SO / CHRONICLESnwas reported from Brussels that thenworldly possessions of Rene Magrittenwould be auctioned off as a result of anlegal squabble involving the artist’s 77ndistant relations. Among the lots:nMadame Magritte’s black jacket (estimatednat £8), a double bed (£80), andna few bundles of books tied togethernwith string (£8 each), in addition to anskull, a violin with broken strings, andna transistor radio. The artist’s famousnbowler hat, as well as his easel and hisnpalette, will be auctioned off at a laterndate by Sotheby’s London, along withnthe paintings.nTuesday, March 31. The Sun runs anlist of 20 “things you never knew”nabout Vincent Van Gogh. No. 4:n”Van Gogh started out as a miner—sonhe could preach Ghristianity to thenworkers.” No. 18: “Sir Alfred [ChesternBeatty] could afford his impressionistnpaintings because he made a fortunenfrom mining.”nA Newman cartoon in The LondonnDaily News. A woman is looking atnthe Sunflowers. Caption: “At that pricenI’d have expected orchids.”nThe Sun points out that the Mondaynauction’s mystery buyer has paidn£1,650,000 a stem. A Christie’snspokesman is quoted as saying theynwere “absolutely cock-a-hoop.”nThe Daily Mirror observes that thenThe Duchess ofWindsor’s plain wedding ring, inscribed “To Wallisnfrom David,” fetched £74,073.nnncost of Lot 83 would, among othernthings, “pay for the education ofn16,000 London secondary school kidsnfor a year” or “solve the NationalnHealth Service nursing shortage bynpaying for the year’s wages of 3,200nnurses” or “fund 800,000 unemployednfor a week.” In a happier vein, it couldnalso “buy a fleet of Rolls Royce SilvernSpirits—363 of them” or “buy tennChallenger tanks with spare changenleft over for the ammunition.”nThe Daily Express reports that as thenauctioneer’s hammer went down, novelistnJeffrey Archer said: “That’s it, mynnext book will definitely be on the artnworld. I have never seen such annexciting finale.”nWednesday, April 1. The Guardian,nin an editorial, said the £24,75 millionnpaid “for the most expensive helianthusnannuus in the world” was “equivalentnto nearly a third of the grossndomestic product of a poor countrynlike Bhutan,” and drew appropriatenconclusions about the “game for megamillionaires,nsatiated with materialnpossessions, who are making a play fornthe finite quantity of what the late FrednHirsch called ‘positional goods.'” Thenmoney should have been used to buyn”hospitals, schools, and homes,” or atnleast “thousands upon thousands ofnpaintings by aspirant artists around thenworld among whom would be thisncentury’s Van Gogh condemned tonlifetime penury.” Best of all, this’nwould deny Christie’s the £2.25 millionncommission it earned “for a couplenof minutes of hammer holding.”nApril Fools’ joke: a fake, duplicatenSunflowers was painted and displayednto greet visitors at Christie’s sale roomsnin St. James’s.nThe Guardian cannot let go of thenstory. The buyer “could have providedn1,000 artists with £25,000,” it saysndreamily in a signed news article. Hencould have bought “The Guardian atn25p a day for 320,513 years.” Hencould have provided “1,235 specialisedntractors for Algeria.”nThe Times speculates about thenidentity of the mystery buyer: StavrosnNiarchos? The Sultan of Brunei? NortonnSimon?nA MAC cartoon in The Daily Mail.nTwo men in evening dress, one ofnthem on crutches and missing an arm,nare talking in front of the Sunflowers.nCaption: “… And this one’s by thatn