Artfully at rest

first_img Meg Winslow strolls through the grounds speaking about her favorite monuments, including the recently restored monument to Amos Binney. A dog, the symbol of loyalty, rests at the base of the monument to William Frederick Harnden. Twenty years ago, Meg L. Winslow became Mount Auburn Cemetery’s first curator of historical collections, and no less a sleuth of the grounds’ statues and monuments.“I was frequently crawling around on the ground trying to find makers’ marks and artists’ signatures,” said Winslow, who oversees the cemetery’s wealth of archives — photos, correspondence, books, and the records related to its more than 60,000 monuments.As the names and dates on those monuments came into view, so did a picture of the cemetery as one of the country’s most important early museums. The names belonged to noted American sculptors, artists, and architects, many of whom had trained in Rome and other European capitals and returned home to practice their craft. For many struggling artists the cemetery’s proximity to Boston proved ideal. Wealthy residents eager to support the arts became their patrons, and the novel cemetery that blended art and nature helped them launch their careers.“Mount Auburn,” said Winslow, “provided a venue where the work of this first generation of artists could be seen by a broad public.” A monument to William Frederick Harnden, the founder of one of the first express transportation systems. Melissa Banta looks at the monument for Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth. center_img Sites to remember A monument to the journalist and women’s rights advocate Margaret Fuller Ossoli inside Mount Auburn Cemetery. Photos by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer That work ranges from a massive stone sphinx to neoclassical temples and pedestals to statues of dogs carved from marble.A selection of these evocative funerary sculptures and monuments is the subject of a new book by Winslow and Harvard’s Melissa Banta. “The Art of Commemoration and America’s First Rural Cemetery: Mount Auburn’s Significant Monument Collection” was funded with a Museums for America stewardship grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Mount Auburn is the first cemetery in the country to receive such a grant.The 82-page illustrated book — with a foreword by Dave Barnett, CEO of Mount Auburn, and an introductory essay by David B. Dearinger, the Boston Athenæum’s director of exhibitions — was published in the fall. Along with exploring the development of American commemorative art in the mid-19th century, it also serves as a vivid guide to 30 of the 175-acre cemetery’s most important memorials.“We want to get people out into the landscape with a new vision and vocabulary with which to appreciate these monuments,” said Banta, who along with her post as consulting curator at the cemetery works as a curator at Harvard Library’s Weissman Preservation Center and Harvard Business School’s Baker Library.Choosing which monuments to highlight wasn’t easy. To narrow the field, Winslow developed criteria related to historic, artistic, and scenic significance. The result is a rich array of monuments presented in four categories: architectural inspirations, family affinities, allegories and symbols, and public and private narratives.The allegories and symbols chapter covers one of the cemetery’s most famous works. The Binney monument, along the Heath Path, honors the life of the physician Amos Binney, co-founder of the Boston Society of Natural History. The work, commissioned by Binney’s widow, Mary Ann, in 1847, is by the American sculptor Thomas Crawford. Carved from white Italian marble, Crawford’s statue depicts Binney’s spirit on one side arising to heaven. Above him hangs a wreath, symbolizing the virtue of the deceased, filled with poppies, symbolic of eternal sleep. On the opposite façade, a woman, her head bowed, her hand covering her face, carries an urn of ashes.“It’s the most important work of art that’s at Mount Auburn,” Winslow said. “From an art historian’s point of view, it’s a national treasure.”Indeed, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the White House Millennium Council to Save America’s Treasures designated the monument a national treasure in 1999. (Crawford’s best-known work, “Statue of Freedom,” crowns the dome of the U.S. Capitol.)Nearby, a smaller monument tells another tale of love and devotion. Nestled on a hill at the end of Anemone Path, the memorial for the Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth, the brother of John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, stands out to Banta not for its tragic family tie but for the care and attention that Edwin Booth’s daughter took with her father’s grave marker.“We found this wonderful account of his monument describing the role that his daughter played in the creation of it, and what an excellent likeness she felt the portrait was of her father.”A round bas-relief portrait of Booth adorns the front of the neoclassical monument, which was designed by Stanford White. Below it the word “Father” is inscribed in the stone. Farther down is a verse from the Bible. On the back of the monument White incorporated Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ design of the masks representing comedy and tragedy within a laurel wreath, and a line from “Much Ado About Nothing.”“Meg and I were out on the grounds one day and we saw the word ‘Father’ carved in very faint letters on the monument — it was something we had never noticed before,” said Banta. “It’s these details, coupled with poignant accounts found in the Mount Auburn’s primary documents, that provide the historical context for the monuments and link you to these stories which are so human and universal.”Harvard connections are plenty at Mount Auburn. One of the cemetery’s founders was Dane Professor of Law Joseph Story, and the site’s Harvard Hill has long been reserved for professors. In more recent years, Harvard President Drew Faust consulted the cemetery’s historical collections while researching her 2008 book, “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War.” Several Harvard-related memorials are featured in Winslow and Banta’s book.Opened in 1831, Mount Auburn was created as an alternative to the rapidly filling burial grounds in Boston, to help address health concerns associated with overcrowded graveyards and to offer up a new vision for what a cemetery could be: both a designed landscape open to the public and a place for remembrance, reverence, and reflection.“It was designed as a horticultural landscape to bury the dead, to comfort the bereaved, and to inspire the living,” said Winslow.Cemetery monuments reflect shifting attitudes about death. Colonial-era grave markers are typically covered in skulls and crossbones, conjuring dread. At Mount Auburn, artists achieve a gentler effect — “a more romantic notion of death,” said Winslow.Both Winslow, who said she was instantly smitten with the beauty of the landscape when she first passed through the cemetery’s massive gates two decades ago, and Banta, who has worked in the historical collections department since 2008, want Mount Auburn to be their final resting place.“We will be among a lot of interesting company,” Banta said.“The Art of Commemoration and America’s First Rural Cemetery” is available at the Mount Auburn Cemetery Visitor Center, the Harvard Coop, the Harvard Book Store, Porter Square Books, and through read more

