Quick Takes: Schwarzenegger signs looted art law


Looted-art law changed

A new state law that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into effect Thursday makes it easier for owners whose art has been stolen to have their day in court if the works subsequently turn up in the hands of a museum, gallery or art dealer. The law, which applies to art and cultural, historical and scientific artifacts stolen during the last 100 years, extends the statute of limitations for suing in such cases from three years to six. It also says that the clock doesn’t start running until the former owner finds out where the artwork is.

The law might have a bearing on Marei Von Saher’s attempt to qualify for a trial of her claim against the Norton Simon Museum for the return of a masterpiece valued at $24 million. The Connecticut woman is seeking the return of Lucas Cranach the Elder’s 1530 “Adam and Eve” diptych, a prized work that has hung in the museum since the 1970s. The Nazis looted the paintings from Von Saher’s Dutch-Jewish father-in-law; after World War II they were turned over to the Dutch government, then transferred to a private owner who in 1971 sold them to museum founder Norton Simon.


— Mike Boehm

From Bizkit to the big screen

Fred Durst might have earned himself a name as the frontman for Limp Bizkit, but the multi-platinum recording artist is also pursuing his other passion: directing movies.

Currently on a reunion tour in Europe with his old band, Durst has signed on to direct “Pawn Shop Chronicles,” a “Pulp Fiction”-esque story about a missing wedding ring that leads to a wild goose chase involving meth addicts, skinheads and an Elvis impersonator. The project will be financed and produced by Mimran Schur, the film company co-founded by former Geffen Records president Jordan Schur, who discovered and signed Durst and is also behind next week’s Edward Norton-Robert DeNiro thriller, “Stone.”

— Steven Zeitchik

LACMA’s new eatery in works


Move over Broad Contemporary Art Museum and Resnick Pavilion. There’s another Renzo Piano building under construction at LACMA sure to attract Piano fans, or just hungry visitors.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has confirmed that its new restaurant will open in early 2011, no later than the end of March, just north of the BP Grand Entrance pavilion and across from the parking garage elevators.

But don’t expect another capacious Piano space. According to LACMA spokeswoman Barbara Pflaumer, the restaurant is a 1,140-square-foot “concrete, glass and steel box” that “continues the architectural language developed for the campus” by the Italian architect.

The restaurant will be called Ray’s and the lounge the Stark Bar, named for film producer Ray Stark after the Stark Foundation’s pledge of an undisclosed amount to the museum.

— Jori Finkel

DeGeneres on teen bullying

Ellen DeGeneres spoke out against teen bullying Thursday in the wake of the Sept. 22 death of a Rutgers student.

“I am devastated by the death of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi,” she wrote on her show’s website. “If you don’t know, Tyler was a bright student at Rutgers University whose life was senselessly cut short. He was outed as being gay on the Internet and he killed himself.”

DeGeneres noted that it was September’s fourth story about suicide by teens “who have been teased and bullied.” The freshman’s death came after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, with Ravi’s friend, Molly Wei, allegedly used a webcam in their dorm room to record a Sept. 19 sexual encounter between Clementi and another guy, then broadcast it online.

DeGeneres included links to a number of organizations that support gay and questioning teens and anti-bullying groups.

— Christie D’Zurilla

Joel Grey’s Broadway return

Sure, his daughter Jennifer may be getting all kinds of attention due to her “Dancing With the Stars” gig, but it doesn’t look as if Joel Grey is losing his footing either. The 78-year-old musical star is headed back to the Great White Way in March.

Grey will play Moonface Martin, possibly the least-dangerous public enemy ever to break into song on an ocean liner, in Kathleen Marshall’s revival of “Anything Goes” at the Roundabout Theater Company.

—Whitney Friedlander


Comic-Con International, the annual gathering of tens of thousands of fanboys and girls, will be staying in San Diego for the foreseeable future, according to organizers.