- The Washington Times - Monday, May 24, 2004

Emigre day

Danes, prepare yourselves.

Actor-painter-poet Viggo Mortensen, who read aloud some famously windy verse at an anti-war rally in the District last year, will be the main speaker at Denmark’s annual Fourth of July celebrations this summer, Associated Press reports.

Mr. Mortensen, whose Danish father emigrated to the United States, will speak at the annual Rebild festival in northern Denmark, which is billed as the biggest Fourth of July party outside the United States.

Born in New York City, Mr. Mortensen spent several summers in Denmark as a teenager and speaks some Danish.

“All Danes consider him to be nearly Danish,” the organizers said.

Flight risk

Michael Jackson prosecutor Gerald Franklin is worried that the king of pop might choose to live the rest of his life as “a wealthy absconder” rather than face a life term in a California prison, according to AP.

“The defendant here is ‘Michael Jackson, international celebrity,’ a man whose lifestyle to date would not have prepared him to adapt readily to a prison environment and routine, and whose physical stature will present its own problems for him in making the necessary adjustments,” he said in a motion opposing the reduction of Mr. Jackson’s $3 million bail.

“Mr. Jackson has doubtlessly given those realities considerable thought,” the motion says.

Crow at Cannes

For a change of pace from the politics-dominated Cannes film festival, Sheryl Crow performed Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine” at a party celebrating “De-Lovely,” the upcoming biopic about the late songwriter.

“I was a huge fan of that genre of music,” said Miss Crow, who also appears in the movie, according to Hollywood Reporter.

“I grew up loving song-and-dance films, so it’s very exciting to be here. It’s definitely the biggest event for me in the film world, and closing the festival is a huge honor.”

She laughed off rumors that she’s moving to Europe and building a villa with boyfriend Lance Armstrong.

“That’s just one of many, many things that I’ve heard about Lance and me,” she said. “He’s here training, and I’m here with him, and then when he finishes the Tour de France — wait, when he finishes winning the Tour de France — we’ll be going back to America.”

Apparently, Mr. Armstrong has several more famous friends.

Tom Hanks, Adrien Brody, Brett Ratner, Serena Williams, Ashley Judd and Alexandra Kerry were all spotted on and off the Croisette wearing Mr. Armstrong’s Live Strong yellow wristbands. The bands are part of a campaign by the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Nike to raise funds for young cancer victims.

Spring cleaning

Michelangelo’s “David” was unveiled yesterday after an arduous cleaning process that left its restorer emotionally exhausted.

The 16-foot statue, its marble clean and shiny, lost many of its grey streaks and brown spots caused by the ravages of time, weather and countless coatings of beeswax during the 500 years since it was sculpted, according to London’s Daily Telegraph.

“David” was on display at the Accademia gallery in Florence, where the work was undertaken. Cinzia Parnigoni was so overcome with emotion at the importance of the event and the controversy surrounding the “wet cleaning” technique she used to clean “David” that she burst into tears.

“I had no doubts or second thoughts about the technique I was using, but I did when it came to trying to measure up to Michelangelo,” Miss Parnigoni, 45, said.

“I felt a great weight of responsibility on my shoulders,” she said. “It wasn’t always easy to find the inner strength to go on with such a daunting task. I am very happy that it’s all over and has been a success, but I am also a little tired.”

They ‘do,’ again

Kirk and Anne Douglas said “I do” for the second time in 50 years at a mansion overlooking downtown Los Angeles, renewing the marriage vows the Hollywood couple first took when they eloped to Las Vegas in 1954.

AP reports the couple reaffirmed their commitment Sunday before 300 friends and family members in a traditional Jewish ceremony at the famed Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.

Guests included former first lady Nancy Reagan, Merv Griffin, Dan Aykroyd, Lauren Bacall, Tony Curtis, Vidal Sassoon and Anjelica Huston.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from wire and Web reports.

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