Kristin Chenoweth Lends Voice to My Little Pony Movie

first_img View Comments Kristin Chenoweth is going from playing the Mistress of All Evil to voicing a day-glo horse. The Broadway favorite will voice an all new My Little Pony character for the upcoming film based on the Hasbro franchise, reports Deadline. The Lionsgate film is scheduled to premiere in 2017.The self-proclaimed “pocket diva” most recently appeared on Broadway in On the Twentieth Century, for which she received three Audience Choice Awards and a Tony nomination (she also hosted the ceremony). She took home a Tony in 1999 for You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and was also nominated for Wicked. Her additional credits include Promises, Promises and The Apple Tree on stage and Pushing Daisies and The Boy Next Door on screen.The My Little Pony brand began as a toy line in the ‘80s and has since become a global phenomenon, including several animated features, games and live shows. Incidentally, this isn’t the first time Chenoweth’s voice has been attached to the multicolored equine antics; take a look at the video below (around the 4:05 mark). Kristin Chenowethcenter_img Star Fileslast_img read more

Candidates line up for November judicial elections

first_img June 1, 2004 Regular News Candidates line up for November judicial elections Candidates line up for November judicial elections Two Supreme Court justices and 22 district court of appeal judges have filed for merit retention on the November general elections ballot.At the circuit court level, candidates filed in 122 seats, of which 17 will have contested races. Those will go to voters in the August 31 primary election, with any runoffs being settled on the November ballot. Those without contests have been automatically elected, and will not appear on the ballot.(Of interest to the Bar, Board of Governors Amy L. Smith, who leaves the board later this month, was elected without opposition to a 15th Circuit judgeship.)Filings for county judgeships are not collected statewide, so results for the May 3-7 filing period for judicial races this year were not immediately available.Supreme Court Justice Raoul G. Cantero III and Kenneth B. Bell will head the judicial ballot in November as both filed to seek merit retention. It will be the first time either justice has appeared on the merit retention ballot. Cantero joined the court in the fall of 2002, Bell in early 2003.They will be on the ballot with 22 district court of appeal judges, who will appear on the ballot in their respective districts. They are:• First District Court of Appeal – Judges Michael E. Allen, Edward T. Barfield, Paul Hawkes, Charles J. Kahn, Jr., Phil Padovano, and James R. Wolf.• Second District Court of Appeal – Judges Charles T. Canady, Patricia J. Kelly, Stevan T. Northcutt, Craig C. Villanti, and Douglas A. Wallace.• Third District Court of Appeal – Judges John G. Fletcher, Frank A. Shepherd, and Linda Ann Wells.• Fourth District Court of Appeal – Judges Gary M. Farmer, Sr., Robert M. Gross, and Melanie G. May.• Fifth District Court of Appeal – Judges Jacqueline R. Griffin, David A. Monaco, Earle W. Peterson, Jr., Winifred J. Sharp, and Vincent G. Torpy, Jr.Contested circuit judge races are:• Fifth Circuit – Stephen D. Spivey, Michael G. Takac, and Anthony M. Tatti in Group 10; and incumbent Judge Willard Pope and Scott Wynn in Group 24.• Sixth Circuit – Jan Govan and incumbent Judge George W. Greer in Group 18; and Michael C. Berry, Sr., Jack Day, Cynthia Newton, Walter L. “Skip” Schafer, Jr., and Bill Vinson in Group 22.