keep construction under wraps, local officials were told that a production company had chosen the site as the filming location for the crime thriller Grey Fox (a totally fake movie boasting a very real IMDB page). Some people suspected the artist's involvement, but town officials told the BBC that even on the North Somerset Council, only four people knew what was really happening behind the Tropicana facade.

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Admission to the grim theme park—open from August 22 through September 27—will set you back just £3. But if you're interested in going, be prepared to participate: Banksy wrote that "A dead princess is only complete when surrounded by gawping crowds with their cameras out or the opportunity to photograph yourself pulling an amazed expression when a killer whale leaps from a toilet."

YUI MOK/PA Photos /Landov

[h/t Time]

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Museum Discovers Classic Renaissance Painting Hidden in Its Own Collection
Andrea Mantegna circa 1475
Andrea Mantegna circa 1475
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A long-lost painting by a master artist of the Renaissance was recently rediscovered in the storeroom of an Italian museum near Milan, according to The Art Newspaper and The Wall Street Journal.

The painting in question, Andrea Mantegna’s 15th century The Resurrection of Christ, was found by a curator at an art museum in the city of Bergamo. The Accademia Carrara has been in possession of the Mantegna painting since the 19th century, but long ago discounted it as a copy. While working on a catalogue for the museum in March, Accademia Carrara curator Giovanni Valagussa took note of the tempera-on-panel work and began to investigate its origins.

Count Guglielmo Lochis purchased the painting in 1846, cataloguing it as an original Mantegna; it was bequeathed to the museum as part of his collection after his death in 1859. But decades later, other experts cast doubt on the originality of the work, first re-attributing it to the artist’s son, and later suggesting that it was a copy that was not even made in his workshop. The museum removed it from display sometime before 1912, and it has been in storage for more than a century.

A painting depicting Jesus rising from the dead while soldiers look on
The Resurrection of Christ
Andrea Mantegna, Accademia Carrara

Upon inspecting the painting, Valagussa suspected it was more than just a copy. The painting features a small cross at the bottom of the image that looked disconnected from the rest, and the structure of the back of the painting made it seem like it might be part of a larger work. Valagussa tracked down another Mantegna painting, Descent Into Limbo, that seemed to fit underneath—the paintings are likely two halves of one image that was cut apart.

The Accademia Carrara also conducted an infrared survey of The Resurrection of Christ, discovering that the artist drew nude figures first, then painted over them with images of clothed soldiers, a technique that Mantegna was known for.

A world expert on Mantegna, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Keith Christiansen, did his own analysis and believes the painting in Bergamo to be an authentic, high-quality Mantegna. That means that the Accademia Carrara’s forgotten wood panel, previously insured for around $35,000, is probably worth between $25 million and $30 million.

The museum hopes to one day bring the two parts of the painting, The Resurrection of Christ and the privately owned Descent Into Limbo, together in an exhibition in the future.

[h/t The Art Newspaper]

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USPS Is Issuing Its First Scratch-and-Sniff Stamps This Summer
USPS
USPS

Summertime smells like sunscreen, barbecues, and—starting June 20, 2018—postage stamps. That's when the United States Postal Service debuts its first line of scratch-and-sniff stamps in Austin, Texas with perfumes meant to evoke "the sweet scent of summer."

The 10 stamps in the collection feature playful watercolor illustrations of popsicles by artist Margaret Berg. If the designs alone don't immediately transport you back to hot summer days spent chasing ice cream trucks, a few scratches and a whiff of the stamp should do the trick. If you're patient, you can also refrain from scratching and use them to mail a bit of summer nostalgia to your loved ones.

Since it was invented in the 1960s, scratch-and-sniff technology has been incorporated into photographs, posters, picture books, and countless kids' stickers.

The first-class mail "forever" stamps will be available in booklets of 20 for $10. You can preorder yours online before they're unveiled at the first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony at Austin's Thinkery children's museum next month.

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