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Notre Dame to cover up murals of Columbus in the New World

The University of Notre Dame will cover murals in a campus building that depict Christopher Columbus in America, the school's president said, following criticism that the images depict Native Americans in stereotypical submissive poses before white European explorers.

The 12 murals created in the 1880s by Luis Gregori were intended to encourage immigrants who had come to the U.S. during a period of anti-Catholic sentiment. But they conceal another side of Columbus: the exploitation and repression of Native Americans , said the Rev. John Jenkins, president of Notre Dame.

It is a "darker side of this story, a side we must acknowledge," Jenkins said in a letter Sunday.

The murals in the Catholic university's Main Building are painted directly on walls. Jenkins said they will be covered, although they still could be occasionally displayed. A permanent display of photos of the paintings will be created elsewhere with an explanation of their context.

"We wish to preserve artistic works originally intended to celebrate immigrant Catholics who were marginalized at the time in society, but do so in a way that avoids unintentionally marginalizing others," Jenkins said.

In 2017, more than 300 students, employees and Notre Dame alumni signed a letter in the campus newspaper that called for the removal of the murals.

The president of the Native American Student Association praised Jenkins' decision.

"This is a good step towards acknowledging the full humanity of those native people who have come before us," said Marcus Winchester-Jones of Dowagiac, Michigan.

But Notre Dame law student Grant Strobl said the decision was disappointing.

"If we adopt the standard of judging previous generations by current standards, we may reach a point where there are no longer accomplishments to celebrate," Strobl said.

Inside a big top, Dior puts on circus-themed couture

Dior drew inspiration from the top of the big top for a playful couture show held Monday in Paris, where models inside a circus-style tent walked through a human arch made of moving acrobats.

The theme seemed to well serve designer Maria Grazia Chiuri, who has struggled to fly in recent seasons.

The acrobatics also dovetailed with some of the recent film roles of Dior's VIP guest, British actress Felicity Jones, who explained all to The Associated Press.

Here are some highlights of Monday's spring-summer 2019 couture collections in Paris.

DIOR CIRCUS

Hundreds of vintage light bulbs like the ones used at fairgrounds lit up Dior's life-sized circus and a giant wooden pole held up the big top. Guests at the show inside the Rodin Museum gardens gawped at the decor.

Acrobats dressed in the black-and-white costumes of Pierrot, the clown character from French pantomime, entered the stage area on each other's shoulders to begin the whimsical collection that riffed on the circus theme.

Dior has had a long history with the big top — from a famous 1955 photo shoot with elephants in Paris' Winter Circus to the circus theme picked for one of former designer John Galliano's most memorable shows.

And the circus seems to have provided Chiuri, who's struggled to take off since taking Dior's creative helm in 2016, the perfect muse to unlock her creativity.

It was light and fun, without being heavy-handed or overly literal.

A model in a chic sequined helmet wore a white origami skirt inspired by a clown's ruff and featuring a slightly dropped waist.

A clown's multi-colored costume spawned a fantastic knitted tulle playsuit with a stylish Juliette sleeve — a shape repeated throughout the 68-look collection.

Another tulle jumpsuit sported a multi-colored streak in satin bands and dramatically square shoulders.

It was worn atop a "tattooed" body suit that conjured up images of Victorian-era circus performers, one of many details that gave this collection a historic depth.

FELICITY JONES ON ACROBATS

Felicity Jones spoke to the AP from under Dior's big top and said she coincidentally she had just finished playing an acrobat for a movie called "The Aeronauts" that reunited with "The Theory of Everything" co-star Eddie Redmayne.

"This set is so fitting. It's obviously in the air," she said, smiling.

The feminist edge Chiuri has brought to Dior since becoming the first female designer in house history also mirrored the "kick-ass women" Jones chooses to play, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in the biopic "On the Basis of Sex."

"She's a formidable woman. She's someone who's changed the face of gender equality in the world, so it was an enormous privilege to be playing her," Jones added.

IRIS VAN HERPEN TAKES FLIGHT

Dutch wunderkind Iris Van Herpen's couture took flight in the Palais de Beaux Arts in Paris' chic Left Bank.

