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A royal itinerary



Published: Sun, February 10, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A royal itinerary

Fans of the British royals will want to check out "Royal London," a 22-page brochure that describes sites and events linked to the famous family. Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 50 years on the British throne this year. Contact the British Tourist Authority, (800) 462-2748, to order the brochure, or view similar information at www.londontouristboard.com.

Airport construction yields Greek artifacts

A composite picture of daily life in Ancient Greece is emerging from the excavations at Athens' new international airport and along the route of a planned highway leading to the airport.

Archaeologists say enough relics to fill 4,000 crates have been unearthed in an area near Sparta, about 18 miles east of Athens.

Uncovering ancient objects is nothing new in Greece. Items found during the digging of the Athens subway are displayed at subway stations. The huge number of artifacts found in the airport digs may require the expansion of a nearby museum to accommodate them, according to Greek media.

Catalina Express fares

Catalina Express has dropped its fuel surcharge of $1 each way on boat trips between Santa Catalina Island and California's Long Beach and San Pedro harbors.

Adult round-trip fares cost $40.

It also cut the surcharge from $1 to 50 cents each way on trips between the island and Dana Point.

Warehouse seeks homefor its Liberty statue

NEW YORK (AP) -- Lady Liberty's kid sister, a 37-foot statue that has stood for a century on top of a Manhattan building, is facing eviction.

The eight-story Liberty Warehouse on the Upper West Side, upon which the bluish woman in rust-tinged robes stands, is to become four floors taller and then converted into apartments. Construction begins this month, and a decision about the statue's fate must be made soon.

"Clearly, the statue's going to stay in the public realm," says Gary Davis, executive vice president for development at the Athena Group, which owns the building and the statue.

Davis says two of the more likely proposals are from a foundation which hopes to take the statue on tour, and from the Brooklyn Museum, which has a sufficiently large sculpture garden.

"The thought would be that we would probably donate it to a museum and see if we can't work out a deal with a museum to let it go on tour," Davis says.

Marc Mayer, a deputy director of the museum, says the statue is roughly the same size as a copy of the Statue of Liberty that stands in Paris near the Radio France building, but that this one is more of an interpretation than a replica.

"That's what's so charming about it. It's a different face, a different build, a different level of sophistication. It's just very, very charming," he says.

For more information, visit www.theathenagroup.com on the Web.

MLK's church reopensafter restoration work

A partially restored Ebenezer Baptist Church -- the church the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called home -- reopened for the civil rights leader's birthday Jan. 19.

Nearly $2 million was raised for work on the Atlanta site, part of the National Park Service. The work is part of a two-phase restoration process.

The church was closed while workers restored the building to its condition in 1960, when the Rev. Dr. King was co-pastor there. Ebenezer also was the pastorate of Dr. King's father and grandfather.

The historic building is used for special functions.

Regular services ended at the building in March 1999 when the congregation moved to a new facility across the street. Since then, Ebenezer Baptist Church has been open to the public.

For more information, call (404) 331-5190.

2001 Singapore tourismnears record numbers

SINGAPORE (AP) -- Singapore officials say 7.52 million tourists came to the city-state in 2001, the second-highest volume ever and far more than authorities expected in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The total number of visitors represented a slight drop of 2.2 percent from 2000's record of 7.69 million, the Singapore Tourism Board says.

"This is quite an achievement, considering these difficult times," said a statement quoting the board's chief executive, Yeo Khee Leng.

People from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Australia and China topped the list of visitors, the board said.

Yeo warned, however, that "terrorism fears" would continue to hurt the travel industry and that tourism officials must continue to guard Singapore's reputation as a safe and stable vacation destination.




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