Columnist Kate Maddox: Guggenheim an expansive project

Fri, Oct 20, 2000 (10:18 a.m.)

Kate Maddox's column appears Fridays, Sundays and Tuesdays. Reach her at [email protected]

The new partnership between the Venetian and the Guggenheim museum will be a bigger deal than originally thought. Literally.

Initial reports had the seventh installment of the world-renowned art museum as a 35,000-square-foot space, but the final plans indicate the Guggenheim will be somewhere in the 65,000-square-foot neighborhood. The Rem Koolhaas-designed museum is being constructed near the hotel's parking garage and should be completed by June 2001.

Although actor/director Sydney Pollack had to back out at the last minute, Dennis Hopper, Jeremy Irons and Lauren Hutton will still be leading a pack of about 30 riders in Saturday's 100-mile motorcyle jaunt across Southern Nevada. The actors are a part of the Guggenheim Motorcycle Club (think Hell's Angels, only with champagne and caviar in lieu of Budweiser and beer nuts). The group rode together before, in St. Petersburg, Russia, to celebrate the partnership between the Guggenheim and the State Hermitage museum.

Hermitage will also find a home in the Venetian, albeit separate from the Guggenheim. The petite-musee will be a 6,000-square-foot deal with a best-of-the-best, priceless collection.

On second thought, it was Charlize Theron's dislike of bunnies that must have gotten to her at this week's Fairway to Heaven golf tourney for VH1. Seems Theron was confronted by fans thrusting the April '99 issue of Playboy in her face, seeking autographs. Theron was the covergirl that month, much to her objection, and those people who insisted on attempting to get her signature got a nasty mouthful from Ms. Charlize.

It's that same old song and dance: I was young (Theron was 18). I didn't know what I was doing (she had signed a release form). I tried to retrieve the photos (a lawsuit was filed in 1998 to prevent further public consumption).

Lucky for her, the pics stopped at risque. The starlet, whose career has drastically improved since those early days, was not naked in the mag. Still, autograph hounds can be persistent. One Mr. Sensitive in particular even told her she should be "proud of her work" in the magazine. Her response was not fit for print.

Italian resort developer (and old pal of Prince Albert of Monaco) Fabrizio Boccardi is still hoping to land a hotel on the Strip, and he isn't afraid to use a beautiful woman to help. Boccardi, whose attempt to buy the Desert Inn for $200 million cash in March was rejected (with a chuckle), has enlisted the services of supermodel Angie Everhart for a weekend of reported business meetings with Vegas real estate bigwigs.

Everhart is the red-headed stunner who was briefly engaged to Sylvester Stallone and briefly married to George Hamilton's son, Ashley. Boccardi is the playboy-rich guy who, after more than three years of trying, still hasn't realized his dream of owning a Vegas mega-resort. Together, well, they just might make an interesting pitch.

John Travolta announced this week that he's interested in making a "Battlefield Earth II." "Battlefield Earth," which had a celeb screening in Vegas last May, was universally panned.

The fearless Travolta, who hasn't yet received those messages from reality to get in touch real soon, insisted the film was a big hit with Internet junkies and did well overseas.

Ummm, OK, so any Hollywood studio looking to score with nerds and David Hasselhoff fans (the "Baywatch" star can also brag of an impressive following in Europe), please let John know as soon as possible. It took him 15 years to convince investors to get the first one done.


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