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Climbing Mt. Everest? Nepal says bring back garbage

NEW DELHI — Hoping to clean a trash-strewn pathway to the world’s highest peak, Nepal’s tourism authority declared Monday that those climbing Mount Everest must return from the trip with an extra 18 pounds of garbage.

The rule is the government’s first concerted effort to eliminate an estimated 50 tons of trash that has been left on Mount Everest by climbers over the past six decades. The waste includes empty oxygen bottles, torn tents, discarded food containers and the bodies of climbers who died on the mountain.

Nepal’s government hopes the new rule will result in the collection of nearly 8 tons of waste this year alone.

Mountaineering associations and former climbers have become increasingly concerned about the growing refuse on Mount Everest that does not degrade because of the frigid temperature. In 2010, a special team of climbers carried more than 2 tons of trash down from elevations exceeding 24,000 feet. And last year, concerned climbers collectively carried down 4 tons of trash.

—Gardiner Harris, The New York Times

Sale of a da Vinci painting for more than $75 million is revealed

LONDON — A Leonardo da Vinci painting discovered by a dealer at a U.S. estate sale was sold last year in a private transaction for more than $75 million.

The painting, Leonardo’s oil-on-panel “Salvator Mundi,” showing Christ half-length with a crystal orb in his left hand, had been owned by a consortium that included New York art traders Alexander Parish and Robert Simon.

The heavily restored painting, dating from about 1500, was bought by an unidentified collector for between $75 million and $80 million in May in a private sale brokered by Sotheby’s. The details of the purchase have remained locked in confidentiality clauses until they were revealed this week by trade insiders, such as the London dealer Anthony Crichton-Stuart.

“It’s a trophy painting by a highly important artist,” Crichton-Stuart said. “You have to balance its compromised condition against the fact that it is by one of the most magical and significant names in the entire canon of Western art, and in that sense, it feels like a fair price.”

The 26-inch-high “Salvator Mundi” had been acquired in the mid-2000s by Parish for an undisclosed sum at an estate sale. Since 1900, the panel, which had been much overpainted, was cataloged as a copy after Boltraffio, an artist who worked in Leonardo’s studio.

Subsequent cleaning and research by Simon and others revealed the painting to be an original Leonardo formerly owned by King Charles I of England. Despite the gaps in its provenance, most scholars now accept the work as an autographed oil by the artist.

—Scott Reyburn, The New York Times