Five stories that have North Texas talking: No more ‘X’ in Dealey Plaza, architect Renzo Piano is in town, the Dallas Museum of Art gets two African works, and more:
- On Tuesday night, Italian architect Renzo Piano joins Art&Seek’s Jerome Weeks on stage at Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium to talk about the Piano Pavilion, the addition he designed for the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. The space will be open to the public on Friday. The expansion provides the Kimbell with more room to display its collection, plus classrooms and a theater. On Monday’s Think, Italian architect Renzo Piano joined KERA’s Krys Boyd to talk about the pavilion. Listen to the podcast of Monday’s show. And here are interview highlights.
- You can no longer spot an “X” in Dealey Plaza. Dallas street workers have apparently removed the white “X’s” that marked the spot where President John F. Kennedy was shot, The Dallas Morning News reports. But city officials wouldn’t acknowledge that the marks have been removed. A city spokesman told the News that the city is laying asphalt to level Elm Street and “remove any trip hazards.” On Friday, the city will mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination with a ceremony in Dealey Plaza. The city has never officially marked the “X” – it’s believed that vendors around Dealey Plaza have been responsible for placing the “X” on the street and updating it through the years.
- What role did the city of Dallas play in JFK’s death? Writer James McAuley explored the topic in Sunday’s New York Times. “Dallas is not, of course, ‘the city that killed Kennedy,’” McAuley wrote. “Nor does the city in which the president arrived 50 years ago bear much resemblance to Dallas today, the heart of a vibrant metroplex of 6.7 million people, most of whom have moved from elsewhere and have little or no connection to 1963. But without question, these memories — and the remnants of the environment of extreme hatred the city’s elite actively cultivated before the president’s visit — have left an indelible mark on Dallas, the kind of mark that would never be left on Memphis or Los Angeles.” McAuley criticizes the city’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary: “Once again, spectacle is likely to trump substance: not one word will be said at this event about what exactly the city was in 1963, when the president arrived in what he called, just moments before his death, ‘nut country.’”
- Army staff sergeant from Keller killed in Afghanistan: The Defense Department has announced that Army Staff Sgt. Alex Viola was killed Sunday in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, by an improvised explosive device. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that it was the first deployment for Sgt. Viola, 29, who had been in Afghanistan for five weeks. “He was on foot patrol,” his mother, Margaret Viola, told the newspaper. “The only thing we were told was that it happened yesterday morning, and it’s under investigation. They took him to a hospital in Kandahar where he died. Now we’re going to Dover, Del., to pick him up.” Viola had entered the Navy, and was accepted for SEAL training, but he was injured, his mother said. But Viola refused to give up and re-entered the military as an engineer sergeant.
- DMA gets two African works: The Dallas Museum of Art has added to its significant collection of African art with two purchases from Sotheby’s. The works come from the Collection of Alan Stone: African, Oceanic and Indonesian Art. One of them, a 21-inch tall figure, is considered an “icon of African art.” The Songye ‘Four Horn’ figure comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while the Ejagham Headcrest comes from Nigeria. Unreported in the DMA’s press release were the amounts either work fetched. But the Sotheby’s website indicates the Songye figure went for $2,165,000 — the highest price for any item — while the headcrest was sold for $305,000. The Stone Collection, in total, went for $11.5 million. KERA’s Jerome Weeks has more details on Art&Seek.