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Posts Tagged ‘recovery’

Photo: Upcycle Stitches.
Sashiko is a needlework to reinforce, to repair, to mend, and to decorate the fabric. 

Whenever I hear something good on Public Radio International’s the World, I hope they will post a text version online so I have something to edit, but today’s story is accessible only as audio. So I am combining it with a May 2018 blog post that “atsushijp” wrote at Upcycle Stitches: “Otsuchi Recovery Sashiko Project.” (Atsushijp did us all a favor by sharing this work with a different audience, and I have not tried to tweak her English.)

“It has been almost 7 years since I had encountered this beautiful project: Otsuchi Recovery Sashiko  Project. … After the earthquake followed by Tsunami on March 11th, 2011, the five volunteers established the project to support the people in Otsuchi, especially those who had nothing to do but sitting in the evacuation shelter. The men had a lot of things to require the muscle power after the disaster. The young generation also had many tasks to revive the infrastructure such as distributing the support goods and clean. However, those who wouldn’t be able to move, mostly elderly women, did not have things to do and had to wait. …

“The project tries to create jobs for those who couldn’t do hard labor outside. They have been trying to create the community where anyone can gather for the purpose of stitching. We all then hope that the stitching can be a part of the purposes of their new life after the earthquake. I, Atsushi, first join the project in June 2011. …

“I had written many articles and reports regarding the Otsuchi Sashiko in English, but I had to give them up when my father passed away and the stakeholders decided to shut down the website. Well, even after the sad reality of me leaving Sashiko behind for while, my mother, Keiko Futatsuya, kept in touch with them. Now, she is the advisor of Sashiko technique and designing in Otsuchi Recovery Sashiko Project. …

“Otsuchi town was badly damaged by the earthquake followed by Tsunami, including the loss of town hall and the mayor and more than 1,280 of people’s life. The survivors [who] needed an evacuation shelter by losing their house were more than 9,000 people.

“In the evacuation shelter, mothers and grandmothers, who were very much hard worker in their own house as a house-maker, didn’t have anything to do. There were no kitchen to cook, no living room to clean, no dishes to wash. Men and young generation could work for the cleaning debris, but the job required a lot of muscle power. Mothers and Grandmothers couldn’t help them even if they wanted to. …

“The answers they had come up with was Sashiko, in which requires only a needle, thread, and piece of fabric. The Sashiko was doable in a limited space of the evacuation shelter. The mothers and grandmothers wanted to do ‘something’ instead of just waiting.

“An elder woman who lied down all the day in the evacuation shelter. A hard-working mother who lost her house-making job. A young woman who lost their job opportunity. Everyone in Otsuchi moved the needle with hoping the recovery of Otsuchi. Otsuchi Recovery Sashiko project is their first step to the recovery by women in Otsuchi since June 2011. The Earthquake destroyed the houses and jobs and took away our previous people. We, as Otsuchi Recovery Sashiko Project, would like to re-establish the town of Otsuchi throughout Sashiko by strengthening, mending, and making it more beautiful. …

“When a mother, who enjoy Sashiko, is happy, the household will be filled with smiles. If the household is filled with smiles, the town of Otsuchi will be energetic. When the town of Otsuchi become energetic, everyone in the town and related to the town will be happy. …

“We strongly respect the value of hand-made craft culture with spending so much time and putting the good-heart in it in the era of ‘speed’ and ‘efficiency (productivity)’ with mass-production and mass-information. ‘Hand-Made Craft’ provide us ‘Care’ and ‘Mindfulness (Mental Wellness)’ by thinking of other, and using our own hands.”

More at Upcycle Stitches, here. The audio story at the World, here, covers aspects of the initiative in which men have helped, too.

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Photo: Ibl/REX/Shutterstock.
Art detective Christopher Marinello, left, returning the long-lost Le Jardin by Matisse to Lars Bystrom of the Modern Museum in Stockholm in 2013.

Now for something completely different, how about we delve into the life of a lawyer who walks some dangerous paths to recover stolen art?

Alex Daniel writes at the Guardian, “One summer morning in 2008, Christopher Marinello was waiting on 72nd Street in Manhattan, New York. The traffic was busy, but after a few minutes he saw what he was waiting for: a gold Mercedes with blacked-out windows drew near. As it pulled up to the kerb, a man in the passenger seat held a large bin-liner out of the window. ‘Here you go,’ he said. Marinello took the bag and the car sped off. Inside was a rolled-up painting by the Belgian artist Paul Delvaux, Le Rendez-vous d’Ephèse. Its estimated worth was $6m, and at that point it had been missing for 40 years.

“Marinello is one of a handful of people who track down stolen masterpieces for a living. Operating in the grey area between wealthy collectors, private investigators, and high-value thieves, he has spent three decades going after lost works by the likes of Warhol, Picasso and Van Gogh. In that time, he says he has recovered art worth more than half a billion dollars. …

“Cases tend to go the following way. A stolen artwork – in this instance, a bird by the Martin Brothers pottery makers, which was swiped from a London library in 2005 – will often turn up at auction or on social media. It then falls to Marinello to establish whether it is actually the missing work and, sometimes, to get it back. This, he says, is usually relatively simple.

“Stolen works often change hands several times before resurfacing, leaving subsequent possessors in the dark about their provenance. This is most likely what happened with the Delvaux. The painting, completed in 1967, depicts several nude women in a dreamlike landscape that’s part classical architecture, part mid-century tram station. Delvaux himself sold it a year later, but it was stolen before it reached the buyer. In 2008, Marinello got a call from somebody who wanted to return it. What happened to it in the intervening 40 years is unclear, although its final location is known. It was rolled up, says Marinello, in the wardrobe of ‘a very well-heeled celebrity. And their very expensive lawyer made it clear they would never be named.’ …

“A slight, 58-year-old Italian American with a soft Brooklyn accent, Marinello … trained as a lawyer, cutting his teeth as a litigator in New York representing galleries, collectors and dealers in cases involving disputed works. ‘Eventually, it developed into a full-time art recovery practice,’ he says. In 2013, he formed his own company, Art Recovery International, which is based in Venice but has offices in London. …

He says. ‘[I’m] a pretty good negotiator. I can convince people to do the right thing. … The bottom line [is] that if you are trying to sell something that is stolen, you’re the one with a problem, not me.’ …

“He adds: ‘With a lot of art crime, there is nobody to arrest and people rarely go to prison. It’s just a matter of recovering the work.’

“However, sometimes a suspect will refuse to cooperate. Then, things are different. ‘We go after them like pitbulls and never let go,’ he says. ‘And that is when they start getting nasty, when they are concerned they’re going to go to prison.’ “

More at the Guardian, here. If you don’t follow the Guardian online, do check it out. I really love it. It’s free, but grateful readers volunteer to pay what they can.

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