Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia

Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia
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A Saudi man displays a falcon which was sold for SR650,000 (US$173284) during an auction at Saudi Falcons Club Auction in King Abdulaziz Festival in Mulham, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 13, 2020, Picture taken October 13, 2020. (Media Center Saudi Falcons Club Auction via Reuters)
Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia
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A Saudi man displays a falcon which was sold for SR650,000 (US$173284) during an auction at Saudi Falcons Club Auction in King Abdulaziz Festival in Mulham, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 13, 2020, Picture taken October 13, 2020. (Media Center Saudi Falcons Club Auction via Reuters)
Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia
3 / 3
A Saudi man displays a falcon which was sold for SR650,000 (US$173284) during an auction at Saudi Falcons Club Auction in King Abdulaziz Festival in Mulham, north of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 13, 2020, Picture taken October 13, 2020. (Media Center Saudi Falcons Club Auction via Reuters)
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Updated 14 October 2020

Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia

Falcon sells for record-breaking $170,000 in Saudi Arabia
  • The bird was sold on Tuesday for 650,000 Saudi riyals ($173,000)
  • Falconry is an important part of the cultural desert heritage of Arabs of Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: A young falcon in Saudi Arabia has sold for more than $170,000, the most expensive sale ever of that type of bird and the costliest purchase so far at an annual 45-day auction of the hunting birds cherished in Gulf countries.
The bird was sold on Tuesday for 650,000 Saudi riyals ($173,000) by virtue of its unique characteristics and scarcity, the auction’s organizers, the Saudi Falcon Club, said in a statement.
The club said it was the most expensive sale ever globally for its type — a young Shaheen breed, a type of peregrine falcon.
Falconry is an important part of the cultural desert heritage of Arabs of Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries going back thousands of years.
Falcons, whose flight speeds can exceed 300 km (186 miles) an hour, are recognized internationally as endangered. Countries have varying regulations governing their sale, capture, breeding and hunting activities.
The falcon, weighing 1.1 kg, was captured from the wild in Hafer Al-Batin, in north-east Saudi Arabia, the club said.
The auction from Oct. 3 — Nov. 15 is organized by the Saudi Falcon Club, founded in 2017 and supported by the government as a way to preserve and nurture this heritage activity.
Falcon owners in the Gulf, seeking hunting opportunities, commonly travel with their birds inside plane cabins to countries like Pakistan, Morocco and the central Asian region during colder months.


Magicians mark 100 years of sawing people in half

Magicians mark 100 years of sawing people in half
Updated 15 January 2021

Magicians mark 100 years of sawing people in half

Magicians mark 100 years of sawing people in half
  • They came, they sawed, they conquered
  • London-based Magic Circle organization will host the celebrations

LONDON: He came, he sawed, he conquered. One hundred years ago on Sunday, illusionist P.T. Selbit put a woman in a box on the stage of London’s Finsbury Park Empire and sawed right through the wood, creating a magical classic.
Now, 100 years on, magicians from around the world will be getting together online this weekend to celebrate the centenary of that landmark performance.
“This took off and became the most influential and the most famous illusion, in my opinion, that there’s ever been,” said magician and historian Mike Caveney who is writing a book on the illusion.
“The magician wasn’t doing this trick to an inanimate object. He was doing it to a human being, which raised it up to a whole new level.”
In the original version, the saw went through, the box was opened and the person emerged unharmed.
Down the years magicians developed refinements, with the two halves pulled apart. Celebrity magician David Copperfield came up with his own version “The Death Saw” where he was the one tied down to a platform as a giant rotary blade sliced him in two.
Sometimes he actually got injured, Copperfield said in an interview filmed for Sunday’s online event.
“I got cut a few times by the blade because the blade was a little bit off, you know, stages are different every theater you have,” Copperfield said.
The London-based Magic Circle organization will host the celebrations with a live streamed-event on Facebook from 1800 GMT on Sunday.
Guests will include Debbie McGee, the wife of the late British TV magician Paul Daniels, who will describe the many times she survived the procedure.