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Culture News

Bulgaria urged to save communist-era architectural 'masterpiece'

Bulgaria - Perched like a vast flying saucer on a central Bulgarian mountainside, Buzludzha is a brutalist concrete monument that was built to glorify communism nearly 40 years ago.

Rwandan foreign minister elected Francophonie head

Yerevan - The world organisation of French-speaking nations on Friday elected Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo as its new head despite her country's shift to English a decade ago and controversy over its rights record.

Syria's recovered antiquities go on display at Damascus opera

Damascus - Syria's antiquities authority on Wednesday unveiled an exhibition in Damascus of hundreds of artefacts retrieved from around the war-torn country.

Spray-can satire creates headache for Thai junta

Bangkok - Thailand's junta chief caricatured as a "lucky cat" with a paw raised to rake in money, or his face crossed out by a thick, red line -- daring graffiti is cropping up across Bangkok as the city's walls become a canvas for rare political scorn.

Egypt's ancient temples rescued from the Nile 50 years ago

Paris - One of the world's biggest archaeological rescue operations was successfully concluded 50 years ago after a massive ancient Egyptian temple complex was dismantled and hoisted to higher ground to prevent its flooding by the damming of the Nile River.

In Lebanon, Russia uses softer touch to win influence

Aley - In a dimly-lit classroom in a Lebanese mountain town, students of all ages pore over Cyrillic workbooks and repeat carefully after their blonde instructor."Privet. Kak dela?" -- "Hello, how are you?

Brazil's 'queer museum' reopens in Rio after forced closure

Rio De Janeiro - Brazil's "queer museum," forced to close last year after conservatives attacked it for allegedly promoting pedophilia, blasphemy and bestiality, is reopening in the shadow of Rio de Janeiro's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue.

Mountain milonga: 'tango therapy' finds unlikely Montenegrin home

Montenegro - Couples twist across a wood floor to the melancholy sounds of tango music, swaying and swivelling in a dance that comes from far away.

Bemused Banksy says 'nothing to do with' major Russian exhibition

Moscow - The reclusive British street artist Banksy has said in a bemused social media post he was not involved in a major exhibition of his works currently on display in Moscow.

British Museum identifies looted Iraqi antiquities, sends them home

London - The British Museum said Thursday it is returning to Iraq a collection of looted antiquities up to 5,000 years old, after identifying the exact temple they came from in a unique piece of archaeological detective work.

After 'Mary Shelley', pioneering Saudi female director keen to film back home

Paris - Fresh from shooting her first film in English, Haifaa al-Mansour plans to return to her native Saudi Arabia next month for her new project -- but this time, she won't be directing out of view by walkie-talkie from the back of a van.

In southern Mexico, dancing to forget the earthquakes

Oaxaca - After the earthquake that devastated Juchitan in southern Mexico in September last year, Jorge Jimenez and his dance troupe sprang into action.The 8.

Yemeni blacksmiths transform shrapnel into heirlooms

Hajjah - In his war-torn city, a Yemeni artisan is transforming shrapnel which litters the streets into the country's celebrated traditional daggers.For 45 years, blacksmith Mohammed Haradhi has crafted swords for his clients' loved ones and built custom locks....

Broken treasures revived in Rome's little shop of doll horrors

Rome - Tucked away in one of Rome's most fashionable shopping districts, antique doll parts pile up in the tiny shopfront of the Squatriti family boutique, offering a window into another age.

Hong Kong buskers take a bow in final show before shutdown

Fpo - The rumbustious street performers who have long claimed one of Hong Kong's busiest shopping districts as their informal stage took their final bow Sunday night after local authorities caved to noise complaints over their legendary cacophony.

Soaring production: Kabul kite makers prepare for the flying season

Kabul - Surrounded by bright-coloured tissue paper and bamboo sticks, Afghan kite maker Halim Muhammadi and his children sit in their modest living room in Kabul assembling kites in preparation for the city's flying season.

New Murakami novel ruled 'indecent' by Hong Kong censors

Fpo - Bestselling Japanese writer Haruki Murakami's latest novel has been deemed "indecent" by Hong Kong censors, triggering backlash in the city where concern is growing that freedom of expression is increasingly under threat.

'God or Stalin': conservative Russian editor becomes top culture MP

Moscow - An ultra-conservative journalist and MP who once said only God or Stalin could save Russia was appointed head of the country's parliamentary culture committee on Wednesday.

UAE orders 3 arrested over online dance challenge

Abu Dhabi - The Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi has ordered the arrest of three "famous" social media users for taking part in a viral dance challenge based on Canadian hip-hop superstar Drake's hit song "In my feelings".

Zuckerberg at center of Holocaust denial controversy

Menlo Park - Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has found himself at the center of a fresh row after saying the social network should not prohibit posts which deny the Holocaust.

