ELECTIONS, USA, MALIBU

I’m back in Malibu, on public radio 99.1 KBUU, and select websites, and to vote in this upcoming national election, which I feel the future of democracy is no less at stake, threatened as it is in this moment in history by greed and inhumanity.

And let us not forget the local elections, where in Malibu at stake is a fragile environment and storied lifestyle, threatened I feel by rapacious development, a fumbling city hall and a failing civic governance.

Personally, I’m happily back in our Cliffside cottage perched on Point Dume, after a whirlwind, wonderful, wedding in Philadelphia of my middle son, Josef to Bridget Carey Talone.

Some locals might remember Josef, in 2003, instead of delivering the traditional graduation speech as student body president of Malibu High, reciting a poem he had written, as a remembrance of coming of age in Malibu.

Josef has gone on to be a preeminent published poet, and his younger brother, Kyle, also a graduate of Malibu High, has become a preeminent scholar at Harvard, evidence of the potential of our local public schools.

Their success, and that of so many others Malibu public school graduates, are yet more reasons to vote for Measure M to fund the ambitious redevelopment of a hopefully soon-to-be independent Malibu district, and make our schools even better.

Without violating the FCC public radio rules, as a member of the news team at KBUU, I cannot endorse a candidate.

Though as a commentator I can lend some perspective, noting that leading the valiant effort to establish an independent school district has been Craig Foster and Karen Farrer.

They are both on the ballot Tuesday: Craig for reelection to the school board and Karen for the city council.

As for the council, sadly evident is the need for committed, conscientious members, willing and able to exercise leadership, and not defer to special interest, or what has become a bloated city bureaucracy headed by city manager, Reva Feldman.

From the perspective of someone who has done penance on forensic management audits, and has had a ringside seat at the circus that is government, unfortunately the less than transparent Feldman has become our de facto mayor, by default or deception.

But perhaps we should not be too harsh on her, in recognition that Malibu is a city where many residents demanding services have seldom heard the word “no,” or that a few councilpersons literally and figuratively phone in their jobs.

Or that she has had to act in the absence of a Mayor, who actually sleeps on a full time plus questionable plus overtime job, on a padded public payroll, double dipping out of first responder budgets. Not incidentally, the monies diverted for overtime could have been used elsewhere for needed increased surveillance on the dreaded PCH.

Now that is something the candidates, and council, should talk about, if they had the gumption.

11.3.18

MALIBU STRONG! SMART?

Malibu  strong, yes. But Malibu smart? That is still very much in question. As I comment on public radio 99.1 KBUU and select websites, that will depend on what the new City Council and the everyday staff will or is even capable of doing.

And that will require the Council aggressively pursuing what exactly went wrong in the Woolsey wildfire, and how the City might learn from it and somehow return to normal, chastened but smarter for the experience, better prepared for the next disaster, sure to come.  Just as the County has promised to do.

More specifically, the City must answer the challenge of how the rebuilding of homes be expedited through a reasonable fast track permit process, and also how its bureaucracy might be reconstructed and rededicated to better serve, and protect, its residents, consistent with Malibu’s worthy mission statement.

Questions, questions, questions, the answers to which I contend should be pursued independent of the city manager, city attorney and their consultants, for they indeed might be part of the problem, and possibly might subvert the review .

Some of those answers hopefully will be provided by the venerable Malibu Township Council, which will be reviewing emails and all city records pertaining to the fire disaster, specifically involving City Manager Reva Feldman, Mayor Rick Mullen, and City Attorney Christi Hogin.  Good luck to them.

Arguably, even before the fateful fire, City Hall did not particularly serve well the needs and desires of residents, though it has served itself well by pampering a vainglorious council while fattening and compensating colleagues.

And it sadly did even worse, plausibly failed, during the devastating fire, and in the chaotic aftermath, while obnoxiously congratulating itself at every opportunity for what I don’t know. For placating the public, perhaps.

To be sure, terrible mistakes were made by all levels of  government: the dubious deployment of fire fighting assets, the mismanagement of the evacuation, the bungled blockades, and the lack of communications.. 

However embarrassing, our first responders have kept excuses to a minimum, and when pressed as they were notably by KBUU have faced up to the criticism. Reviews have been promised, with the anticipation lessons will be learned and changes made, including the disciplining of those culpable.

But not our City Hall, where a seemingly overwhelmed city manager and a supercilious mayor have not been very responsive or transparent. One also could say dense. 

