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A FORMER prison in Italy is to be turned into a huge tourist attraction similar to Alcatraz in the US.

The €70m renovation will include a museum and tours of the prison as well as hostels and an on-site bar.

9A former prison in Italy is to become a tourist attractionCredit: Alamy

Located in Santo Stefano, the tiny island can only be accessed by scuba divers or fisherman, with no main dock for tourists, and is surrounded by rocks and shipwrecks from World War II.

It was formerly used to house prisoners especially during the 1930s and 1940s led by the Fascist government, and it's creepy past saw those who were taken there tortured, and the few who tried to escape drowned.

By the 1950s, it was transformed into a more regular prison with a movie theatre and football field built, as well as a bakery and even shops to let prisoners use a trade such as bricklayers and cooks.

Prisoners could even use their own currency to shop and were allowed to paint their rooms.

The prison eventually closed in 1965 and abandoned.

9The prison is located on the island of Santo StefanoCredit: Alamy

9The former prison closed back in 1965 and was abandonedCredit: Alamy

9In the 30s and 40s, many prisoners were tortured or drowned trying to escapeCredit: Alamy

9By the 50s, it was a much more regular prison and inmates could even paint their cellsCredit: Alamy

There are limited tours to the island right now, but involve a steep 40-minute hike and can only take place when the seas aren't rough.

However, it's remote location is likely to cause problems for tourists wanting to visit,

Silvia Costa, the Italian official overseeing the project, told CNN Travel: "There is no light, no running water. Access is tricky."

His plans include a "multimedia open-air museum" with a walking exhibtion of the prison.

The former jail director house and football field will be converted into accommodation with plans for 30 hostel rooms.

9The prison does currently offer tours, but include a 40 minute hikeCredit: Alamy

9The conversion hopes to include a museum and hostelCredit: Alamy

9There will even be a cocktail bar with views of Mount VesuviusCredit: Alamy

9A large performance event space could make use of the circular shapeCredit: Getty

Other plans include turning the horse-show shaped building into a performance and event space.

They also hope to open a cocktail bar by 2025, built where where the bakery used to be - with views of Mount Vesuvius.

Mr Costa said: "We want the island to draw visitors all year-round, not just during the crowded summer months.

"Tourism must be sustainable, but Santo Stefano will be more than that.

"It will be a hub for world academics uniting on key issues such as green policies, human rights, freedom of speech, European citizenship and Mediterranean dialogue."

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Air Jordan 1 prototype expected to fetch six figures at Christies auction

More On: auctions Sotheby’s will take cryptocurrency for 100-carat diamond Auction winner bids $28M to fly into space with Jeff Bezos ‘CryptoPunk’ NFT sells for $11.8 million at Sotheby’s Another GOAT record: Brady rookie card sells for $3.1M

This auction’s got serious sole for the sneaker-obsessed buyer looking for some rare kicks.

On Tuesday, Christie’s debuts an online-only sale focused on the iconic Air Jordan — a chunky-looking Nike style launched in 1985 for basketball legend Michael Jordan — with more than 85 pairs up for grabs. The lots are estimated to fetch between $1,000 and $160,000 apiece.

“[Jordan] really influenced and created an entire new genre of collecting,” said Caitlin Donovan, 33, the Christie’s expert leading this sale. “I think it’s a comprehensive look at his impact through footwear.”

Limited-edition releases of kicks can already fetch premium prices on secondary markets, such as StockX. This sale, which lasts through June 30, marks the latest foray of hypebeast-favored sneakers into the exclusive world of auction houses.

Last summer, Christie’s auctioned 11 pairs of Jordans, including a pair of sneakers MJ himself wore in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, which sold for $112,500. At a Sotheby’s private sale in April, a buyer plunked down a jaw-dropping $1.8 million for the first Yeezy sneakers that Kanye West ever wore.

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Air Jordans have long been a hot commodity — even more so on the heels of last year’s Emmy-winning 10-part docuseries “The Last Dance.”

“If you think about the legacy of Jordan himself, he was such an important person in not just sports culture, but also pop culture — and you have this genre of fashion on and off the court,” said Donovan.

Celebrities who have worn Air Jordans include Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Drake and even Boyz II Men at the 1996 Grammys.

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A post shared by Justin Timberlake (@justintimberlake)

“There’s also the element of supply and demand: The idea that these pieces are released in very limited runs, so in order to procure one, you have to go to the secondary market,” Donovan added.

The sale is held in collaboration with Stadium Goods, a New York City-based giant for sneaker and streetwear resale, which sourced the shoes from around the globe.

This super rare mid-1980s development sample is the highest-priced lot in the auction.Stadium Goods

The auction’s priciest lot: a size 10 original development sample for the Air Jordan 1, dating back to the mid-’80s, that’s estimated to fetch between $120,000 and $160,000. It’s believed to be a one-of-a-kind pair whose seemingly blank base helped give rise to other prominent styles, such as the Nike’s Air Python and Air Force 2.

Salesmen carried new styles to shoe stores in Nike-branded briefcases. Now, an iconic black-and-red pair — with a briefcase, to boot — can be yours.Stadium Goods

Another lot, this one estimated between $22,000 and $25,000, gets the lucky bidder a rare pair of red-and-black Air Jordan 1’s made in 1984, one year before sales for the style officially launched. Included with a Nike-branded briefcase, this pair was a sample carried around by salesmen to pitch at shoe stores. The shoes themselves, though never for sale, have noticeable wear.

“They were likely being put on by store employees and the buyers at the stores,” said Donovan.

A friends-and-family exclusive, this rare pair of Eminem x Air Jordan 4 “Encore” shoes have an estimate of $42,000 to $45,000.Stadium Goods

Another rare pair is the coveted 2017 Eminem x Air Jordan 4 “Encore” — a high-top style with a bold blue hue. With an estimated value between $42,000 and $45,000, the style first debuted in 2005 to celebrate Eminem’s “Encore” album. Just 50 pairs were made available to the rapper’s friends and family members. In 2017, the style came back, but in less than half the original amount.

“This is one of the 23 pairs that was unreleased to the public, so this pair is even more collectible,” said Donovan.

Other styles in the auction, which interested bidders can see with their own eyes by appointment only, include a size 16 white high-top from 1996 worn and signed by Charles Barkley — estimated to garner between $3,000 and $5,000.

Similar to works of art or fine antiques, these rare kicks fit into a specific mold — and Donovan sees them as fit for auctions down the line.

“Sneakers really follow suit, which is why it does make sense for us to be stepping into this,” she said.

Filed under auctions ,  christies ,  michael jordan ,  sneakers ,  6/22/21

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