The show evoked winged forms and organic life, and was inspired by visual artist Kim Keever, who drops paint pigment into water.

The arty setting was an appropriate backdrop for the sculptural creations that seemed to borrow from works housed at the Louvre, located hundreds of meters (yards) away.

An organic cobalt blue gown featured bare shoulders and a pair of pleated wings that created a highly dramatic dynamic, similar to the Louvre's famed Hellenistic sculpture, The Winged Victory of Samothrace.

Elsewhere, the marbled form of insects — or perhaps the intricate molecular structures of stones and crystals? — were reflected in a beautiful series of draped and loosely fitted silk gowns.

Long Asian sleeves on vivid red and pearly white dresses added elegance and an opportunity to create an interesting trapeze silhouette.

Van Herpen is a couture poet.

SCHIAPARELLI IS WHIMSICAL

Whimsical would be the word to best describe Schiaparelli's spring-summer couture. Designer Bertrand Guyon presented a fantastical universe of sheeny silks, softly architectural silhouettes and beautiful colors.

The embellishments and shimmering embroideries on diverse designs were more than a match for the gilded gold of the show venue, Paris' ornate Garnier Opera House.

Anachronism and contrast ruled.

Cowboy boots cut a dramatic style below a medieval mini dress with speckled and billowing Juliette sleeves.

A 1950s bar jacket and peplum ensemble and contemporary pants sported floral scenes that made it appear the pieces were used as a painter's canvas.

And colored feathers that embellished several dresses gave the collection a dreamy quality as they slowly floated by, with the occasional plume falling gently to the ground.

LANVIN APPOINTS NEW DESIGNER

Lanvin, the world's oldest continually running couture house, has suffered creative turbulence and questions about its direction ever since the departure of lauded couturier Alber Elbaz in 2015.

Since then, there has been a steady stream of disappointing designers whose collections have prompted lukewarm reviews.

On Monday, the house named a new creative director: Bruno Sialelli.

"After a thorough and extensive application process involving an incredible array of talented designers," Sialelli's profile was that which embodied best "this new chapter in the house's history," Lanvin said.

Sialelli was poached from his position as the men's design director for Loewe.

He said he aims to bring "emotions through compelling stories" and to define "a modern attitude" while continuing Lanvin's iconic legacy.

The French hold a precious place in their hearts and culture for Lanvin, founded in 1889 by female fashion trailblazer Jeanne Lanvin.

RALPH AND RUSSO GO FULL-ON RED CARPET

Red carpet favorites Ralph and Russo unabashedly turned on the Hollywood glitz Monday.

A thousand-watt showbiz lights at the foot of the runway spelled out the surnames of creative partners Tamara Ralph and Michael Russo, as couture looks spilled out in va-va-voom haute glamour.

Day wear was reasonably restrained, featuring details such as a snake embellishment across a tight double-breasted jacket in malachite or a circular hat with an oversize rim.

But for the evening, the house put away its subtlety and got out its tulles, feathers and skin-baring bodices in black, white and neon pink. They will soon likely crop up on a red carpet in the French Riviera.

Despite being relative fashion newcomers — they have already had star clients like Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lopez.

___

Thomas Adamson can be followed at www.twitter.com/ThomasAdamson_K

Trump tweets late Hall of Fame support for Curt Schilling

President Donald Trump made a late push for former major league pitcher Curt Schilling to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, tweeting Sunday night that the right-hander had a “Great record, especially when under pressure and when it mattered most.”

>> Read more trending news 

The endorsement came three weeks too late, however, as ballots for the Hall of Fame were due Dec. 31, Sports Illustrated reported. 

The results of the votes will be announced Tuesday, and the new members will be inducted July 21 in Cooperstown, New York.

Schilling, 52, is an outspoken conservative and Trump supporter. He appeared in four World Series, winning with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001 and the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007. He also appeared in the 1993 World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies.Schilling had a 162-111 record during his 20-year major league career, but was 11-2 during the postseason and won four of five World Series decisions. He is considered an outside shot to earn election to Cooperstown this year, according to Baseball Hall of Fame Vote Tracker. 

