Edinburgh Locals Decry “Poo-Shaped” W Hotel, and Other News

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The W Hotel Edinburgh. Photography by Ian Georgeson/Alamy

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Edinburgh locals decry the arrival of the emoji poo-shaped W Hotel to its historic skyline. 

Local outrage is building over the newest addition to Edinburgh’s cityscape, known for its spires, castle, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Located in the Georgian New Town neighborhood, London firm Jestico + Whiles cited billowing haute couture Valentino blindfold and rolls of printing press paper, a nod to the neighborhood’s past, as references but if the petition to add googly eyes to the building and the Golden Turd Hotel Twitter account dedicated to the project are any indication, residents see inspiration in the emoji suite’s heaping pile of feces. The architects clearly see it differently. “It’s a happy building,” says its architect, James Dilley. “It’s about celebrating Edinburgh’s position as the pre-eminent festival capital. There are some parts of the city that are more serious and introverted, but this is the opposite. It’s communicative, it’s expressive and it’s supposed to make people happy.” The property is scheduled to open next year. 

Parisians living near Notre-Dame file a complaint about high lead levels from the fire.  

Those living near the famed French cathedral have filed a complaint alleging that public officials endangered their lives by failing to adequately warn them about the risk of lead poisoning from the 2019 blaze. “Despite the scale of the fire and knowledge about the risk of pollution and contamination, no precaution in particular was taken by the authorities involved for more than three months after the fire,” the complaint reads. It says that 440 tons of lead in the roof melted or were dispersed as microparticles over Paris during the fire. 

“Arc de Triomphe #2” (2019) by Christo. Image courtesy of Sotheby’s/ArtDigital Studio

Sotheby’s Paris will show drawings of Christo’s wrapped Arc de Triomphe in September.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s plans to wrap the Arc de Triomphe have been in the making for more than six decades and will finally come to fruition on September 18, when the Parisian landmark will be sheathed in silvery-blue polypropylene fabric and red rope for two weeks. During the installation, Sotheby’s Paris will present an exhibition of 25 works on paper spanning maps, architectural plans, and photographs that recount the story of the monumental project from concept to creation. Proceeds from the sale will benefit both L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped and the Christo Jeanne-Claude Foundation. 

Consumers may soon be able to pay in cryptocurrency wherever Visa is accepted.

Visa is partnering with 50 cryptocurrency companies, including Coinbase and FTX, to allow consumers to pay in digital currency without any hassle to merchants. “The merchants don’t have to change anything,” says Cuy Sheffield, Visa’s head of cryptocurrency. “It will be the same as any other Visa transaction to them. But on the backend, the crypto assets are instantly converted into fiat.” A rewards program similar to cash back, airline miles, and hotel points will be introduced as part of the partnership, allowing card members to earn cryptocurrencies. More than $1 billion was spent on crypto-linked Visa cards in the first half of 2021.  

Art Basel Americas director Noah Horowitz is stepping down after six years at the helm.

Noah Horowitz is departing from his role as director of Art Basel Americas at the end of August, four months before the fair’s marquee event in Miami following delays caused by the pandemic. In a statement, the fair says that Horowitz will be leaving “to pursue other opportunities” and would immediately begin searching for his replacement. Marc Spiegler, the fair’s global director, praised Horowitz’s achievements including “the ever-growing renown of Art Basel Miami Beach, the establishment of our presence in New York, the launch of the Art Market report, and most recently the spearheading of our digital efforts.” 

The Boring Company’s Las Vegas Convention Center Loop. Photography by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Elon Musk may soon bring the Boring Company’s tunnels to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Fort Lauderdale has accepted a proposal from the Boring Company to build transportation tunnels that would bring people from downtown to the beach. “Other firms have 45 days to submit competing proposals,” Mayor Dean J. Trantalis tweeted earlier this week. “This could be a truly innovative way to reduce traffic congestion.” Some are skeptical about those claims. Founder Elon Musk has completed just one commercial tunneling project using high-speed “Loop” technology, which promised to ferry 16 passengers at a time 150 miles per hour in autonomous vehicles through underground tunnels, but in reality humans are driving plain electric cars 30–40 miles per hour in plain electric cars. 

The late Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee’s art collection will receive its own museum.

Though it was previously announced that the late Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee’s art collection of more than 23,000 works would be dispersed throughout public institutions in South Korea, the country’s minister of culture, sports, and tourism has decided to build a new museum dedicated solely to his collection. “There is a need to build a new art hall to better manage the donated art collection and study [it],” Hwang Hee said at a press conference. The venue’s tentative name will be called the Lee Kun-hee Donation Hall, but for those who can’t wait for the $88 million museum to be built, some pieces will appear at the National Museum of Korea and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art; traveling exhibitions are being planned for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 

Photography by Eric J. Smith

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