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Culture News

Heartbreak as historic Hong Kong village demolished

Hong Kong - A 650-year-old urban walled village in Hong Kong -- the last of its kind -- will be destroyed to make way for development in what critics say is another nail in the coffin for the city's cultural heritage.

European culture capital San Sebastien kicks off 'peace' festivities

Donostia-san Sebasti - San Sebastian kicked off its year as the European Capital of Culture Saturday with a concert on the beach as the northern Spanish city pushes a banner of peace years after being hit by waves of violence.

Culture capital San Sebastian pushes peace to heal ETA wounds

Donostia-san Sebasti - Few cities have savoured peace in recent times as much as Spain's San Sebastian, which becomes European culture capital just a few years after Basque separatist group ETA ended decades of killings and kidnappings.

Philanthropists hand Lithuania world-class modern art museum

Vilnius - Local philanthropists are teaming up with a world-renowned architect to hand Lithuania's capital Vilnius its first modern art museum, with doors due to open in early 2019.

In old Damascus, war threatens Syrian handicrafts

Damascus - In his cramped workshop in Damascus, Mohammad Abdallah delicately etches away at wooden panels inlaid with mother-of-pearl, a craft he perfected over a decade before the outbreak of Syria's war.

Indonesian tattooists revive tribal traditions

Jogjakarta - Men in tribal dress stand amid dense jungle on the Indonesian island of Java, their bodies covered in elaborate, traditional tattoos inspired by cultures in distant corners of the vast, tropical archipelago.

Sri Lanka cricket stars sorry for Enrique concert chaos

Colombo - An entertainments company owned by two Sri Lankan cricket legends apologised Monday for an Enrique Iglesias concert where local women shed their underwear, sparking outrage from the country's president.

Tajikistan bans Christmas trees, decorations in schools

Dushanbe - Tajikistan has tightened restrictions on celebrations of the traditional festive season in schools in the Central Asian country, banning Christmas trees and gift-giving.

Iraq gets first beauty queen since 1972

Baghdad - "Some people out there think we don't love life," said Humam al-Obeidi, one of the organisers, as the crowd spilled out of the Baghdad hotel ballroom where the pageant was held.

Culture war brews over S.African golden rhino figurine

Pretoria - For years, South Africa's apartheid government ignored the significance of a "golden rhino" figurine that provides undeniable proof of a sophisticated society existing before white men arrived.

Model Bar Refaeli grilled over massive Israel tax evasion

Jerusalem - Israel's most famous model Bar Refaeli was arrested and questioned for allegedly evading taxes on millions of dollars of income from abroad by lying about her residency, Israeli authorities said Thursday.

Lone Arab woman takes the reins to tame horses on the Golan

The grey horse rears its head, rocking left and right, kicking its legs wildly. Sensing danger, Raja Kheir throws herself off and rolls on the ground.

Russia launches marathon reading of Tolstoy's 'War and Peace'

Moscow - Russia on Tuesday began a 60-hour marathon broadcast during which celebrities and members of the public are reading aloud the whole of Leo Tolstoy's sprawling novel "War and Peace".

Beauty queens, baseball, oil: Facts about Venezuela

Caracas - Here are some facts about Venezuela, which votes on Sunday in elections that could see the opposition win control of the legislature:HISTORYExplorer Christopher Columbus reached the Caribbean shores of what is now Venezuela in 1498.

Songs of praise: Turkmenistan president's hymn sets new record

Ashgabat - A choir of 4,166 people in isolated ex-Soviet Turkmenistan has broken a world record by singing a hymn penned by the nation's strongman president, in the latest choreographed show of support.

Iran orchestra barred over women musicians

Tehran - A high-profile performance in Iran by the Tehran Symphony Orchestra was cancelled at the last minute because it was due to feature female musicians, its furious conductor said on Sunday.

In Algeria, heavy metal bangs up against tradition

Constantine - They came from all over conservative Algeria, clad in black leather, studded bracelets and even the traditional Muslim veil to revel in a rare heavy metal concert.

Warhol, Pollock, Rothko on rare display in Tehran

Tehran - Some of the world's most expensive and rarely seen modern art, including works by the Americans Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol, went on display Saturday in a major exhibition in Iran.

France to offer 'asylum' for IS-threatened artworks: Hollande

Paris - President Francois Hollande announced Tuesday that France planned to implement a "right to asylum" for artworks at risk from the Islamic State group which has destroyed heritage sites in Syria and Iraq.

Stuck between past and present, Lenin lingers on in parts of ex-USSR

Bichkek - On a recent morning a small group of pensioners gathered round a monument to Communist leader Vladimir Lenin in a far-flung corner of the bygone empire he helped found.