• Eighth Circuit – Harvey Baxter, Craig Hall, Mark Moseley, and Dan Sikes in Group 9.• 11th Circuit – Teresa M. Pooler and John Schlesinger in Group 3; Barbara Areces and incumbent D. Bruce Levy in Group 32; Don S. Cohn, Catherine B. Parks, William L. Thomas, and Josie M. Velis in Group 40; and Peter “Camacho” Adrien and incumbent Judge Henry H. Harnage in Group 45.• 12th Circuit – Susan Chapman, Diana Moreland, Michael Mosca, and William G. Salomone in Group 2.• 13th Circuit – Charles “Ed” Bergmann and Beth Gilmore Reineke in Group 17; and Emmett “Lamar” Battles and Donald A. Harrison in Group 36• 15th Circuit – Robert Arnold and Martin H. Colin in Group 4.• 17th Circuit – Mila K. Schwartzreich and Hope Tieman-Bristol in Group 13; and incumbent Judge Cheryl J. Aleman and Robert David Malove in Group 51.• 19th Circuit – Robert Belanger and Jim McCann in Group 1; and Jim Harpring, Albert Burton Moore, Bob Pegg, Darren Steele, and Gary L. Sweet in Group 2.One hundred and five circuit judges or lawyers were reelected or elected without opposition at the filing deadline. They are:• First Circuit – Frank L. Bell, Terry David Terrell, Ronald V. Swanson, and William F. Stone.• Second Circuit – Janet E. Ferris, L. Ralph Smith, Jr., James C. (Jimmy) Hankinson, and Jonathan Sjostrom.• Third Circuit – Paul S. Bryan.• Fourth Circuit – L. Haldane Taylor, Henry E. Davis, A.C. Soud, Jr., Jack M. Schemer, William A. Wilkes, McCarthy (Mack) Crenshaw, Jr., and Linda F. McCallum.• Fifth Circuit – Lawrence J. Semento, S. Sue Robbins, and William H. “Bud” Hallman III.• Sixth Circuit – Peter Ramsberger, Tom McGrady, Irene H. Sullivan, Ray E. Ulmer, Jr., Michael F. Andrews, John Lenderman, and Robert J. Morris, Jr.• Seventh Circuit – S. James Foxman, Frank Marriott, Kim C. Hammond, Joseph G. Will, Arthur W. Nichols III, and Richard S. Graham.• Eighth Circuit – Ysleta McDonald, Robert E. Roundtree, Jr., and Stan R. Morris.• Ninth Circuit – Thomas B. Smith, Thomas W. Turner, Alice Blackwell White, Renee Anne Roche, Lawrence R. “Larry” Kirkwood, Julie H. O’Kane, Alan Lawson, and Lisa T. Munyon.• 10th Circuit – Donald G. Jacobsen, Olin W. Shinholser, Randall G. McDonald, Ellen S. Masters, Harvey A. Kornstein, Ralph Artigliere, and James A. Yancey.• 11th Circuit – Scott Bernstein, Bertila A. Soto, Norman S. Gerstein, Judith L. Kreeger, Scott J. Silverman, Jennifer D. Bailey, Rosa I. Rodriguez, Gill Sherryl Freeman, William Johnson, Gerald D. Hubbart, Fredricka G. Smith, Michael A. Genden, Paul Siegel, Henry Leyte-Vidal, Julio E. Jimenez, and Jorge J. Perez.• 12th Circuit – Scott McKenzie Brownell, James S. Parker, and Robert B. Bennett, Jr.• 13th Circuit – Manuel A. Lopez, Debra K. Behnke, Anthony K. Black, Denise Almeida Pomponio, Susan Sexton, and William Fuente.• 14th Circuit – Allen L. Register, Dedee S. Costello, and Don T. Sirmons.• 15th Circuit – David F. Crow, Edward Fine, Krista Marx, Amy L. Smith, and Kenneth D. Stern.• 17th Circuit – Elijah H. Williams, Robert B. Carney, Susan F. Greenhawt, Susan Lebow, Howard Michael Zeidwig, John T. Luzzo, Cynthia G. Imperato, Linda Vitale, Michael L. Gates, and Eileen M. O’Connor.• 18th Circuit – O.H. Eaton, Jr., W. David Dugan, George W. Maxwell, Morgan Laur Reinman, T. Mitchell Barlow, and Clayton D. Simmons.• 19th Circuit – Scott M. Kenney and Burton C. Conner.• 20th Circuit – Thomas S. Reese, Jay B. Rosman, Lauren L. Miller, and Lawrence Dent Martin.last_img read more