How else to explain that in the wake of the fire and the immediate need to address the pressing problems of the burnouts and the rebuilding process, they weighted the last  City Council agenda with an interminable tribute to departing councilpersons, Laura Rosenthal and Lou LaMonte.

But finally the parade of petty politicians making saccharine remarks and the self congratulations ended, and the two recently elected councilpersons, Karen Farrer and Mikke Pierson, took their seats.

Both in their brief remarks and those of newly anointed Mayor Jefferson Wagner professed their love of the city and pledged themselves to its rebirth. The words echoed what has been heard in the many recent post disaster forums, Malibu strong.

 But theirvoices were fresh and welcome, and sincere, certainly in contrast to those onthe past council. No doubt how strong, and most importantly, how smart, will betested in the coming meetings.  For our sake, we wish them the best. 

12.15.18

CULTURAL LIFE CONTINUES

SCRIPT.  AIRED in public radio news.  12.1 18

 Getting back to my enjoyable normal routine of attending cultural attractions these days, frankly, has been hard, since the wildfires of last month that devastated my Malibu, the disruption of the mandatory evacuations, and then coming back to a home that was miraculously spared, but in need repairs and cleaning.

Meanwhile, as I comment on public radio 99.1 KBU and select websites, the cultural life of Los Angeles continued to thrive, with a rich and diverting schedule of stage productions, art exhibitions, and dance and music concerts.  I look forward to doing double duty and being able to see some, the holidays and L.A.’s ever worsening traffic not withstanding.

High on the schedule is the musical “Come From Away” at the  Ahmanson, and the ever challenging venues at the Redcat and UCLA’s center for the performing art, and a diversity of engaging exhibits at the Hammer, Getty, Skirball and LACMA.

Keep tuned for those commentaries.

So oddly for my first foray back into the cultural scene in L.A. was not a particular exhibit or production, but a luncheon atop of the Petersen Automotive Museum, that bright red stainless steel ribbon wrapped mass in the mid Wilshire District.

The luncheon for the underpaid cultural media, who forever welcomes a free meal, was hosted by the Academy of Motion Pictures; the occasion, the unveiling of plans for its long awaited premier museum,  that not incidentally will be located across the street from the Petersen and next door to LACMA, in the renovated and expanded May Company building, , at the northeast corner of Wilshire and Fairfax.

The opening will not be until late next year, but the Academy in the tradition of  playing coming attractions in movie theatre, reviewed with pride and enthusiasm at the luncheon the plans for its permanent and initial temporary exhibits, two film and performance theatres, an art education studio and spaces for public and special events.

 As a venerable movie lover, I prefer not to give away the plots, content to wait until the museum opens and can be experienced as a curious visitor and user advocate that I am.

But let me leave you with the tease, that the museum will be drawing on a vast, rich collection of films, and all aspects of their production, including technology, set and costume design, makeup and promotional materials. It promises to be a blockbuster attraction that I’m listing as a must see.

With a hooray for Hollywood.

POST FIRE: MALIBU TWO CITIES

Very much on display at the recent City Council meeting was what I would describe as the two cities of Malibu, one angrily testifying with justification what they witnessed in the wildfire of last month, the other vainly absolving itself.

As I comment on radio 99.1 KBUU and select websites, my two city theory is at the core of the mismanaged fire, and more generally at the disappointment and discontent with the city administration and the strident calls for the dismal of the city manager, Reva Feldman, and her top staff.

It is the city manager that in effect acts as a de facto mayor, at the helm of a bureaucratic construct that is the dominant city, its rank and file experiencing their domain in the glare of computer screens, their responsibilities spelt out in bureaucratic babble.

The other city I would describe as a resident conceit, be they a homeowner or renter, for the most part pleased to be living in arguably one of the world’s most agreeable climates, 21 miles of scenic beauty, not withstanding the escalated real estate prices the bane of the PCH, and frustration with n government.

For most of the last quarter of the century since Malibu was incorporated, the conflict between the two cities has been considered minimal; with residents periodically protesting development with limited success. And if even aware of alleged problems of cronyism and mismanagement, most residents deferred to the city manager form of government. 

As exposed in the fire, there are real problems in the limits of local government, as there are problems in governments everywhere at every level , as civic skeptics in defense of their disinterest in any political accountability.

 So much for the concept of home rule and Jeffersonian Democracy. There is a lot of talk in Malibu these days for reforms, but few people appear ready to spend the time and study necessary to make government work.

