The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 29 December 2016

Image: Mark Lennihan/PA

Eye for design

Shenzhen, with its vast production line, is stepping onto the cultural map in 2017 with the opening of the first major design museum in China. The Shekou Design Museum – housed in a new cultural and commercial complex designed by Fumihiko Maki – is being developed by the state-owned China Merchants Group in consultation with London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. “The most visual expression of the collaboration is the V&A Gallery, which will be displaying objects from the V&A’s permanent collection in London,” says Dr Luisa Mengoni, head of the V&A Gallery at Shekou. Shenzhen’s attempts to recast its reputation for iPhone factories and designer fakes will get an added boost when Apple cuts the red tape on its first Chinese R&D centre. While the southern city is a long way from becoming a Milan of the East, Santa would be smart to start tendering for another mass-manufacturer for Christmas.

Image: David Silverman/Getty Images

Yes it Kan?

Kan is Israel’s fresh-faced national broadcasting corporation, based in Tel Aviv and set to air on 1 January. Except it’s not: the Knesset has voted to delay Kan’s debut until April and prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly keen on seeing the new broadcaster scrapped altogether. While it’s the network’s costs that are being bandied about, critics of Netanyahu say that his government has increasingly tried to rein in critical media and politically independent voices, preferring the current Israel Broadcasting Authority that’s traditionally lenient to the leadership. In 2016, Freedom House downgraded Israel’s press-freedom ranking to “partly free”; an outspoken new broadcaster, drawn from a cross-section of society, could start to put the house in order.

Image: Alamy

Making McDonald’s

Never more appropriately, Michael Keaton delivers a scenery-devouring performance as Ray Kroc, the controversial founder of McDonald’s, in John Lee Hancock’s upcoming The Founder. The questing but luckless travelling salesman happened upon the McDonald brothers’ eponymous, immaculately run burger bar in San Bernardino and ended up persuading them to have him as their franchiser in chief. The rest is international culinary, business and social history – and controversy. Did Kroc strong-arm the brothers into agreeing to his terms? What happened to their cut? What’s in a McFlurry? Well, not the latter, sadly. Oscars? Possibly. Fries? For sure.

Image: Cristobal Palma

Creative cities

Art Basel is spreading its wings. The art mega-brand may have already conquered its original Swiss hometown, alongside Hong Kong and Miami, but it’s now set on becoming even more international in 2017. Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, has been selected as the first metropolis to be named an “Art Basel City”. “We are promoting the creative industries to ensure that Buenos Aires can be a hub of services not only to the area but to the world,” the city’s mayor, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, told Monocle in Mexico City. The Basel initiative – which will see a range of programming that will heighten the city’s artistic offerings – goes hand-in-hand with that idea.

From Monocle 24

Image: Andrew Urwin

Culture: best of 2016

Robert Bound and producer Holly Fisher sit down to discuss their Culture highlights from the past year.

Mountain producers

From a breed of sheep brought back from extinction in the Italian Dolomites to vintage recipes revitalising the dairy business in a remote part of Norway, Monocle Films brings you inspiring tales of mountain producers on a mission.

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