- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Madame moves on

The ex-wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy tied the knot Sunday night at the famed Rainbow Room in New York’s Rockefeller Center, French newspapers reported.

Though details about the nuptials have been kept under wraps, Le Figaro and Liberation said in yesterday’s editions that Cecilia Ciganer-Albeniz, the former Mrs. Sarkozy, married Richard Attias, an events planner. The dailies didn’t identify their sources.

The wedding ceremony and reception in the 65th-floor Rainbow Room, which offers panoramic views of New York, were the culmination of three days of private festivities, Le Figaro said on its Web site.

The ceremony was scheduled to draw 150 guests. Festivities began with a party on Friday at Mr. Attias’ house in Connecticut, the report said.

The marriage will be the third for Ms. Ciganer-Albeniz, 50. Her first husband was French television personality Jacques Martin. Mr. Attias, 48, a Moroccan-born multimillionaire, is the president of Paris-based Publicis Events Worldwide.

Ms. Ciganer-Albeniz left Mr. Sarkozy in May 2005 to live with Mr. Attias but returned to Mr. Sarkozy’s side in the run-up to France’s presidential elections last spring. Their divorce was announced in October, ending an 11-year marriage.

Last month, the French leader married Carla Bruni, the Italian-born singer and former model.

B.B.’s hotspot

B.B. King is the new owner of a juke joint in his Mississippi Delta hometown.

Mary Shepard has owned Club Ebony in Indianola, Miss., about halfway between Jackson and Memphis, for the past three decades. Mr. King and other artists have played there throughout the years. A Mississippi Delta Blues Trail Marker outside Club Ebony says Count Basie, Ray Charles, James Brown and Ike Turner are among the musicians who have played there since 1945.

Mrs. Shepard told Associated Press that she sold the club to the bluesman because she wants to relax and spend time with her family.

Record price

A painting by Dublin-born British artist Francis Bacon is tipped to fetch a record $70 million when it goes under the hammer in New York in May, Sotheby’s said yesterday.

“Triptych, 1976,” described by the auction house as “a masterwork of the first order” and rich in symbolism drawing on ancient Greek mythology, is to go on sale on May 14.

“This is undoubtedly the most important Bacon in private hands. It has been with the same collection ever since it was acquired” 30 years ago, Sotheby’s spokesman Tobias Meyer said in a statement.

“Triptych,” considered one of the artist’s most important works of the 1970s, was the centerpiece of Mr. Bacon’s show at the Galerie Claude Bernard in Paris in 1977. The painting’s three panels show the artist’s lucid imagination with allegorical depictions drawing on the myth of Prometheus, who was bound to a rock, where his liver was devoured repeatedly by an eagle. The work is said to be symbolic of the artist’s inner demons.

The current record for a Bacon was set last year in New York, when his “Study From Innocent X” (1962) sold for $52.7 million, at the time also setting an auction record for any work by a British or Irish artist.

Compiled by Kevin Chaffee from wire reports.

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