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8.8.04

Brando-aroa

A couple of items related to Marlon Brando (eulogized here at Ionarts on July 4). From BBC News (Bid to save Brando's island home, August 3), I learned about the forces at battle over what will become of the Polynesian atoll Brando purchased as his vacation retreat:

A resolution is being put forward that 1,500 acres of land on 13 islands of Tetiaroa merit "special consideration." Brando bought the coral reef, 26 miles north of Tahiti and valued at up to 20m euros (£13m [$24.1 million]), in the 1960s and used it as his private retreat.

Hiro Tefaarerea, vice-president of the French Polynesian assembly, said many investors were lodging requests for building permits. He said Tetiaroa had to be protected "to preserve (its) natural inheritance and history." It was home to chiefs and members of Tahitian royalty in the 19th Century.

Listed status would put a stop to the "rascals who have already ransacked French Polynesia," he said, adding Tetiaroa could become a sanctuary for new sea bird species which nest there. Brando signed agreements with the territorial authorities in 1966 and 1984, which specified that the territory would have first rights in the case of the change of ownership of the atoll.
That article has a nice set of Brando-related links, most of which I somehow missed at the time, including this excellent set of 14 Brando images and Bernardo Bertolucci's tribute to Brando (My love for legend Brando, July 5), which begins with the words, "With tears in my eyes, it occurs to me that in the very act of dying Marlon has become immortal," and several others.

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