CUInsight Minute with Lauren Culp – October 16, 2020

first_imgWelcome to the CUInsight Minute, sixty seconds from our Publisher & CEO Lauren Culp with our favorite reads from the week.Mentioned:*International Credit Union Day resources here.“Inspiring hope for a global community” as our international movement growsby GREG NEUMANN, WORLD COUNCIL OF CREDIT UNIONSAs we prepare to celebrate International Credit Union Day for the 72nd consecutive year on Thursday, October 15—it is important to recognize that this might indeed be the most important ICU Day celebration ever. While our movement has never been stronger, credit union members in every corner of the globe have also never needed our support and inspiration more than they do right now. (read more)In turbulent times like these, credit provides the financial support members needby BETH PHILLIPS, CO-OP FINANCIAL SERVICESIt’s hard to believe that we’re almost eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic. The last several months have given us a roller coaster of an economy that has left many consumers financially-vulnerable and uncertain about their long-term financial outlook. Looking at the data from thousands of credit unions within the CO-OP Credit and Debit portfolio, we’ve seen member spending levels climb back over the last few weeks; however, with many Americans still unemployed and the next government stimulus package potentially in limbo, we can still expect some bumps in the road to recovery ahead. (read more)4 Tips for Effective Virtual Collaborationby ELIZABETH GRACE SAUNDERS, HBRTeam collaboration done right is a powerful force to align a group of individuals to accomplish a common goal in the most effective way possible. But even the best collaborations, filled with smart, capable, and experienced team members, can be a struggle. Done wrong, collaborative projects can feel like a waste of time where individuals spend more time talking about doing things than actually getting things done. (read more) ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Lauren Culp Lauren Culp is the Publisher & CEO at leads the growing team at CUInsight, works with organizations serving credit unions to maximize their brand and exposure, connects … Web: Detailslast_img read more

Course for “Certified Guides of Performers” in Istria

first_imgThe Tourist Board of the Municipality of Vrsar is organizing a certified course for guide interpreters within the project “I enjoy tradition”, licensed by Interpret Europe (European Organization for the Interpretation of Heritage).   The course is intended for tourist guides, museum guides, nature park staff and all those who have the opportunity to personally present the heritage to visitors. During the course, participants will be introduced to the means of interpretation and adopt the technique of creating interpretive speeches and walks that connect visitors with heritage, provide them with new experiences, and help create memories. Tečaj  za osposobljavanje vodiča interpretatora  održat će se u Vrsaru u ožujku i travnju 2019. godine, a voditeljica tečaja je Iva Silla, certificirana trenerica vodiča interpretatora za organizaciju Interpret Europe.  For all those who want to upgrade the skills of presenting cultural and natural heritage with methods and techniques of interpretive guidance, for all institutions that care for heritage, and want to help their employees to more successfully convey the value of their material to visitors, a 40-hour course for interpreters is an unavoidable stop. according to these goals. center_img The training is conducted within the project “I enjoy tradition” and is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, which ensures free participation of course participants.  Vrijeme i mjesto održavanja: 29. – 31.3.2019.; 6.- 7.4.2019., Vrsar. Više informacija o tečaju i prijavni obrazac nalaze se HERElast_img read more

