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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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Bir Hospital to get new surgery building

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KATHMANDU— The oldest hospital of the country, Bir Hospital, is in the process of getting a separate well-equipped building for surgery within the next two years.

The proposed nine-storey building will have 15 operation theaters.
The new building will have a post-operative ward; a 40-bed surgical ward; an Intensive Care Union (ICU); and a library as well. The new infrastructure will also have the facilities friendly to the senior citizens, disabled and the visitors, the National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS) says.

It is estimated to cost Rs 3.85 billion to complete the construction in two years. It is being constructed in an area of the old building of the NAMS nursing college which collapsed in the 2015 April earthquake. The building construction was inaugurated by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on March 9.

The hospital that had started its services in 1947 BS with 15 beds has now 450 beds. The NAMS operates Nursing, MBBS, MD classes and training as well.

The post of NAMS Chancellor has been lying vacant since the past five months. As shared by an employee, the delay in appointing the chancellor has caused inconveniences to the operation of hospital regular activities.

Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population, Dr Sushilnath Pyakurel, said the recommendations have been already made before the minister to make appointments in the posts lying vacant in various health academies.

Similarly, infrastructures are being developed to upgrade the hospital by adding extra services including a helipad service for the first time from the government level.

The hospital has started its service from its branch at Duwakot of Bhaktapur from October 10 as part of its service expansion in line with the policy of the Ministry of Health.

The Duwakot branch provides OPD and surgery at present. OPD service starts from 9 am to 5 pm. The NAMS has permitted the construction of well equipped physical infrastructure for the hospital branch to provide international standard service, said the Hospital’s Director Prof Dr Bhupendra Basnet.

The Ministry of Health has allocated Rs 300 million as per the master plan of the NAMS and provided approximately 570 ropanis of land for the construction of physical infrastructures for the hospital branch.

“Necessary human resources including a medical officer, nurses and assistant health workers have been managed for the hospital branch. Medical equipment and other workforce that includes specialist doctors will also be managed as per need,” said Basnet.

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