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Harry Potter author’s chair sells for $394,000

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NEW YORK — The chair on which British author J.K. Rowling sat to write the initial two volumes of her smash hit ‘Harry Potter’ series sold at auction New York on Wednesday for $394,000.

The modest, 1930s-era oak chair was part of a mismatched set of four that Rowling was given for free when she was a single mother living in subsidized housing in the Scottish city of Edinburgh.

Heritage Auctions said it sold for $394,000, including taxes — nearly 14 times the price that it last fetched at auction in 2009.

The 50-year-old author used the chair to write “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” published in 1997 and 1998, respectively.

“This was the comfiest one, which is why it ended up stationed permanently in front of my typewriter, supporting me while I typed,” Rowling wrote in a letter accompanying the chair, said the auction house.

“My nostalgic side is quite sad to see it go, but my back isn’t,” she added.

Rowling donated the chair in 2002 to an auction benefiting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children after adorning it with words in pink, gold and green paint.

“You may not find me pretty but don’t judge on what you see,” she wrote, along with “I wrote Harry Potter while sitting on this chair” and her signature, the auction house said.

It sold again at auction in 2009 for $29,117, Heritage said.

“A small piece of history connected to the mythology of the Wizarding World and one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature,” said the auction house.

The seven-part “Harry Potter” series became a global phenomenon, translated into 67 languages. It sold more than 450 million copies and was credited with reviving children’s interest in reading.

Also adapted into box office blockbuster films, “Harry Potter” made Rowling the first female novelist billionaire.

In 2012, Forbes dropped her from its billionaire list, attributing it to Rowling’s charitable donations and high tax rates in Britain.

AFP

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NAC aims to bring more tourists

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KATHMANDU — Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) — the national flag carrier which bought two wide-body aircrafts — is exploring new destinations in Europe, North America and South East Asia to bring in more tourists to the country.

The NAC, with the new destinations, expects to increase its business and carry 400,000 tourists on board the NAC planes to Nepal every year.

The NAC’s move is expected to serve largely for the government’s announcement to mark 2020 as Nepal Visit Year.

The NAC is also planning to procure narrow-body planes that would make regional flights while the wide-body planes would fly to the new international destinations.

For the new destinations, the NAC has appointed issue manager.

With the agreement, the NAC planes would make flights to 14 destinations in a week. If things go as planned, the NAC planes would fly to Narita and Tokyo in Japan, easing the tourists visiting Nepal from there.

After getting approval from Japan and South Korea for flights, the inclusion in the significant safety concern list by the EU to Nepal would remove automatically while the flights to South Korea shall open up the golden door for Nepal Airlines.

South Korea is regarded as the safest country in the world in terms of civil aviation. Likewise, the ICAO has already removed Nepal from its blacklist.

Furthermore, the NAC is preparing to operate flights to bring in tourists from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Similarly, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has directed the NAC for announcing new business plans by targeting the Indian and Chinese tourists, realizing the crucial role of the national flag carrier to make the Nepal Visit Year 2020 a success.

“Top priority has been given to the NAC as it is the major basis to bring in tourists,” Minister Adhikari shared.

Likewise, Minister Adhikari shared that expansion of services and facilities of the Tribhuvan International Airport has been prioritized.

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