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Sculpture of John Paul II makes waves

A new statue that depicts the late pope St. John Paul II throwing a rock into red water has provoked debate in his native Poland and revived memories of a 1999 Italian sculpture that showed him crushed under a rock, to which the new work was intended as a counter-statement.

The statue by Polish artist Jerzy Kalina, titled "Poisoned Well," was inaugurated Thursday in front of Warsaw's National Museum to mark 100 years since the much-loved pope's birth on May 18, 1920.

Kalina, 76, said the installation in the museum's fountain relates to John Paul II's efforts in the 1980s to help free Poland from communism, which is symbolized by the red color the water has from a red fabric placed on the fountain's bottom.

But some critics associated the art work with blood and violence. The sculpture also drew ridicule on social media, with some commenters comparing the life-sized likeness of the canonized pope toting a rock to a cartoon figure.

Carole Baskin sued for defamation

Carole Baskin, who became a pop culture sensation due to Netflix's docuseries "Tiger King," is being sued for defamation by a former assistant. As part of the lawsuit, the daughters of Baskin's former husband are seeking more information about what happened to their father, who disappeared mysteriously more than two decades ago.

The amended complaint to an earlier lawsuit was filed last Tuesday in state court in Tampa by Don Lewis' three daughters, Donna Pettis, Lynda Sanchez, and Gale Rathbone, as well as his former assistant, Anne McQueen. It also names Baskin's current husband and her tiger rescue sanctuary as defendants.

The lawsuit said that Baskin defamed McQueen by posting a video diary entry on YouTube earlier this month in which she says McQueen played a role in Lewis' disappearance. Those statements and embezzlement allegations also were made on Baskin's website, "bigcatrescue.org," the lawsuit said.

Top chef Pierre Troisgros dies, aged 92

Pierre Troisgros, one of France's top chefs who helped reinvent the country's traditional cuisine, died Wednesday just weeks after his 92nd birthday.

With the deaths in 2018 of Bocuse and Joel Robuchon, France has lost three monumental chefs in just under three years.

"He was a giant, equal to Paul Bocuse, with whom he revolutionized cuisine," tweeted the Guide Michelin, which makes and breaks the reputations of chefs, handing out three stars to the best.

Troisgros, known for his mustache and broad smile, died at his home in Coteau, near Roanne in the Loire region where his restaurant was long located, the French press quoted the head of the Troisgros establishment, Patrice Laurent, as saying.

Today's birthdays: Actor Brigitte Bardot is 86. Writer-director-actor John Sayles is 70. Guitarist George Lynch of Lynch Mob (and Dokken) is 66. Actor Mira Sorvino is 53. Rapper Young Jeezy is 43. Actor Jerrika Hinton ("Grey's Anatomy") is 39. Actor Hilary Duff is 33. Actor Keir Gilchrist ("United States of Tara") is 28.

— The Associated Press


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