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Heritage News

Turkey court rejects plea to open Hagia Sophia for Islamic prayer

Istanbul - Turkey's top court on Thursday turned down a plea to open the Hagia Sofia, an Istanbul landmark that is now a museum after serving as both a church and a mosque over its long history, for Muslim worshipping.

Spanish sculptures get kitschy colours in another botched restoration

Madrid - A Spanish parishioner has painted three 15th century sculptures in garish colours, giving Jesus a bright green robe in the latest botched amateur art restoration to make headlines in the country.

Germany returns priceless gold mask to Peru

- Germany has returned a pre-Columbian gold funerary mask to Peru following a 20-year legal and diplomatic battle, the South American country's culture minister said on Thursday.

Famed Malaysian Hindu temple complex gets technicolour paint job

A famed Malaysian Hindu temple complex has had its steps painted in a dazzling array of colours, sparking excitement from some visitors but angering officials who oversee heritage sites.

Salt of the Alps: ancient Austrian mine holds Bronze Age secrets

Hallstatt - All mines need regular reinforcement against collapse, and Hallstatt, the world's oldest salt mine perched in the Austrian Alps, is no exception.But Hallstatt isn't like other mines.

Bolivian soldier discharged over presidential medal theft

La Paz - A Bolivian soldier who was robbed of a jewel-encrusted presidential medal in his care while visiting a brothel has been discharged, the Armed Services said on Friday.

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.

Morocco's ancient city of Volubilis rises again

Moulay Idriss - Situated in a fertile plain at the foot of Mount Zerhoun, the sprawling remains of Morocco's oldest Roman site -- Volubilis -- have survived pillage and long periods of neglect.

People — and politics — threaten Kano's ancient walls

Kano - Young boys scramble up the remains of a crumbling section of the ancient city wall in the Kofar Na'isa area of Kano, in northern Nigeria."This wall may not survive the rainy season," warned Falalu Musa, a local resident.

Steeped in history but crumbling, Albania's 'slanted city'

Gjirokast - The Lolomani dwelling, formerly the home of the Ottoman period family of that name, was once an impressive sight in the mountainside town of Gjirokastra in southern Albania.

Valley of Tehuacan-Cuicatlan listed as UNESCO heritage site

Mexico - The Tehuacan-Cuicatlan Valley, home to the oldest water management system in North America, was added Monday as a "mixed site" to the UNESCO World Heritage list, reflecting its significance as both a natural and cultural area.

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.

Saudi Arabia, Oman sites added to UNESCO World Heritage List

Manama - UNESCO added Saudi Arabia's Al-Ahsa Oasis and Oman's ancient city of Qalhat to its World Heritage List on Friday, the world cultural body said.

UNESCO removes Belize reef from endangered World Heritage list

Manama - UNESCO removed the Mesoamerican coral reef in Belize from its list of threatened World Heritage Sites on Tuesday, praising the Central American country for its "visionary" steps to protect it.

Chinese vase found in attic sells for 16.2 million euros

Paris - An 18th-century Chinese vase forgotten for decades in a shoe box in a French attic sold for 16.2 million euros ($19 million) at Sotheby's in Paris on Tuesday -- more than 30 times the estimate.

Parisians seek UNESCO heritage status for bistros, cafes

Paris - A group of Parisians has launched a campaign for UNESCO to award cultural heritage status to the French capital's bistros and cafe terraces, almost three years after terror attacks in the French capital which left 130 people dead, some of them gunned d...

Europe's largest wooden building awaits salvation off Istanbul

Istanbul - Looking up at the giant wooden edifice looming over him, Erol Baytas shakes his head."I don't think it will survive another winter," he says, broken tiles and boards strewn at his feet.

Now's the time: three bottles of 1774 vintage wine on sale in France

Strasbourg - Tucked away in a vaulted cellar of eastern France for eight generations, they may be the oldest bottles of wine available for purchase: three bottles of "Vin Jaune" (yellow wine) dating from 1774 which will go under the hammer on Saturday.

Iraq to rebuild iconic Mosul mosque destroyed in IS fight

Baghdad - The United Arab Emirates and Iraq on Monday launched a joint effort to reconstruct Mosul's Great Mosque of al-Nuri and its iconic leaning minaret, ravaged last year during battles to retake the city from jihadists.

Spain starts work to exhume bodies from Franco-era monument

Madrid - Experts on Monday began inspections of a vast mausoleum where dictator Francisco Franco is buried along with thousands of victims of Spain's civil war, in preparation for the first exhumations of some of the bodies.

France's Ritz hotel smashes record with furniture sell-off

Paris - Luxury furniture auctioned off by the legendary Ritz hotel in Paris sold for 7.3 million euros ($9 million), a world record in the industry, auction house Artcurial said Saturday.

Saudi king announces $150 million for East Jerusalem

Apo - Saudi Arabia's King Salman on Sunday announced a $150-million (120 million euro) donation for the maintenance of Islamic heritage in East Jerusalem.

Japanese tourist dies on Leaning Tower of Pisa

Rome - A Japanese tourist died Tuesday while visiting Italy's iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa, the city's fire department said.

Iraqi enthusiasts search for relics of royal past

Baghdad - At the heart of a Baghdad flea market, nostalgia for Iraq's royal past is on full display as collectors and investors gather to buy relics from a bygone era.

Friar trains Iraqis to preserve 'treasures' rescued from IS

Baghdad - As jihadists swept across Iraq three years ago, he rescued a treasure trove of ancient religious manuscripts from near-certain destruction. Father Najeeb Michaeel is now training fellow Iraqis to preserve their heritage.

China angered by theft of Terracotta Warrior's thumb

Bejing - The theft of a thumb of an ancient Terracotta Warrior statue on display in the US incited a wave of criticism on Chinese social media Tuesday, following China's calls to "severely punish" the thief.

Back on track: Trains to return to historic Istanbul station

Istanbul - Built in the first decade of the 20th century as Europe's gateway to the east, Istanbul Haydarpasa railway station stands proudly on the Asian side of the Bosphorus, its gothic towers looming over the waters.

Haiti merchants fear for livelihood after market blaze

Port-au-prince - Fire ravaged a historic market in the Haitian capital early Tuesday, leaving burned-out merchants fearing for their livelihoods in the impoverished nation.

Can North Africa unite over couscous?

Paris - Could a plate of couscous warm up relations between wary North African nations? A drive to win coveted UNESCO status for the dish could at least get them talking around the same table.

No end to eyesores at Taj Mahal as repair work drags on

Agra - Tourist Muskan Mahuwakar pictured the Taj Mahal as a dazzling vision of symmetry and beauty but upon reaching the monument, she -- like thousands of other visitors -- was disappointed to find it covered in scaffolding, its once white marble now yellowi...
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Heritage display of an Amerindian tribe at the Heckington Show in Lincolnshire
Heritage display of an Amerindian tribe at the Heckington Show in Lincolnshire
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