The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 5 July 2016

Image: Junpei Abe

Moving up in the world?

Could upgrades to Haneda Airport make Tokyo a more important 24-hour regional transport hub? That’s what Japanese officials are hoping now that Sumitomo Realty & Development’s proposal for a new complex at Haneda has been given the green light. The Sumitomo Realty-led consortium’s plans call for hotel rooms, conference halls, hot-spring baths, restaurants and shops connected directly to the airport’s international terminal. Many details remain sketchy but the 1,700 planned guest rooms would more than double the number of rooms the airport currently has and likely be managed by three hotels, including Sumitomo Realty’s Villa Fontaine Hotel and possibly an international chain or two. It’s no surprise that the new complex is due to be completed in time for the 2020 Olympics.

Italian jobs

Fashion houses keen to pull their cultural weight have long sought associations with Italy’s masterpieces: from Chanel to the Kering group, big international players have sponsored restorations of the country’s beloved but sometimes insufficiently maintained monuments. Yet now Italian brands are also swooping in to preserve their nation’s heritage. During the latest edition of Pitti Uomo, Salvatore Ferragamo announced that it would support works on Florence’s Neptune Fountain with a whopping €1.5m donation. Shoe-maker Tod’s declared its involvement in restoration plans for the Colosseum; the first phase has just been completed. Fendi’s decision to host its catwalk show on Thursday at the Trevi Fountain – the restoration of which, completed in November 2015, was also sponsored by the Roman house – speaks of the same desire to stamp a mark on the country’s identity-defining treasures. It’s a canny patronage exercise that benefits the labels as much as the monuments’ pollution-stained façades.

Image: Getty Images

Press the issue?

A week on from the attack on Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport and the city sits in an uncomfortable, unspoken aftermath. Turkey’s government swiftly imposed a broadcast ban as the scale of the attack became clear and this now-routine response – which is often vague in its terms – is being criticised for stifling open discussion. “The government has a ‘gag’ reaction when it comes to bad news,” says Andrew Finkel, co-founder of the Istanbul-based Platform For Independent Journalism. “The justification is that they don’t want to spread panic or irresponsible rumour.” But this, Finkel adds, serves to keep people in the dark. “The suspicion has to be that the authorities are not trying to protect the public but trying to protect themselves from adverse public opinion.”

Image: Alamy

Last call

It’s the end of the era for The Campbell Apartment. The swanky New York bar, located in Grand Central Terminal, has been a sumptuous spot for sipping cocktails since it was taken over and renovated by restaurateur Mark Grossich in 1999. The space was the office of tycoon John W Campbell in the 1920s and, though it fell into disrepair, Grossich’s transformation revived its prohibition-era glamour with plush booths, grand ceilings and a strict dress code. Following a failed legal battle with landlord MTA, Grossich will be passing the lease over to hospitality heavyweight Scott Gerber at the end of the month. Though it’s too early to say what alterations will be wrought to the space by the changeover, Gerber has told the New York Post that he’d like to relax the rules on customers’ attire.

From Monocle 24

Woody Allen and Dario Argento

Venturing deep into the mind of Italian auteur Dario Argento, we explore the art nouveau design of 1977’s Suspiria and how it helped inspire Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon. Plus: the directors of documentary Notes on Blindness; the Absolutely Fabulous film; and critics Jason Solomons and Karen Krizanovich on their Woody Allen favourites.

From Monocle Films

Making scents

A centre of perfume making for centuries, the town of Grasse in the South of France is holding on to its reputation as fragrance capital of the world by developing new technology alongside time-honoured traditions.

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