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Britain's interior minister ordered officials Friday to grant Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei a six-month visa, reversing a decision to restrict him to a short trip that had prompted condemnation from rights groups.

Review: New book on unfinished movie a must-read for Orson Welles fans Special

May 6 of this year marked the hundredth anniversary of Orson Welles' birth. But despite the name recognition and the wide film-school reverence for “Citizen Kane”, it sometimes seems as if Welles is still being neglected, even posthumously.

Premiere of 'Tristan and Isolde' scores hit at Bayreuth Festival

A brand-new production of Richard Wagner's opera "Tristan and Isolde" by the composer's great-granddaughter was warmly received at its premiere on Saturday, marking the start of this year's legendary Bayreuth Festival.

Top book for primary school children revealed

The number one book for children at primary school (aged five to 11 in the U.K.) to read has been named by teachers. It is 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,' a novel by Roald Dahl.

Karachi artists reclaim city walls from hate graffiti

For years Karachi's walls have been spattered with the bloodstains of murder victims and scrawled with graffiti touting everything from sectarian hatred to quack cures for erectile dysfunction.

Collector's fury as Chinese antiques returned from Paris

More than 30 ancient gold ornaments went on show in a Chinese museum this week after Paris quietly insisted a billionaire collector and France's top antique dealer return them on the grounds they were stolen.

After 'Goodbye Lenin', a Berlin resurrection

Buried and long forgotten, the head of a giant Lenin statue is set to make a comeback in the German capital a quarter-century after the fall of the Berlin Wall.The Soviet leader will gaze again on the people when the 3.

China artist Ai Weiwei says passport returned after four years

Police handed Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei back his passport on Wednesday four years after it was confiscated, he told AFP, hailing the move with a smiley emoticon.

Chinese librarian replaced artworks with own fakes

A Chinese librarian stole 143 artworks from his own gallery and replaced them with his own fakes, he told a court -- only to find his works being substituted by other fraudsters.

American novelist E.L. Doctorow dies, age 84

E.L. Doctorow, one of America's most accomplished novelists of recent decades who was best known for his historical fiction, died Tuesday at the age of 84, US media reports said.

Ireland shrugs off French riddle over Yeats remains

A trove of documents from a French chateau has cast doubt on the remains of beloved Irish poet W.B. Yeats but fans have shrugged off the controversy and said there is no doubt as to his spiritual home.

Review: 'Comedy of Errors' takes simple approach in Toronto's High Park Special

With an implausible plot about mistaken identity and bawdy puns, “The Comedy of Errors” may be the Shakespeare play that's closest to being a “Three's Company” episode. Thankfully, Canadian Stage's new production doesn't pretend it's much more.

Review: ‘Caesar’ in High Park makes bold choices; not all of them work Special

There are moments in Canadian Stage’s new “Julius Caesar” that are so affecting and original, you’re tempted to ignore other moments when it misfires. Director Estelle Shook turns this classic into high spectacle, but not always to its benefit.

Is the medical thriller in need of life support? Special

What’s the future of medical thrillers? Is the genre that was pioneered by Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, Michael Palmer and Tess Gerritsen in danger of losing its edge?

Review: 'Go Set a Watchman' — An incoherent, frustrating first draft Special

It's a mistake to read Harper Lee's “Go Set a Watchman” as a proper sequel to her 1960 classic “To Kill a Mockingbird." Fans would best approach it as a curio, as a wildly uneven first draft with too few moments of real inspiration.

London's Royal Academy crowdfunds Ai Weiwei installation

The Royal Academy of Arts in London launched a crowdfunding appeal on Wednesday for an installation by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei that would see its courtyard filled with giant reconstructed trees.

Harper Lee's lawyer reveals her discovery of Watchman manuscript

Harper Lee's attorney, Tonja Carter, the woman at the center of all the speculations surrounding the publication of “Go Set a Watchman,” has revealed her side of the story.

Feverish excitement surrounds Harper Lee book release

Bookstores opened at midnight when copies of Harper Lee's eagerly awaited, but controversial second novel flew off the shelves more than half a century after the groundbreaking success of "To Kill a Mockingbird.

Review: Dozens of acts perform on six stages at annual Canadian festival Special

About 10,000 music lovers experienced unexpected rainfall during the annual Vancouver Island Music Festival in the middle of the hottest, driest summer on record locally.

Ramadan festival breathes new life into Saudi's old Jeddah

Residents of the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah are slowly returning to its historic centre, where a Ramadan cultural festival and UN heritage status are giving new life to the old quarter.

Harper Lee planned a series of novels

Harper Lee, author of 'To Kill A Mockingbird' and its much anticipated follow-up, never intended to write just one book. A letter outlines at least six different novels that Lee planned to write.

