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Even statues need smog protection

It's been a good week for … smog art

It's been a good week for … smog art

Face masks have appeared on statues around Beijing's Peking University in an attempt to highlight the levels of smog engulfing the city.

With China's pollution at crisis point, the monuments have been adorned with the same masks residents wear to filter out fumes. The students' work has attracted attention on social networking site Weibo, where one user created a portrait of Mao Zedong complete with an anti-smog face mask that has now gone viral on Chinese websites.

Another joker claimed he had his picture taken with Chinese president Xi Jinping when he made a much-publicised - and mask-free - visit to a Beijing tourist area. But when users clicked through to the picture, nothing was visible except a thick wall of smog.

The monumental masks may well catch on closer to home, given Glasgow's rising pollution levels and the city's penchant for accessorising monuments (except for poor Donald Dewar, who has famously been de-accessorised).

Or maybe that's a load of bollards.

It's been a bad week for … home-loving ponies

A pony has had to pack up her slippers and duvet cover after being evicted from the Western Isles house where she has stayed for two years.

Local council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar removed Grey Lady Too from the semi-detached home in Back, on Lewis, where she has been stabled in winter since Christmas Eve 2011. Owner Stephanie Noble, 67, took the pony into her home because she said there was nowhere suitable on the island to keep the animal.

The council informed Noble in October that she would have to make alterations to her home if she wanted keep the pony indoors. These included widening doors and more head room. The local authority said failure to comply with these conditions would be considered an offence. Grey Lady Too has now been taken into the care of the council "in the interests of animal welfare".

In an interview in January 2012, Noble said: "This is my own property - if I want to even keep an elephant in the house I can. I have had nothing but stick from people because it is unconventional. The pony is very happy in the lounge and the Scottish SPCA … say she is in good health." Grey Lady Too may well miss her home comforts - but at least her life will be a little more stable.

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