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Overnight, Bulgaria's Capital Gets the City's First Monuments to Women

Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, has plenty of historic monuments to men. But there are no statues of real, historic women in the city (as opposed to symbols like “a mother”). In the entire city, only 6 percent of memorials, like plaques, honor a female figure at all, according to official city data. But, on March 24, seven new monuments seemed to pop up overnight, Mashable reports.

MONUMENT #1—an art piece by Irina Tomova-Erka—highlights the lack of women’s accomplishments celebrated throughout the city by adding new, neon-colored busts of female figures. Well, just one figure, actually—the artist herself.

"The sculptures are a portrait of me, as I wanted to take a strong personal, public stance as a contemporary woman and artist,” Tomova-Erka says in a press release. “However, they are also anonymous, as they do not bear my name. They are only marked by a sign ‘The first monument of a woman in Sofia’. In these sculptures I am every woman. With this work, I want to give women what they are entitled to, but have been denied for decades—a place, visibility and recognition.”

The project is a collaboration between the artist, a human rights organization called the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee, a human-rights organization, and the Fine Acts art collective. The busts were placed in central locations around the city during the middle of the night.

In April, the Tomova-Erka busts will be on display in an art gallery. After the exhibition ends, they’ll be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to fund a real monument to a historic woman of Sofia.

Sofia isn’t the only city to have a paucity of statues of famous women from history. New York City has only five monuments to historic women throughout the city—while there are 23 statues honoring men in Central Park alone.

Monuments to female figures tend to honor fictional or symbolic women, like Alice in Wonderland or Mother Goose. In the UK, campaigns pushing better representation of women in public art have led to plans for at least three new statues of women in northern England over the next few years.

Some cities are making slightly faster progress, though—several cities throughout Spain are rechristening streets that had been named for members of Francisco Franco’s fascist dictatorship to honor notable women instead.

[h/t Mashable]

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Watch a Chain of Dominos Climb a Flight of Stairs
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Dominos are made to fall down—it's what they do. But in the hands of 19-year-old professional domino artist Lily Hevesh, known as Hevesh5 on YouTube, the tiny plastic tiles can be arranged to fall up a flight of stairs in spectacular fashion.

The video spotted by Thrillist shows the chain reaction being set off at the top a staircase. The momentum travels to the bottom of the stairs and is then carried back up through a Rube Goldberg machine of balls, cups, dominos, and other toys spanning the steps. The contraption leads back up to the platform where it began, only to end with a basketball bouncing down the steps and toppling a wall of dominos below.

The domino art seems to flow effortlessly, but it took more than a few shots to get it right. The footage below shows the 32nd attempt at having all the elements come together in one, unbroken take. (You can catch the blooper at the end of an uncooperative basketball ruining a near-perfect run.)

Hevesh’s domino chains that don't appear to defy gravity are no less impressive. Check out this ambitious rainbow domino spiral that took her 25 hours to construct.

[h/t Thrillist]

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A Secret Room Full of Michelangelo's Sketches Will Soon Open in Florence
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Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images

Parents all over the world have chastised their children for drawing on the walls. But when you're Michelangelo, you've got some leeway. According to The Local, the Medici Chapels, part of the Bargello museum in Florence, Italy, has announced that it plans to open a largely unseen room full of the artist's sketches to the public by 2020.

Roughly 40 years ago, curators of the chapels at the Basilica di San Lorenzo had a very Dan Brown moment when they discovered a trap door in a wardrobe leading to an underground room that appeared to have works from Michelangelo covering its walls. The tiny retreat is thought to be a place where the artist hid out in 1530 after upsetting the Medicis—his patrons—by joining a revolt against their control of Florence. While in self-imposed exile for several months, he apparently spent his time drawing on whatever surfaces were available.

A drawing by Michelangelo under the Medici Chapels in Florence
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Museum officials previously believed the room and the charcoal drawings were too fragile to risk visitors, but have since had a change of heart, leading to their plan to renovate the building and create new attractions. While not all of the work is thought to be attributable to the famed artist, there's enough of it in the subterranean chamber—including drawings of Jesus and even recreations of portions of the Sistine Chapel—to make a trip worthwhile.

[h/t The Local]

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