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Heritage News

Gilded world of French heritage rocked by 'grotesque' auditor report

Paris - One of France's most historic institutions has hit back after state auditors eviscerated it as "sclerotic" and accused "moonlighting" staff of only working a third of the year.

Egypt unveils more than 40 ancient mummies

Minia - They are more than 2,000 years old but remain in "good condition": Egypt on Saturday unveiled over 40 mummies dating back to the Ptolemaic era at a burial site in the centre of the country.

Egypt unveils more than 40 ancient Greek mummies

Minya - Researchers in Egypt have discovered more than 40 mummies at a burial site in central Egypt dating to the Ptolemaic era, the antiquities ministry said Saturday.

Its treasures ruined by IS, Mosul museum hosts modern art

Mosul - Mosul's celebrated museum has not recovered since Islamic State group jihadists ravaged its ancient treasures several years ago, but part of the complex reopened Tuesday to showcase more contemporary art.

Italy's city of shame Matera becomes Europe's pride

Matera - Fifty years after Italy's Matera was a national embarrassment because of its extreme poverty, the city is rescuing its dignity, baroque palaces and cave churches to become a European Capital of Culture.

Divided Cypriots unite over heritage

Famagusta - Residents from both sides of Cyprus are coming together to restore their ancient heritage and mend ties away from politics even as peace talks remain stalled.

Bethlehem church mosaics sparkle in time for Christmas

Bethlehem - Masked for centuries by the soot of candles and lately by scaffolding, the mosaics of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity have been restored to their Crusader-era splendour in time for Christmas.

I.Coast to ask France to return a hundred works of art

Abidjan - Ivory Coast became the latest country to ask France to return works of art Wednesday, days after Paris said it was willing to hand back artefacts looted from Africa.

In southern Syria, Roman theatre survives civil war intact

Sabha - Mobile phone in hand, student Abdelaziz al-Aswad bounds up the steps of an UNESCO-listed Roman theatre in southern Syria, elated that the heritage site has survived seven years of civil war.

Mass tourism sparks battle for Montmartre's soul

Paris - Inside a dark, low-ceilinged room once frequented by Picasso and Modigliani when they were still struggling artists, a group of tourists from Russia, Canada and Australia are listening to traditional French songs.

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.
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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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