Schilling has appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot every year since 2013 but has only received a high of 52.3 percent support, Sports Illustrated reported.

Jimmy Buffett drops mic after singing national anthem at NFC title game

Singer Jimmy Buffett caused a stir on social media after his a cappella performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” before Sunday’s NFC Championship game, several media outlets reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Reactions were mixed after Buffett’s emphatic drop before the New Orleans Saints hosted the Los Angeles Rams. After the final line of the song, the “Margaritaville” singer raised his right arm and dropped the microphone near the 50-yard line, Rolling Stone reported.

“Wonderful honor. Thank you,” Buffett posted on Twitter.

Buffett’s actions were met with sharp criticism by some.

“Wow. One of the worst renditions of all time. Awful,” New England Patriots color analyst Scott Zolak tweeted.

“Are Jimmy Buffet (sic) concerts as bad as his national anthem?” People quoted one social media poster.

>> Louisiana eye care center offers free vision exams for NFL refs

“Bring in Danny DeVito for the Super Bowl. America is ready,” tweeted Foster the People.

A representative for Buffett “did not immediately return a request for comment,” Fox News reported.

Here is a sampling of reactions posted on social media.

Louisiana eye care center offers free vision exams for NFL refs

After the New Orleans Saints’ controversial loss in Sunday’s NFC Championship game, a Louisiana eye care business offered free vision care for NFL officials before next season, WWL reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Saints fans were seeing red after a disputed non-call for pass interference late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Tommylee Lewis before Drew Brees’ pass arrived inside the 5-yard line, forcing the Saints to settle for a field goal with 1:41 left in regulation. Los Angeles tied the game moments later and then won in overtime, 26-23.

>> On Boston25News.com: Patriots win AFC Championship in OT

Sunday night, Louisiana Family Eyecare posted its offer for free eye exams for referees on its Facebook page.

“After having time to consider things we will GLADLY provide no cost eye exams to all NFL officials prior to next season to prevent the atrocity that occurred tonight," the Covington, Louisiana, business posted. “We would hate for someone else to feel our pain."

A Texas vision center in College Station made a similar offer, WWL reported.

"In light of the atrocious lack of calls during the New Orleans Saints game, we would like to extend free eye exams and glasses to any NFL referee in need. You know who you are," CrystalVisionCenter tweeted.

Here is the controversial play.

Lady Gaga slams Trump over shutdown, Pence over LGBTQ rights

Lady Gaga isn't holding back when it comes to her feelings about the partial government shutdown and LGBTQ rights.

>> Bon Jovi's restaurant to serve free meal to federal workers furloughed during shutdown

According to Billboard, the award-winning singer and actress got political during a weekend show in Las Vegas, blasting President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. 

>> Watch the moment here (WARNING: Linked video contains profanity.)

"If the [expletive] president of the United States could please put our government back. ... There are people who live paycheck to paycheck and need their money," she said to cheers from the audience.

Gaga also slammed Pence and his wife, Karen Pence.

>> Read more trending news 

"To Mike Pence, who thinks it's acceptable that his wife works at a school that bans LGBTQ: You are wrong," she said, calling him "the worst representation of what it means to be a Christian."

Gaga was referring to reports that the second lady was hired by Immanuel Christian School in Virginia, where students can be expelled or denied admission for “condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity,” according to the Washington Post.

Read more here.

Unclothed Emperor? Costumes for opera stolen in Germany

The emperor has no clothes in this production of Puccini's "Turandot" by the Lithuanian National Opera, but then again neither does any other character.

Guetersloh police said Monday the costumes coming from Spain for the upcoming production of Giacomo Puccini's three-act opera were stolen from a truck near the western German city after the driver pulled into a rest stop for a break.

Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theater official Julijus Grickevicius tells the Baltic news agency BNS some 100 costumes are gone, including those of the main performers.

He says the shipment was insured, with the loss estimated at several hundred thousand euros.

The opera says work is underway to make replacement costumes in time for the premier in March.

Police say they currently have no suspects.

'Gotti' leads Razzie nominations, Trump up for worst actor

John Travolta's John Gotti biopic "Gotti" has topped the 39th annual Razzie Awards with a co-leading six nominations, while President Donald Trump also earned a nod for worst actor.

