For Sunday, February 23, 2014
POSTED: 3:09 a.m. HST, Feb 23, 2014
Work to cut off altar access
BERLIN » Berlin's museums authority says one of the city's best-known cultural treasures, the second-century B.C. Pergamon Altar, will be shut to visitors for up to five years from September for restoration work on the building that houses it.
The altar, decorated with a marble frieze, was built between 197 and 156 B.C. in the present-day Turkish town of Bergama. It's the centerpiece of Berlin's Pergamon Museum.
The museum is being restored as part of a plan to overhaul the neoclassical Museum Island complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The authority that runs Berlin's public museums said Tuesday the central hall that contains the altar will close Sept. 29, and likely won't reopen until 2019, though it plans to set up a temporary exhibition nearby with original material from the altar.
Disneyland stays profitable
HONG KONG » Turning a page on years of losses, Hong Kong Disneyland said Monday it was profitable for a second straight year and plans to build a third hotel to help cater to rising numbers of visitors.
The theme park in the southern Chinese city more than doubled its profit to 242 million Hong Kong dollars ($31 million) in the year to September. Revenue climbed 15 percent to HK$4.9 billion as visitors rose 10 percent to a high of 7.4 million.
The park had struggled after opening in 2005, with its poor performance blamed on its small size. But it became profitable in 2012 thanks to new attractions that drew more visitors, especially from mainland China.
Officials announced plans to build a 750-room resort-hotel that will cost HK$4.3 billion and is expected to open by early 2017. The new hotel will raise total room capacity by three quarters to 1,750.
The Hong Kong government owns 52 percent of the park, with the Walt Disney Co. owning the rest. It's still the smallest of Disney's parks worldwide but an expansion project completed last year increased its size by 25 percent.
The park is also building a new attraction based on the "Iron Man" movie franchise, which is wildly popular in mainland China. It's scheduled to open in late 2016.
The new projects will help Hong Kong Disneyland stay competitive with a Disney park under construction in Shanghai that's expected to open in 2015.
Windows head to New York
NEW YORK » Six medieval stained-glass windows from England's historic Canterbury Cathedral will be displayed at a branch of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. The windows will go on view Tuesday at The Cloisters.
It will be first time that the glass panels have left the cathedral since they were created in the years 1178 to 1180.
They were removed during restoration of cathedral walls.
The exhibit will include an interactive panorama of the Canterbury Cathedral.
The Cloisters focuses on the art and architecture of medieval Europe.