However, this might have changed. Listening to residents in the wake of the fires, I believe, the inherent conflict of the two cities has been brought to the front burner, and to a boil, that fateful Friday of November 9th .

It is then when the unchecked fire roared into Malibu,  destroying  in its capricious hundreds of homes thought in the past to be safe.

So, while saddened residents are sifting through the ashes of their homes, I contend it’s time for the incoming council to sift through the city’s service contracts with administrators and consultants, as part of a needed review of the debacle.

And hopefully it will do so with the aid of a little Hoover Commission and independent interest groups, such as the L.A. Emergency Preparedness Foundation.

Let’s find out who was responsible, and who was irresponsible, who pretended to serve our city but in harsh reality just served themselves, before we lynch anyone. I hate lynch mobs.

FIRE AFTERMATH; DAY 20

My Malibu continues to reel and roil, in the wake of its worst fire ever, with an estimated 600 plus homes destroyed, its landscape scarred and ashen. And I expect it will be for sometime, as I comment this week on public radio 99.1 KBUU and select websites. 

Emotions are raw: in the public social media, they range from rants to reasonable, and incidentally in need of filtering; at meetings, from personal to self promoting, and in private conversations, confiding, sad. Disasters do seem to spawn demigods.

The outpouring, I feel, is a collective healing process, with people speaking from their hearts, sharing individual experiences and grief. It resounds, like a wind driven surf rolling onto Malibu’s beckoning beaches.

You listen, and nod your head in sympathy. For an octogenarian who has had a ringside seat as a journalist at too many natural and man-made disasters and debacles, the pain witnessed however is forever raw, each new tragedy, hurting and haunting.

 It is also understandable that there be a rush to judgment; that the government infrastructure failed them; standing defeated on a front lawn, hose in hand but no water, and the hoped for fire engine with its brave first responders, not there, homeowners were naturally depressed, as they watched their houses and all its possession and memories go up in flames, felt the heat, tasted the ash.

No wonder they want to know what the hell happened, from the early hints that the fire far to the north west was uncontained, and with the Santa Anas blowing hot and heavy, just might make it to the 101 freeway, and possibly jump, creating a real threat to Malibu.

This should have triggered the city’s CERT volunteers, cleared communication channels, to coordinate with first responders, and stand ready for emergencies. And when it was determined that the unprecedented mandatory evacuations should be ordered, determine whether they be phased, with the more threatened neighborhoods evacuated first; that additional lanes heading out of Malibu be dedicated and policed, that adjoining cities be alerted and made accommodating. And what was our novice City Hall doing besides clucking?

This and so many other questions are being asked, including problems getting supplies to those who stayed, and joined others, to form fire fighting brigades in several neighborhoods, valiantly saving homes . And all this while reportedly being discouraged not to do so, and disparaged, if quotes repeated in passion are to be believed. 

It is therefore understandable that anger be expressed and retribution pursued. Indeed, as one witness, an experienced officer of the court, declared, “let there be blood,” which another civic activist added, bluntly, the city hall be burnt and all in it fired.  “They were useless.”


Emotions aside, the questions raised need to be addressed, and not by the current city administrators, adept as it is at excuses, or their favored cozy consultants, or by others accused or party to the charges of malfeasance.

 Needed is an independent hard nosed panel, a tribunal of sorts, a little Hoover Commission, to review events, seek answer to the many questions, and most importantly, explore what lessons can be learned, and what recommend actions should be taken.

This should involve a critical eye on those whose sworn jobs are, first and foremost, in the words of enabling laws, “the health, safety and welfare, of the public”, and, yes, that includes some hard questions for city manager Reva Feldman, and others in the city hall chain of command.

From a long range perspective, the tribunal could prompt a redefining and possibly no less than a restructuring of the municipal Malibu, sensitive to the city’s frail landscape, the rising challenges of climate change,, and the healthy, growing civic consciousness of its residents, born of the fire.

Though let me add a cautionary note: that it is imperative the tribunal, or whatever entity is organized, involve seasoned, reflective persons, committed to transparency and rational, reasoned solutions.  It’ll be a shame if the good will and civic concern generated by the disaster be dissipated in a rush to judgment and aggrandizement.