Japan's ambassador conquers Iraqi hearts and minds

Baghdad - While foreign diplomats often struggle to win over ordinary Iraqis, Japan's departing ambassador has stolen hearts -- thanks to witty social media videos in classical Arabic and local dialects.

Indonesia's traditional boat builders reach into the past

Makasar - Under the blazing tropical sun, Indonesia's traditional ship builders hammer, drill and carve timber from nearby forests into intricate two-mast vessels that have plied the archipelago's waters for centuries.

S. Korea approves rare screening of N. Korea films

Seoul - South Korea approved a rare screening of North Korean movies at a local film festival on Tuesday, as a diplomatic thaw gains pace following two landmark summits between their leaders.

China chili fest gets off to scorching start

Muziping - An annual chili pepper festival kicked off Monday in central China's spice-loving Hunan province with a chili-eating contest in which the winner set a blistering pace by downing a gut-busting 50 peppers in just over a minute.

Race to restore Myanmar's film classics for a second screening

Yangon - The restoration of a 1934 black-and-white action movie, famed for high-octane stunts including a hot-air balloon escape and a jungle shootout against teakwood thieves, has energised efforts to salvage more of Myanmar's decaying cinematic heritage.

France's Macron in Nigeria to talk security, boost culture

Lagos - French President Emmanuel Macron met with his Nigerian counterpart Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja before taking off his jacket and tie in Lagos to celebrate African culture.

Lithuanians seek identity in their pagan roots

Vilnius - Dancing around a blazing fire with garlands of wildflowers in their hair, members of Lithuania's Romuva neo-pagan community mark the summer solstice, as the Baltic state undergoes a revival of its pre-Christian beliefs.

Turkey's ancient temple site gets UNESCO heritage status

Ankara - A Turkish ancient temple site in southeastern Anatolia was given UNESCO World Heritage status on Sunday, the UN agency announced at a meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama.

Ritual sacrifice draws crowds to Indonesia volcano

Probolinggo - Thousands of locals and tourists climbed Mount Bromo early Sunday for a lavish religious ceremony that involves throwing ritual offerings into the smouldering crater of an active volcano in Indonesia's tribal hinterlands.

Macron to visit Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti's nightclub

Lagos - French leader Emmanuel Macron will on Tuesday visit a nightclub founded by Nigerian music legend Fela Kuti, becoming the first "real president" to enter a venue synonymous with marijuana smoke, sexy backup dancers and protest music.
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German rock band Rammstein in concert in Milan on February 24  2005
German rock band Rammstein in concert in Milan on February 24, 2005
Wikimedia
Another quaint Kafeneio in Athens  this one called  Efcharis  (Ευχαρις: graceful). The interi...
Another quaint Kafeneio in Athens, this one called 'Efcharis' (Ευχαρις: graceful). The interior of Greek cafes is always exuding with originality!
Turkish performers at the Toronto Turkish Festival.
Turkish performers at the Toronto Turkish Festival.
Another picture of the fabulous Parthenon: proudly watching over the extensive city. The mountain th...
Another picture of the fabulous Parthenon: proudly watching over the extensive city. The mountain the Acropolis sits on has been inhabited since the fifth millennium BC. The term 'Acropolis' comes from the Greek 'ἄκρον' (akron: edge, extremity) and 'πόλις' (polis: city-state).
Aga Khan s collection for the first time in Berlin - Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum
Aga Khan's collection for the first time in Berlin - Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum
Athens from the ocean: a majestic and ancient city of culture  tradition and might. No one need fear...
Athens from the ocean: a majestic and ancient city of culture, tradition and might. No one need fear the future of this strong and capable nation of antiquity. The Athenians will ride out their current trials as they always have: united and uncompromising in the face of imminent danger.
Toronto s cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
Toronto's cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
Toronto s cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
Toronto's cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
Toronto s cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
Toronto's cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
Aga Khan s collection for the first time in Berlin - Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum
Aga Khan's collection for the first time in Berlin - Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum
Vietnamese Cultural Festival 2010 in Berlin
Vietnamese Cultural Festival 2010 in Berlin
March 25: Greek Independence Day. A proud national display of Greece s military might; dissuading an...
March 25: Greek Independence Day. A proud national display of Greece's military might; dissuading any Turks or Macedonians considering a forceful border adjustment.
Schwäbisch Hall  in the town center.
Schwäbisch Hall, in the town center.
Toronto s cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
Toronto's cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
An amphitheater just below the Acropolis. Extraordinary engineering ingenuities such as this theater...
An amphitheater just below the Acropolis. Extraordinary engineering ingenuities such as this theater, would have housed the great poets like Homer, and speakers like Pericles.
Toronto s cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
Toronto's cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
Inside the museum. The extensive collection of artifacts is breathtaking. You could spend all day he...
Inside the museum. The extensive collection of artifacts is breathtaking. You could spend all day here!
The New Faces of Racism
The New Faces of Racism
Toronto s cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.
Toronto's cultural diversity is shown in many different forms across the city.