Preparatory sketch for J.K. Rowling
by Stuart Pearson Wright
pencil on three sheets of paper pasted and taped together, 2004-2005
24 1/8 in. x 15 7/8 in. (613 mm x 403 mm) overall
Commissioned as part of the First Prize, 2001 BP Portrait Award, 2005
Armed robbers raid the Northern Bank in Belfast, stealing £26.5 million. Gunmen entered the homes of two bank officials, kidnapping their families and forcing them to let them into the bank, before loading cash into vans and driving away. Police and the British and Irish governments claimed that the Provisional IRA was responsible and several of the people arrested had PIRA, Real IRA and Sinn Féin connections.
Art and science
A fire at Charles Saatchi's art warehouse destroys some of the icons of Brit Art. Hell
by Jake and Dinos Chapman, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With
and The Hut
by Tracey Emin and works by Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, Sarah Lucas, Gavin Hume and Rachel Whiteread were among the casualties.
An earthquake in the Indian Ocean on Boxing Day causes a tsunami that kills nearly 230,000 people when it hit the coasts of Southeast Asia. The earthquake itself was the second most powerful ever recorded on a seismograph and waves from the tsunami - the most devastating in history - were up to 30 metres high.