Londonist really misses It’s A Knockout. We can’t really remember if as a country we were any good, but we suspect that we were crap at it like everything else. Still at least the playing field was leveled back in the day of Stuart Hall thanks to the costumes and overall stupidity factor.
These days the best we can do is remind the French that we used to be good at beating Napoleon which any way you look at it is a bit of a lame boast. 1) It was 200 years ago and 2) he was a very very short man.
These days of course we prefer to pull a fast one on the sly rather than do that open warfare thing. Our greatest triumph will come next week when Paris ‘win’ the poisoned chalice of the Olympics while we laugh into our sleeves about the fact that they thought we ever wanted the bloody thing.
Now we have something else to gloat about because a painting everyone (especially the French) thought was a bit rubbish has turned out to be a bit special.
While working out how Da Vinci copied the original painting of The Virgin of the Rocks (which hangs in the Louvre) National Gallery staff scanned our second-rate version with infrared and noticed that the figure underneath had “outstretched arms”. This apparently means that we “can never call this a straightforward copy again because Leonardo clearly wanted to start something new". Take that Paris!
Of course some would say that just finding this out now is a little like Del Boy finding that old watch in his lock up and says more for our hoarding of any old piece of crap rather than you know… taste and expertise.
Speaking of which this story has reminded us that it’s about time we re-watched Hudson Hawk. It’s a little like The Da Vinci Code, but has Bruce Willis in it instead of plot.