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US gallery banned from purchasing Joseph Wright painting

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Two Boys with a BladderImage copyright
Lowell Libson and Jonny Yarker Ltd

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The J. Paul Getty announced its intention to buy Two Boys with a Bladder in June

The government has blocked a US gallery from buying a painting by renowned British artist Joseph Wright.

Arts Minister Helen Whately placed a temporary export bar on Two Boys with a Bladder after the Los Angeles-based J. Paul Getty Museum agreed a purchase.

She said it was “of paramount importance” Wright’s works were kept in the UK.

The painting dates back to the 1769 and features two children with a pig’s bladder – a popular toy at the time.

Joseph Wright of Derby is considered one of the most important artists of the 18th Century and is known for his paintings of candle-lit subjects as well as scientific and industrial subjects.

Born in 1734, he trained in London but produced most of his work in Derby and as such was the first major English painter to be based outside the capital.

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Born in Derby in 1734, Wright’s paintings are displayed across the world

The J. Paul Getty Museum announced its intention to purchase the painting from a private seller in June to add to two Joseph Wright paintings it already owns.

It said the artwork had not been displayed in public since the 18th Century and was one of Wright’s “most accomplished nocturnal subjects”.

After taking advice from Arts Council England, the government placed an export ban until 16 January in the hope a UK buyer will come forward for the £3.5m-valued painting.

Ms Whately said: “This painting offers us a chance to learn more about his way of working and I hope a buyer can be found to save this masterpiece so it can be studied and put on public display.”

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Derby’s Joseph Wright Gallery, which already owns 27 paintings by Wright, told The Telegraph in June it could not afford to buy Two Boys with a Bladder.

The J. Paul Getty Museum has been approached for a comment.

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Pop Smoke: Rapper shot dead in apparent robbery

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The US rapper Pop Smoke has been killed, after an apparent armed robbery.

Los Angeles Police told Radio 1 Newsbeat a man was shot at his home and later pronounced dead, although didn’t confirm his identity.

But his label Republic Records says it’s “devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of Pop Smoke”.

Police responded to reports of a robbery – and man was then taken to hospital and later pronounced dead.

Officers confirmed that an unknown number of suspects entered a property in West Hollywood.

They got a call about a robbery at 04:55 PST and were at the scene six minutes later.

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Pop Smoke at the Rolling Loud Festival, Los Angeles, in December 2019

Police say no suspects have been identified and no arrests have been made.

They also denied reports that a man was held at the scene but say one suspect is thought to have had a handgun.

Pop Smoke was signed to Republic Records which has said in a statement “our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together.”

When reports first appeared in the US tributes began flooding in for Pop Smoke, real name Bashar Barakah Jackson – including from friends.

Pop Smoke had a breakout hit with Welcome to the Party in 2019 – which led to him being singled out as an artist to watch this year by BBC Radio 1Xtra, on the station’s Hot For 2020 list.

The station said he “possessed the air and cadence of a rapper who has been in the game for a decade or two longer than his actual age”.

The track ended up being remixed by both Nicki Minaj and Skepta.

Just last week Pop Smoke was a guest on DJ Target’s show on 1Xtra.

He was in the middle of several US tour dates and was due to come to the UK in April – with shows scheduled in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

50 Cent was one of many rappers, DJs and producers that paid tribute on social media, as did rapper Quavo, who Pop Smoke had collaborated with.

Last year he spoke about wanting to make music that inspires children who are growing up in poverty.

He told The Face: “I make music for that kid in the hood that’s gotta share a bedroom with like four kids – the young kids growing up in poverty.

“I make music for kids like that who know they just gotta keep going, that there’s a better way. That’s who I really make it for.”

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Jimmy Tarbuck: Comedian reveals prostate cancer diagnosis

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Comedian Jimmy Tarbuck has revealed he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

The veteran Liverpudlian comic told ITV’s Good Morning Britain he would “try and beat it”.

Tarbuck said he received the diagnosis the day after his 80th birthday earlier this month.

“Right now I feel great. I’m on the telly and I’m having a good time,” he said, adding that the cancer had not spread.

He was inspired to get checked by Sir Rod Stewart, who announced in September that he had received treatment for prostate cancer.

“All men out there watching, and all wives, get your husbands to go for the tests. I think after 50, just have a test, let them have a look at you,” Tarbuck said.

“You will be relieved and be with your families for extra years.”

He said men can be too “shy” to get tested, but urged them not to put it off. “Boys, go. It is embarrassing. Especially when the fella said to me ‘We’re going to give you the thumbs up’. I said ‘I hope not’. He roared laughing.”

Speaking about his treatment, he added: “I’m having injections and taking tablets and then I take a yearly cycle.”

Tarbuck, who rose to fame in the 1960s and was known for hosting variety shows including Sunday Night At The London Palladium and Live From Her Majesty’s, is now planning to go on tour.

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Brits 2020: Pop meets politics

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Highlights from this year’s ceremony included performances from Billie Eilish, Dave, Lizzo and Stormzy.



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