Company scams Umrah pilgrims with hopes of going to Saudi Arabia, takes them to southern Turkey instead

At least 68 people claimed to have paid $690 on the hopes of going to Saudi Arabia to perform holy Islamic ritual of Umrah. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 April 2018

Company scams Umrah pilgrims with hopes of going to Saudi Arabia, takes them to southern Turkey instead

A Turkish company scammed dozens of Umrah pilgrims on the promise of going to Makkah and instead sent them to the southeastern provinces of Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras, Hurriyet Daily News reported on Friday.

At least 68 people claimed to have paid $690 on the hopes of going to Saudi Arabia to perform holy Islamic ritual of Umrah. Instead, customers where given a tour of Gaziantep and Sanliurfa on a bus.

After customers realised that the bus was not taking them to an airport to catch a flight to Saudi Arabia, they informed the police who stopped the tour bus and took the drivers for questioning.


Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

Updated 08 December 2019

Man eats $120,000 piece of art — a banana taped to wall

MIAMI: The move was bananas ... or maybe the work was just too appealing.
A performance artist shook up the crowd at the Art Basel show in Miami Beach on Saturday when he grabbed a banana that had been duct-taped to a gallery wall and ate it.
The banana was, in fact, a work of art by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan titled “Comedian” and sold to a French collector for $120,000.
In a video posted on his Instagram account, David Datuna, who describes himself as a Georgian-born American artist living in New York, walks up to the banana and pulls it off the wall with the duct tape attached.
“Art performance ... hungry artist,” he said, as he peeled the fruit and took a bite. “Thank you, very good.”
A few bystanders could be heard giggling before a flustered gallery official whisked him to an adjoining space for questioning.
But the kerfuffle was resolved without a food fight.
“He did not destroy the art work. The banana is the idea,” Lucien Terras, director of museum relations for Galerie Perrotin, told the Miami Herald.
As it turns out, the value of the work is in the certificate of authenticity, the newspaper said. The banana is meant to be replaced.
A replacement banana was taped to the wall about 15 minutes after Datuna’s stunt.
“This has brought a lot of tension and attention to the booth and we’re not into spectacles,” Terras said. “But the response has been great. It brings a smile to a lot of people’s faces.”
Cattelan is perhaps best known for his 18-carat, fully functioning gold toilet called “America” that he had once offered on loan to US President Donald Trump.
The toilet, valued at around $5 to $6 million, was in the news again in September when it was stolen from Britain’s Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of wartime leader Winston Churchill, where it had been on display.