In nominations announced Monday, "Gotti," the Will Ferrell comedy "Holmes & Watson," conservative provocateur Dinesh D'Souza's "Death of a Nation" and the R-rated puppet comedy "Happytime Murders" all earned six nominations.

Nominated for worst picture are "Gotti," ''The Happytime Murders," ''Holmes & Watson," ''Robin Hood" and "Winchester."

Along with Johnny Depp in "Sherlock Gnomes" and Travolta in "Gotti," the Razzies nominated Trump in "Death of a Nation" and Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 11/9" for worst actor. It also nominated Trump and "his self-perpetuating pettiness" for worst screen combo. Melania Trump was nominated for worst supporting actress.

Winners will be revealed Feb. 23.

Atlanta natives Chloe x Halle to sing ‘America the Beautiful’ at Super Bowl

Atlanta natives and Grammy-nominated sister singing duo Chloe x Halle will sing “America the Beautiful” before Super Bowl LIII, the NFL announced Sunday.

>> Read more trending news 

The group joins the previously announced Gladys Knight in the pre-game festivities at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Feb. 3. Knight is set to sing the national anthem.

Chloe and Halle Bailey, just 20 and 18 years old respectively, were born in Atlanta and caught the attention of Beyoncé in 2013 after posting a cover of her song “Pretty Hurts” on YouTube.

They were subsequently signed to her label Parkwood Entertainment and released their debut album “The Kids Are Alright” last year. Their vocal talent and contemporary R&B style earned them Grammy nominations for best new artist and best urban contemporary album for next month’s ceremony.

>> Related: Gladys Knight explains her decision to sing the national anthem

They also opened for Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s joint “On The Run II” tour last year, and star on the show “Grown-ish.”

They previously sang the national anthem at the NFL Draft in 2017.

Former CIA officer portrayed in 'Argo' film dead at 78

A former CIA technical operations officer who helped rescue six U.S. diplomats from Iran in 1980 and was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the film "Argo," has died. He was 78.

A family statement and his literary agent confirmed that Antonio "Tony" Mendez died Saturday at an assisted-living center in Frederick, Maryland. He had suffered from Parkinson's disease, according to the statement.

Specializing in covert operations, Mendez helped devise the plan under which six diplomats who were in hiding were disguised as a Canadian film crew so they could board a flight and escape the country amid the Iran hostage crisis. The daring plot — for years a side note to the 52 people held hostage for 444 days — captured the public's attention in "Argo," which won the 2013 Oscar for best picture.

Mendez, who joined the CIA after getting recruited in 1965, spent his 25-year career working undercover in Cold War battlegrounds, including the Soviet Union. Working as a "chief of disguise," Mendez and his workers helped secret agents remain secret through creating false documents and disguises, according to a biography for his first book, "The Master of Disguise; My Secret Life in the CIA."

"Tony Mendez was a true American hero. He was a man of extraordinary grace, decency, humility and kindness," Affleck tweeted Saturday. "He never sought the spotlight for his actions, he merely sought to serve his country. I'm so proud to have worked for him and to have told one of his stories."

The "Argo" screenplay, based on another Mendez memoir and also an Oscar winner, was liberally embellished for the big screen. The six Americans' passage through the Tehran airport and onto a plane was uneventful, Mendez wrote. But the movie portrayed a white-knuckle takeoff at the Tehran airport, with Iranian assault teams racing behind the jet down the runway.

Born in Nevada, Mendez moved to Colorado at age 14, attended the University of Colorado and worked for Martin Marietta on the Titan intercontinental missile, according to the online biography . He was recruited for the CIA in Denver through a blind ad. In less than two years, the biography says, he and his family had moved overseas while Mendez worked in South and Southeast Asia.

His wife, Jonna, is also a former chief of disguise in the CIA's Office of Technical Service. The two wrote a book about their agency work in Moscow in the final days of the Cold War and their romance, which led to their marriage after he retired in 1990. Mendez was also an accomplished painter.

His family says he will be buried in a private ceremony at the family graveyard in Nevada.

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