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Taking Names

- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2007

Got satisfaction

The Rolling Stones earned $5.4 million for a private concert organized for investment bankers in Spain, the British music magazine NME reported.

The group, led by 63-year-old sex symbol Mick Jagger, performed in front of 500 guests in Barcelona at a party organized by Deutsche Bank in the Catalan National Art Museum two weeks ago.

"Thank you for having us. The best part is it's coming out of your bonuses," Mr. Jagger joked with the invitation-only crowd, according to the online edition of the magazine.

The Rolling Stones are on tour in Europe.

No landing rights

John Travolta has sued the owners of the airport outside his exclusive "fly-in" community, claiming they lied to the Federal Aviation Administration to keep him from landing his Boeing 707 there.

In the federal lawsuit filed Wednesday in Ocala, Fla., the actor claims Greystone Airport owners James and Christine Garemore falsely changed the airport master record in 2006 to indicate that it could not support large airplanes.

Mr. Travolta has an $8 million home at the Jumbolair Aviation Estates in Ocala and wanted to fly his Boeing 707 there. It is an affluent, 550-acre community with a $6 million runway — the largest paved private airfield in the United States.

The lawsuit is seeking an injunction requiring the Garemores to withdraw the 2006 report immediately and authorize flights with the airport master record as it existed before. It also seeks to nullify the report because of false or misleading information to the FAA and to prohibit "future baseless filings."

"The runway is not suitable for heavy aircraft. It is cracking and breaking," Mr. Garemore told Associated Press on Friday. "They are bringing this lawsuit against me, and all I was doing was trying to maintain safety here."

Todd Hopson, the Garemores' attorney, said his client never stopped Mr. Travolta from landing on the 7,550-foot runway.

Michael J. McDermott, Mr. Travolta's attorney, said Mr. Garemore's comments about the runway not being safe for large airplanes is incorrect.

"It's spin in order to cover his butt because he knows that he is in big trouble for doing what he did, and we intend to establish that," Mr. McDermott said.

FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said the agency is not involved in the dispute.

Overcome by passion

A Cambodian-born Frenchwoman faces prosecution for criminal damage after planting a kiss on a painting by the American artist Cy Twombly, leaving the imprint of her lipstick on the otherwise immaculate white canvas.

The untitled work, 9 feet by 6 feet and valued at 2.7 million euros, is part of an exhibition dedicated to the American painter in the southern French city of Avignon.

Sam Rindy, 30, who visited the show with a friend on Thursday, told Agence France-Presse that she was so overcome by the white canvas that she kissed it. "I stepped back. I found the painting even more beautiful. The artist left this white for me," she said.

Staff of the Lambert foundation, which owns the painting, took a different view. They called the police, and the woman, herself a painter, was arrested as she left the premises. She will appear in court on Aug. 16 to face charges of criminal damage.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.