THE FIRE: BACK HOME

BACK HOME AT LAST, AND OBSERVING WITH SORROWFUL EYES AND AN ACHING HEART MY RAVAGED MALIBU, IN THE WAKE OF A DISASTROUS WILDFIRE THAT RAGED THROUGH ITS SCATTERED, SYLVAN NEIGHBORHOODS, DRIVEN BY MERCILESS SANTA ANA WINDS, TO TURN AT PRESENT AN ESTIMATED NEARLY 500 HOMES AND STILL COUNTING INTO CRUMBLED AND TWISTED BLACKENED HEAPS AND TOXIC ASH.

MY CLIFFSIDE HOME OF NEARLY A QUARTER OF A CENTURY WAS MIRACULOUSLY SPARED, SAVE A HEAVY DUSTING OF THAT ASH AND A FEW MISPLACED EMBERS, AS WAS MY NEARBY NEIGHBORS ON POINT DUNE, THANKS IN PART TO CAPRICIOUS WINDS AND LOCAL RAG TAG TEAMS OF SMOLDER STOMPERS.

 DEFYING THE MANDATORY EVACUATIONS TO STAY BEHIND TO FIGHT THE FIRES ON THE POINT AND ELSEWHERE WITH GARDEN HOSES AND WATER BUCKETS TO SAVE WHAT HOUSES THEY COULD, ARE THE TRUE HEROES OF WHAT WAS MALIBU’S WORST FIRE EVER.  THE NEIGHBORHOOD RELIEF CENTER WAS WELCOMING RESPITE.

WHILE THE TIP OF THE POINT WAS SPARED, NOT SO LUCKY WERE HOMES A FEW BLOCKS AWAY, DESPITE THE PENINSULA BEING CONSIDERED RELATIVELY SAFE, WITH A RESIDENT FIRE HOUSE AND A CONCEIT THAT THE PAMPERED PROPERTIES THERE WERE JUST TOO PRICEY NOT TO BE PROTECTED.  SO MUCH FOR MALIBU MYTHS AND REALTOR REASSURANCES.

WORSE WAS THE DEVASTATION OF WESTERN MALIBU AND SEVERAL OF THE CANYON COMMUNITIES, THAT INCLUDE TRANCAS, DECKER, KANAN AND LATIGO, WHICH I TOURED CHECKING ON THE HOMES OF FRIENDS, UNABLE TO RETURN TO THEIR PROPERTIES IN THE HELLISH FIRST WEEK OF MANDATORY EVACUATIONS, AND UNABLE TO FILTER THE FRAGMENTS OF INFORMATION AND RUMORS TRICKLING FROM A HOST OF QUESTIONABLE SOURCES, PRINCIPALLY TV AND THE INTERNET.

HOWEVER, CACOPHONIC AND UNFILTERED AS THE SOCIAL MEDIA WAS, NEXT DOOR, AND VARIOUS FACEBOOK SITES, SUCH AS FRIENDS OF MALIBU, WERE WELCOME IF UNVETTED SOURCES THAT YOU HAD TO READ CAREFULLY AND CONSIDER WHO WAS DOING THE WRITING.  WELL INTENTION AS SOME WERE, MOST WERE UNFORTUNATELY UNSUBSTANTIATED AND UNRELIABLE.

TO BE SURE, HAVING SOMEONE WHO IS AN IT AND AN EDITOR IN THE HOUSEHOLD WAS HELPFUL, AND ROOSTING IN LOCALES THAT HAD WIFI. 

FRANKLY THOUGH, ONE HAD TO TOUR THE NEIGHBORHOODS TO SEE THE DESTRUCTION, TALK TO THOSE WHO FELT THE HEAT OF THE FIRES, AND HEAR THEIR  WOES, FEVERISH FRUSTRATION AND PALATABLE ANGER AT WHAT THEY WITNESSED WAS THE CONFUSION AND FUMBLING OF THE POWERS-THAT-BE.

 THAT INCLUDED FIRST RESPONDERS  AND, IN PARTICULAR, THE CITY OF MALIBU.

RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH PALATABLE ANGER THAT THE FIRE SADLY EXPOSED AN OVERPAID AND UNDER ACHIEVING CITY ADMINISTRATION THAT WAS ALL BUT IRRELEVANT, FROM FAILING TO EXPEDITIOUSLY ACTIVATE ITS CERT VOLUNTEERS, TO NOT PROVIDING A TIMELY, EASILY ACCESSIBLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION. THEY ADDED THAT NOT HELPING WAS THE CITY’S TOUTED EMERGENCY WEBSITE THAT REGURGITATED SHERIFF AND COUNTY ITEMS HOURS AND DAYS LATE, WHILE ISSUING PRESS RELEASES OF CLICHÉD CONCERNS OF CITY OFFICIALS. 