Greenbelts prove a grey area

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

Experimental virus drug remdesivir effective in monkeys: study

first_imgOne of the six treated animals showed mild breathing difficulty, while all six of the untreated monkeys had rapid and difficult breathing. The amount of virus found in the lungs was significantly lower in the treated group compared to the untreated group.The treated group also had less lung damage.Remdesivir was among the first drugs mooted as a treatment for the novel coronavirus and its randomized clinical trials are at an advanced stage. The health news website Stat on Thursday reported the drug had shown great efficacy at a Chicago hospital where patients who are part of those trials are being treated. Remdesivir causes the virus to add  mutations that can destroy it.Topics : One group received the drug, which was developed by Gilead Sciences, and the other group did not. The group receiving the drug got their first intravenous dose 12 hours after infection then every day subsequently for six days.The scientists timed the initial treatment to occur shortly before the virus reached its highest levels in the animals’ lungs.The treated animals showed significant improvement 12 hours after their first dose, a trend that continued over the week-long study. The experimental antiviral drug remdesivir has proven effective against COVID-19 in a small experiment involving monkeys, US government scientists reported Friday.The study, which is preliminary and has not yet been peer reviewed, was designed to follow dosing and treatment procedures used for hospitalized COVID-19 patients in a large human trial.It involved two groups of six rhesus macaques that were deliberately infected with SARS-CoV-2.last_img read more

Wolf Administration: CARES Act Funding for Small Businesses Available Tomorrow

first_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter June 29, 2020 Wolf Administration: CARES Act Funding for Small Businesses Available Tomorrowcenter_img Economy,  Press Release Governor Tom Wolf announced that beginning tomorrow small businesses across Pennsylvania can apply for grants to offset lost revenue caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shutdown order.“In unprecedented times, like those we are currently facing, collaboration is imperative to getting help to those who need it most, as quickly and effectively as possible,” said Gov. Wolf. “This joint effort between my administration, the legislature, and The Pennsylvania CDFI Network will provide critical assistance to Pennsylvania’s small businesses, putting them on better financial footing as they begin to reopen.”The COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program, announced earlier this month, will provide $225 million in grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 to eligible businesses through Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding.Beginning tomorrow, June 30, eligible businesses may begin applying for the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program here.The first application window will remain open for ten days. Applications will continue to be accepted after 10 business days but will be considered for future rounds of funding, as this is not a first-come, first-served program. Applications will be prioritized and selected for funding based on the program criteria.The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the funds to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which will then administer the funding in the form of grants.Today, DCED Secretary Dennis Davin joined state Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Senator Vincent Hughes, Senator John Blake, Representative Jordan Harris, Mark Masterson of Northside Community Development Fund, Leslie Benoliel of Entrepreneur Works, Jim Burnett of West Philadelphia Financial Services, and Dan Betancourt from the Community First Fund at a virtual press conference to announce the opening of the first of four application windows.Eligible businesses will be able to use the grants to cover operating expenses during the shutdown and transition to re-opening, and for technical assistance including training and guidance for business owners as they stabilize and relaunch their businesses.The funds will be available through three programs:$100 million for the Main Street Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the governor’s March 19, 2020 order relating to the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses and have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19;$100 million for the Historically Disadvantaged Business Revitalization Program for small businesses that experienced loss as a result of the business closure order, have or will incur costs to adapt to new business operations related to COVID-19, and in which socially and economically disadvantaged individuals own at least a 51 percent interest and also control management and daily business operations.$25 million for the Loan Payment Deferment and Loss Reserve Program, which will allow the CDFIs the opportunity to offer forbearance and payment relief for existing portfolio businesses that are struggling due to the impact of COVID, as well as shore up the financial position of the CDFIs that are experiencing significant increased defaults in their existing loan portfolios.This project is financed by a grant from the federal Department of U.S. Treasury, under the administration of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania CDFI Network. The PA CDFI Network is a group of 17 PA-based community development financial institutions that primarily provide financing options for small businesses.More information about the COVID-19 Relief Statewide Small Business Assistance program can be found on DCED’s website.Ver esta página en español.last_img read more