Greek 'crisis' crime novelist captivates Germans

It's nearly midnight and in a matter of minutes Greece will leave the euro. Banks are shuttered, TV shows heatedly debate whether salaries will be paid... and Inspector Haritos has a new crime to solve.

Op-Ed: Home sweet clicks? Not really, Hemnet Home is grim indeed

The new thing in Sweden is a house designed entirely statistically on an analysis of features clicked on an architecture site. It’s called the Hemnet Home, or House of Clicks. It’s also a great proof of reasons not to design by groupthink.

First chapter of new Harper Lee novel released

Scout is an independent woman living in New York with a childhood friend who wants to marry her back home in Alabama. Her brother is dead and her father, Atticus, suffers from rheumatoid arthritis.

Boston museum accused of racism with 'Kimono Wednesday'

Following an uproar on social media, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts has cancelled "Kimono Wednesday," a popular interactive event, because protesters have labeled it racist and culturally insensitive.

An extraordinary Russian pianist wins Tchaikovsky competition

Over the past two weeks, 120 candidates from around the globe competed in Moscow at the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition. The youngest contestant was 16, the oldest 32.

Op-Ed: Little art Gallery in California wine country celebrates 1st year Special

Despite the woes of the economy and the rising cost of real estate and retail space, not far from the center of town is an art gallery called Studio 35. Rather ordinary from its cottage-like exterior, it has become a center for the arts in Sonoma.

Virgin Mary painting with elephant poop sold for millions

Chris Ofili's painting of a black Virgin Mary, which was decorated with elephant poop, sold for millions of dollars at Christie's.

Actors' Fund of Canada charity raises $99,000 for members in need

The Actors' Fund of Canada is a lifeline for many in the entertainment industry in that country, distributing funds to those who've fallen upon needy times. Last week in Toronto the Fund hosted its annual golf tournament and raised over $99,000.

'Once', 'Blood Wedding', 'Falstaff' win big at Toronto's Doras Special

Federico García Lorca's 1932 play “Blood Wedding” was the biggest winner at last night's Dora Mavor Moore Awards: the recent co-production by Modern Times Stage Company and Aluna Theatre copped six Doras at the 36th annual Toronto theatre awards.

Berlin Philharmonic chooses Russia's Petrenko as chief conductor

The prestigious Berlin Philharmonic, regarded as one of the world's best orchestras, tapped 43-year-old Russian Kirill Petrenko as its new chief conductor, it announced in a surprise move Monday.

Postcard by Picasso smashes auction record

A postcard, featuring a signed drawing by Pablo Picasso, has fetched a record amount for such an item. The postcard was sold for $188,000 at auction.

Review: 'Magneto #19' centers on Magneto's martyrdom in Secret Wars

Magneto is willing to play martyr and allow himself to die in the process if it means preventing his Earth from being destroyed by the other Earth.

Review: 'Ms. Marvel #16' sucker punches Kamala Khan with the Secret Wars

Life as a teenage superhero is no cakewalk as Kamala Khan has to restore order to a panicking population of Jersey City in midst of the incoming Incursion.

Tracey Emin, bad girl of UK art, 'slowly' catching up to her age

British artist Tracey Emin seems stressed and ruffled as she weaves through crowds of deep-pocketed collectors to reach three of her pieces on prominent display at Art Basel."It's a trade fair, isn't it?

'Queen's vagina' sculptor lashes out at French 'intolerance' after vandalism

A British artist who created a controversial sculpture at the Palace of Versailles that has become known as the "queen's vagina" lashed out at French "intolerance" Thursday after his work was vandalised.

Giant statue of Orthodox prince stirs controversy in Moscow

Scaffolding surrounds the vast clay sculpture-in-progress inside a warehouse on Moscow's outskirts, yet already the statue of Vladimir the Great has caused an outcry as big as the monument itself.

China media calls on Ai Weiwei to change politics after rare show

A Chinese newspaper with close links to the Communist Party on Thursday called on famed artist Ai Weiwei to abandon his "previous politics" after the dissident was allowed to stage a rare exhibition in China.

Mystery solved through CSI tech: Rembrandt painting authentic

It has taken over eight years of painstaking restoration and CSI-like investigation, and now, the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague is declaring with the utmost confidence that one of its most prized painting's is that of Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn.

'Guardians Team-Up #6' stars X-Men's Nightcrawler

The special guest star of this issue of "Guardians Team-Up" is Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler, the teleporter, from the X-Men.

Review: 'Spider-Woman #8' shows that Jessica is not heartless

The sleepy townspeople are not bad, just misunderstood and want to get away from their spouses. It shows that Spider-Woman isn't heartless.