PARTICULARLY DISMAYING WAS ALSO THE CITY’S MISMANAGEMENT OF ITS MANDATORY EVACUATION DIRECTIVE THAT APPARENTLY WAS NOT PHASED OR COORDINATED WITH FIRST RESPONDERS AND NEIGHBORING MUNICIPALITIES.

PCH FOR MANY LEAVING EARLY ON THAT FATEFUL FRIDAY IT WAS A FOUR AND FIVE HOUR FRUSTRATION GETTING TO SANTA MONICA, WHICH NOT INCIDENTALLY IN A GESTURE OF ILL WILL CLOSED THE STREET ENTRANCES INTO ITS DOWNTOWN. THE SITUATION DID GET BETTER FOR THOSE FLEEING MALIBU LATER IN THE AFTERNOON, WHEN IT WAS ANNOUNCE ALL LANES WERE OPEN EAST, BUT NOT REALLY, UNLESS YOU CHANCED THE CENTER LANES, AS WE DID LEADING A CARAVAN.

RETURNING THE NEXT DAY THANKS TO PRESS CREDENTIALS I HAVE HAD SINCE MY DAYS WITH THE NYTIMES 60 YEARS AGO, THE DEVASTATION WAS BLEAK AND DEPRESSING. TO BE SURE, THE FIRST RESPONDERS WERE OUT IN FORCE, HAVING STRAGGLED IN FROM FIGHTING FIRES ELSEWHERE AND STANDING GUARD AT PEPPERDINE, BUT FOR MANY HOMEOWNERS IT WAS TOO LATE.

THE RUINS THAT WILL BE WITH US A LONG TIME SHOULD BE A CONSTANT REMINDER OF THE TRAGEDY AND A SPUR TO AN INDEPENDENT REVIEW OF WHAT WENT WRONG, WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE, AND WHAT LESSONS HAVE WE LEARNED TO CONTEND WITH THE FIRE NEXT TIME, FOR AS ALONG AS WE REBUILD AS THE CLIMATE CHANGE INEXORABLY CONTINUES, THERE SURELY WILL BE A NEXT TIME.

FROM THE FIELD, 11.20.18

FACEBOOK, NOV. 20 MALIBU REMEMBERED

Smoke might have lifted, but descending on my Malibu is a dark cloud of sorrow. Ferrying friends to their burnt ruins, giving and gettting hugs everywhere, talking and texting, is a mix of emotions: a resolve to return and rebuild, disgust with the city mismanagement (read David Saul) and many questions, and a clutter of answers, rumors and a silence which is deafening. More to come when the power comes on and im back at my computer. I miss her, my neighbors, the dog park denizens, the bark of sealions, screech of the wild parrots and the crash of calming waves.

THE WOOLSEY FIRE: FIELD NOTES

h

https://www.facebook.com/sam.hall.kaplan  11.15.18

Heart aching, body ailing, spent the day in my Malibu. Gratefully hosed away the ashes, Peg cleaned out the frig, then checked out houses of friends still not able to get in, traversing most streets on the Point and in western Malibu . The devastation is depressing. Relief came by tending to the chickens of a neighbor, and ferrying a friend to the ruins of her ranch in hopes of finding her cats. And there were stalwarts Hans and Diane rebuilding the KBUU studio, and the volunteers attending the Point Dume relief center exuding good cheer. And all this under a brilliant sky that seemed to smile on Malibu, lending the ravaged andscape a hope for the future. Now if only the power comes on.

FB  11.15 

The heralded informational meeting for Malibu in Santa Monica last night turned out to be sadly, predictably self aggrandizing. Orchestrated.by a vain glorious city manager featuring a lame duck city council clucking cliches of a stalwart citizenry, it prompted strident heckling, annoying but understandable. In praising herself and staff she related how they hAd to evacuate city hall, but did not address why Pepperdine stAaff and students remained to divert first responders from fighting the spot fires that devastated the point and western neighborhoods! Other items annoyed but hAve to be reviewed later because power low and I’m tired. Ending on A positive note, good seeing friends and neighbors, exchanging sympathy and solace. So much to be rebuilt, including a new Malibu city governance!

ttps://www.facebook.com/sam.hall.kaplan  11.15.18

EASCAPE TO THE GETTY

With the sad aftermath of the Woolsey fire still everywhere in scent and scene in my Malibu, an escape was needed, as I comment on public radio, 99.1 KBUU, and select websites.