Pandemic to cause ‘immediate effect’ on INPS financial sustainability

first_imgThe COVID-19 pandemic will likely have an impact on the financial sustainability of the Italian pension system, in particular on the Istituto Nazionale di Previdenza Sociale (INPS), the main entity of the country’s public retirement system.Andrea Scaffidi, head of retirement for Italy at Willis Towers Watson, told IPE that the drop in contributions caused by the unemployed, salary cuts, and the increase in expenditure for INPS’ social security pay outs “will certainly generate an immediate effect on the financial stability of the institute, exposed to bigger expenses and lower income”.INPS may see its performance worsen with the need to finance its deficit.In general, Scaffidi added, the consequences of a macroeconomic crisis relate to the financial and the social sustainability of a pension system. Such effects usually progress slowly. INPS’ operating results in 2019 stood at -€7.2bn, with a deficit of €10.9bnFor pension funds, unemployment and wage cuts, among other things, have had and will certainly have effects on assets and net contribution flows.“This will imply a different investment capacity that has led and could lead to a drop in earning opportunities because of a lack of new resources to be used during a phase of reduction in the values of the securities, even if the main markets have had a ‘V shape’ performance” he said.Contributions in Casse di Previdenza, which are linked to salaries and income of self-employed enrolled in the Casse, will suffer a contraction and realistically the number of new members will be further impacted, Scaffidi said.INPS officials did not comment by time of publication.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here. This is true especially for the Italian system, which after its 2012 reform operates as a “contributory” system, Scaffidi added.INPS had already recorded negative results before the pandemic started to hit Italy hard in February and March of this year.Its operating results in 2019 stood at -€7.2bn, with a deficit of €10.9bn, and an allocation for legal reserves worth -€3.7bn, according to INPS’ latest financial statement.Paradoxically, according to Scaffidi, the financial situation at INPS will not in turn have an impact on pensioners.Reductions in pensions contributions during the crisis, however, will generate negative effects “pro-quota” on future benefits for pensioners, alongside a lack of, or limited, appreciation of the individual contributions based on lacklustre GDP growth.Contributions are reassessed annually according to the growth of GDP, and therefore of the country’s economy.“The financial sustainability of INPS is very worrying,” Scaffidi said, adding that aside from general taxation, INPS will need “a different plan for expenditures for pension or welfare benefits”.last_img read more

Report: RasGas postpones layoffs amid Qatar rift

first_imgFor illustration only; Liquefaction facilities at Ras Laffan (Image courtesy of Qatargas)Qatari LNG producer RasGas has reportedly pushed back a round of job cuts after the diplomatic crisis which erupted between Qatar and several of its Middle East neighbors in early June.Staff at the LNG producing giant were told earlier this year that they would be laid off in June, with the job cuts following last year’s decision by state-owned Qatar Petroleum to merge RasGas with Qatargas, Reuters informed on Wednesday.However, in a company email last month staff were informed that the job cuts had been delayed, the news agency reported citing two Rasgas employees as saying.It was not immediately clear whether the delay meant the entire merger had been postponed.LNG World News contacted RasGas to comment on the report. We will update the article once we receive a response.Qatar Petroleum’s chief executive Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said in December last year the merger of RasGas and Qatargas, Qatar’s number one and two LNG producers respectively, would help to cut operating costs by hundreds of millions of dollars.Qatargas is the largest LNG producing company in the world, with an annual production capacity of 42 million tonnes per annum. RasGas has a production capacity of about 37 million tonnes a year.Both of the LNG producers are majority owned by Qatar Petroleum. US-based energy giant ExxonMobil has a 30 percent stake in RasGas.An official working at a Gulf energy company told Reuters on Wednesday that Doha was apparently postponing the layoffs because it needed to focus the attention of leaders and managers on the diplomatic crisis, which has disrupted some imports into the country.“I still think the job cuts will happen in the long run, as the Rasgas-Qatargas merger will go ahead and many of the jobs are duplicated across both organizations,” the official told Reuters.Worth mentioning, Qatar Petroleum said recently it aims to raise Qatar’s LNG production from 77 million to 100 million mt per year.The new additional volumes will be secured by doubling the size of the new gas project in the southern sector of the North Field, which Qatar Petroleum had announced last April.Qatar is facing a growing competition from a tide of new LNG sources mostly coming from Australia and the US.This move shows that Qatar is not willing to easily let go the title of world’s largest LNG exporter. LNG World News Stafflast_img read more