CULTURE

The British capital is ready for US President Bush’s visit, but the art shows must go on

The arrival of the US president in London to meet his enthusiastic ally in the war in Iraq has prompted reports of huge demonstrations (which will take place), draconian security measures (which will be taken) including the closing off of central London (vetoed by the Lord Mayor of London, and good for him for insisting that no visit was worth bringing commercial life to a standstill). Amid the upheaval, a number of important events in the heart of London had required some months of preparation such as the «Greek Sales,» with 150 works of art by leading Greek painters of the 19th century as well as contemporary artists, to take place on Tuesday, November 18 at 11 a.m. in Sotheby’s auction room in Bond Street. It coincides with Bush’s arrival that same afternoon, to be met by literally «Bare Witnesses.» These are the members of an anti-war group that prefer the truth, and their protests, bare. During Bush’s visit to London, and because his schedule has not been announced, the Bare Witnesses are to strip off and lie down in several places around central London, forming anti-war slogans with their naked bodies. Of course it is November, but the biting cold is no deterrent to people bent on peace. On the contrary, they will be drawing the media like bees to honey. P.S. Helbi canceled her trip to London for other reasons than the timing of Bush’s visit. Going to cash in the British currency she had bought for her trip, she found that the pound had fallen by 30 cents in the meantime. Bravo! The euro is receiving support from the other side of the Atlantic!