Bloomberg News

Scene in D.C.: ‘Downton Abbey’ Fans, Ireland Sandy Aid

December 14, 2012

"Downton Abbey" Party

Actor Robert James-Collier and Carlyle Group co-founder Bill Conway. Photographer:Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. (BAH:US) Chairman and Chief Executive Ralph Shrader is a fan of PBS series “Downton Abbey,” nominated for three Golden Globes this week.

His favorite character, played by Jim Carter, is Charlie Carson, who represents the “prototypical Brit butler,” Shrader said.

He got to meet Carter during last night’s cast party at the home of British Ambassador Peter Westmacott.

Other fans included Carlyle Group Management LLC co-founder William E. Conway Jr., Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, and Mars Inc.’s Jacqueline Badger Mars.

Badger Mars said she is producing a feature about equestrian artist Alfred Munnings with Dan Stevens, who plays Matthew Crawley in “Downtown Abbey.”

Westmacott joked that he wanted the Earl of Grantham, Downton’s master, portrayed by Hugh Bonneville, to “feel right at home” with a full liquor bar provided by Diageo Plc. (DGE)

The cast mingled with guests before taking questions on everything from the program’s plotlines to their favorite football clubs.

“Liverpool,” said Bonneville.

Male Nude

The federal budget negotiations and the power struggles within the Italian government were eclipsed Wednesday night by the presence of a sculpture by Michelangelo.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata were at the National Gallery of Art for a reception and unveiling of “David-Apollo,” a marble male nude created around 1530.

The museum’s director Earl Powell III called the sculpture an “exceptionally welcome guest” as it inaugurates the “Anno Della Cultura Italiana,” or “Year of Italian Culture” in the U.S.

“David-Apollo” made his first trip to the nation’s capital in 1949 for President Truman’s inaugural festivities. His home is in Florence at the Museo Nazionale del Bargello.

“I’m proud to be an Italian every day,” said Pelosi, in a bright-red trouser suit. Also at the event were her congressional colleagues Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut Democrat, and William Pascrell, New Jersey Democrat.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg served herself from a buffet offering polenta, meatballs and cannoli.

“David-Apollo” will be at the gallery through March 3.

Putin’s Appreciation

Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak hosted a dinner at his residence Tuesday night for James Billington, Librarian of Congress, author of books about Russia and one of the few American members of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Kislyak presented Billington with a certificate of appreciation from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The grand reception room sparkled with holiday decor. Dinner for 80 consisted of spinach-stuffed chicken and fruit mousse. The centerpieces featured white lilies and roses wrapped in pearl strands.

Among the guests were U.S. Chief of Protocol Capricia Penavic Marshall, National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman James Leach, and Representative Gregory Meeks, New York Democrat, and the co-chairman of the bipartisan caucus on U.S.- Russian trade and economic relations.

Irish Gift

Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, was the guest of honor at a reception hosted by Ambassador Michael Collins at the Irish Embassy. The evening honored Irish organizations that have aided victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey communities with a high number of Irish- Americans.

Collins announced a gift from the Irish government of $322,000 to Staten Island, Breezy Point and neighborhoods along the Jersey Shore. The American Ireland Fund has given $250,000 for relief efforts.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Jeremy Gerard on theater, Frederik Balfour on art.

To contact the writer on this story: Stephanie Green in Washington at sgreen57@bloomberg.net or on Twitter @stephlgreen.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.


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