Kosovo fails in UNESCO membership bid

Paris - Kosovo failed to win membership of the UN cultural body UNESCO on Monday, marking a political triumph for Serbia but a setback for Kosovo in its bid for full international recognition.

Kosovo PM vows to protect Serbian churches ahead of UNESCO vote

Vilnius - Kosovo's Prime Minister Isa Mustafa on Monday pledged to protect Serbian Orthodox Christian sites just hours before a key vote which could see it admitted as a member of the United Nations cultural body.

Kosovo, Serbia row over medieval heritage before UNESCO vote

Sitting in the courtyard of the 700-year-old Gracanica monastery in Kosovo, ethnic Serb farmer Marija Krstic frets about the future of her beloved church, a world heritage site at the centre of a tug-of-war between Pristina and Belgrade.

Rome's Trevi Fountain reopens after makeover

Rome - Its elaborate Baroque facade now sparkles in the sun, scaffold-free: Rome's Trevi Fountain will gush its emerald waters once again Tuesday after a 16-month clean-up.

Milan celebrates World Expo, though critics doubt social impact

Milan - Dedicated to the problem of feeding the planet, the World Expo in Milan winds up Saturday amid celebrations over visitor numbers but doubts regarding its contributions to the global food debate.

Russia arrests head of Ukrainian library in Moscow

Moscow - Russian investigators said on Thursday they had raided the library of Ukrainian literature in Moscow and detained its 58-year-old head, with ties between the two ex-Soviet neighbours in tatters.

Bolshoi names new ballet chief to replace acid-attacked Filin

Moscow - Russia's Bolshoi Theatre on Monday announced that La Scala's Makhar Vaziev will take over as ballet director, replacing Sergei Filin, who suffered permanent eye damage from an acid attack.

Kerry pleads for U.S. re-election to UNESCO board despite owed dues

Paris - US Secretary of State John Kerry pleaded Sunday for the United States to be re-elected to UNESCO's executive board, pledging to do his utmost to restore US funding to the UN cultural body "in full.

Sotheby's to auction Picasso's 'La Gommeuse'

London - A rare Pablo Picasso painting from the collection of US tycoon Bill Koch that will be sold on November 5 was shown in London for the first time on Friday.

British Museum's new German head a 'workaholic' man of action

Berlin - Hartwig Fischer who has become the first non-Briton to lead the prestigious British Museum in 150 years, is a discreet man who has built a reputation as one of the most renowned museum directors in Germany.
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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.
Veruca Salt  onstage in 2005
Veruca Salt, onstage in 2005
Wikicommons
A quaint  Kafeneio  (Καφενειο: cafe) on the incline to the Acropolis. Just what the doctor o...
A quaint 'Kafeneio' (Καφενειο: cafe) on the incline to the Acropolis. Just what the doctor ordered!
Greeks are a very proud people of the utmost integrity and kindness. Their national pride is evident...
Greeks are a very proud people of the utmost integrity and kindness. Their national pride is evident throughout the city with flags and banners everywhere. You can't help but think it was this same national pride that put the ancient Greeks at the forefront of politics, philosophy and morality.
A gold funerary mask of the Sican Culture.
A gold funerary mask of the Sican Culture.
Rosemania, Wikimedia
A visit to the Oakland Museum of California.
A visit to the Oakland Museum of California.
YouTube
Lvov is an ancient W. Ukrainian city populated traditionally by different nations settled on this Eu...
Lvov is an ancient W. Ukrainian city populated traditionally by different nations settled on this European road-crossing. A photo exhibition "Uman Rash Hashanah" by local artist Max Dondyuk is interesting testimony to a traditional Jewish life resurgency in Uman (U-m-a-n'), a traditionally Jewish schtattle in the Eastern Ukraine famous for Jewish cultural sights survived communist epoch and Holocaust.
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.
The same shoreline many Greek heroes leaving for legendary battles of ancient history have departed ...
The same shoreline many Greek heroes leaving for legendary battles of ancient history have departed from for the last time. No doubt looking back from their ship feeling an immense sense of duty, honour and patriotism.
The six-story archive building of the City of Cologne  collapsed on 3 March 2009  comes to life agai...
The six-story archive building of the City of Cologne, collapsed on 3 March 2009, comes to life again at the Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum.
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
These excavations are sprinkled all over Athens. Of course it must be expected that an ancient city ...
These excavations are sprinkled all over Athens. Of course it must be expected that an ancient city such as Athens has existed on it's present site for thousands of years. Not sure how the residents feel about having skyscrapers being built on top of their homes...
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.
The classic and ever-popular  Russian-built Lada Niva. Used by the Russian military  these 4WD s are...
The classic and ever-popular, Russian-built Lada Niva. Used by the Russian military, these 4WD's are invincible!