Collectors may soon be hightailing it down to the Relief Fund for Romania charity shop in Twickenham, from where council worker Graham Duncan believes he has just bought a Picasso. The oil painting he purchased is signed "Picasso". This perhaps shouldn't be taken as conclusive proof, but an internet search revealed that the work features on archivists' websites and Picasso's son, Claude, has been contacted to verify the find. "I'm no art specialist, but I quite liked the colours on this one," Duncan told the Richmond and Twickenham Times.
The Sunday Telegraph is scenting blood over the links between think tank the Smith Institute and Gordon Brown. Not satisfied with the launch of a Charity Commission inquiry into the issue, the paper is now on the trail of other backers of the institute, which has met a mere 160 times at 11 Downing Street since 1997. The broadsheet said that British Airways, HSBC, Cable & Wireless and Rolls Royce had all sponsored work by the "left-leaning charity think tank", although they had never given donations to political parties. It makes you think - not least about what "left-leaning" means these days.
Benito Mussolini certainly wasn't "left-leaning" (not after he developed a taste for black shirts, anyway), but according to his very right-wing granddaughter and MEP, Alessandra, he wasn't the warmonger history has painted him as. She has allegedly unearthed diaries that indicate he took Italy into the Second World War very reluctantly. Interestingly, Benito's misgivings were noted in Red Cross diaries. Are charity diaries de rigueur for dictators? Does Kim Jong-il pour his thoughts out in an RSPCA diary?
Only history will tell us.
She said it
'A central licensing system for chuggers? Street fundraisers are a public nuisance. Let's issue them with Asbos instead' - Rosemary Behan, columnist for The Times.