Celebrity news: Human rights concert features Pussy Riot

Madonna introduces Maria Alekhina of Pussy Riot at an Amnesty International concert in New York.
Madonna introduces Maria Alekhina of Pussy Riot at an Amnesty International concert in New York.(Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Human rights concert

Instead of singing, Madonna and Pussy Riot spoke with passion about human rights issues at a concert for Amnesty International. Madonna told the crowd of thousands Wednesday night that she received death threats for standing up for Pussy Riot, a Russian protest punk band, when two of its members were arrested for hooliganism after staging a protest in a Russian church in 2012. At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Madonna introduced Maria Alekhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who were released from prison in December and made their first public appearance in the United States on Tuesday. They spoke through a translator at the ‘‘Bringing Human Rights Home’’ concert, telling the audience they were grateful to be free but have to continue to fight to save others imprisoned. The Moscow group has been critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin .


Pitt-Jolie wine wins raves

The latest Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie sequel is being described as powerful and elegant with a ‘‘mouthwatering finish.’’ These raves don’t appear in movie publications — they’re from Decanter magazine’s review of the celebrity couple’s second vintage of rose wine produced at their French Provencal estate, Chateau Miraval. The 2013 Miraval goes on sale online Friday and will be in shops and restaurants around the world next month.

$32m for Pissarro work

A Paris streetscape by Impressionist painter Camille Pissarro has sold for over $32 million — double its top estimate in a week of strong sales of Impressionist and modern art at London auction houses. The high-end art market has rebounded from the global financial crisis of 2008, with new buyers from Russia, China, and the Middle East helping to drive prices upward. Pissarro’s ‘‘Boulevard Monmartre, Spring Morning’’ from 1897 was bought for more than four times the previous record for a single work by the artist. The painting was part of industrialist Max Silberberg’s collection. Silberberg was forced by the Nazis to sell his artworks and died in the Holocaust. The painting was returned to his family in 2000. At the same sale Wednesday, Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘‘Man Is at Sea’’ — once owned by actor Errol Flynn — sold for $27.5 million.