So what could be better and more convenient than an excursion to the nearby Getty Museum on its accessible hilltop in Brentwood, and there to be transported back to an awakening, artful Europe of old, in an engaging and enlightening exhibit, entitled “The Renaissance Nude.”

Some 100 works of art offer views of the nude, vibrant and fetching , that the avant-garde artist of the day thrust on a then pious society dominated by the church, proclaiming its celibacy while censuring what they considered sin.

Viewing the once daring art in their controversial context was affecting, and reminded me of the time not so long ago when photographs of uncompromising sexuality challenged the art establishment, which then threatened to cut off funding and close down museums. We happily have moved on.

Ah, but during the Renaissance many of the artists, such greats as Da Vinci, Durer, Michelangelo and Raphael, were church favorites, and indeed in the employee of the Vatican, as well as the nobility and venerated. 

So in short time they prevailed and the nude became ubiquitous, beginning actually mostly with the male nude. So we have a large engraving from the 1470s, entitled Battle of the Nudes, in which the male is depicted in various postures.

Its fame emboldened the artists of the day, and soon the female was unclothed, in particular Venus, the Roman goddess of love, as exhibited in the differing works of Titian and Gossart.  I do love her as shown in various poses, as I am enchanted by the seductress Bathsheba exposed in manuscripts and in paintings. 

However, not exhibited is perhaps the world’s most famous sculpted nude, Michelangelo’s David, which I am sure will never be removed from its perch in Florence, or should be.

Though Michelangelo’s anatomical studies are displayed in all their meticulous detail, as is a reproduction of his awesome 45 foot Last Judgement, the original, of course, in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.   

On display also are a wealth of other masterpieces from the great collection of Europe. These include Titian’s magnificent “Venus Rising From the Sea,” and center stage in a room, Leonardo da Vinci’s studies , in pen and ink, and black chalk.

 They are mesmerizing, as is much of the exhibition, which runs until January 27th of next year. This is great, for personally it gives me nearly two months to plan other visits. This is an exhibition to be seen several times.

ith the sad aftermath of theWoolsey fire still everywhere in scent and scene in my Malibu, an escape wasneeded, as I comment on public radio, 99.1 KBUU, and select websites.

So what could be better and more convenient than an excursion to the nearby Getty Museum on its accessible hilltop in Brentwood, and there to be transported back to an awakening, artful Europe of old, in an engaging and enlightening exhibit, entitled “The Renaissance Nude.”

Some 100 works of art offer views of the nude, vibrant and fetching , that the avant-garde artist of the day thrust on a then pious society dominated by the church, proclaiming its celibacy while censuring what they considered sin.

Viewing the once daring art in their controversial context was affecting, and reminded me of the time not so long ago when photographs of uncompromising sexuality challenged the art establishment, which then threatened to cut off funding and close down museums. We happily have moved on.

Ah, but during the Renaissance many of the artists, such greats as Da Vinci, Durer, Michelangelo and Raphael, were church favorites, and indeed in the employee of the Vatican, as well as the nobility and venerated. 

So in short time they prevailed and the nude became ubiquitous, beginning actually mostly with the male nude. So we have a large engraving from the 1470s, entitled Battle of the Nudes, in which the male is depicted in various postures.

Its fame emboldened the artists of the day, and soon the female was unclothed, in particular Venus, the Roman goddess of love, as exhibited in the differing works of Titian and Gossart.  I do love her as shown in various poses, as I am enchanted by the seductress Bathsheba exposed in manuscripts and in paintings. 

However, not exhibited is perhaps the world’s most famous sculpted nude, Michelangelo’s David, which I am sure will never be removed from its perch in Florence, or should be.

Though Michelangelo’s anatomical studies are displayed in all their meticulous detail, as is a reproduction of his awesome 45 foot Last Judgement, the original, of course, in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.   

On display also are a wealth of other masterpieces from the great collection of Europe. These include Titian’s magnificent “Venus Rising From the Sea,” and center stage in a room, Leonardo da Vinci’s studies , in pen and ink, and black chalk.

 They are mesmerizing, as is much of the exhibition, which runs until January 27th of next year. This is great, for personally it gives me nearly two months to plan other visits. This is an exhibition to be seen several times.