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The Independent Culture

Before blithely succumbing to hippy chic this spring - given a hearty kickstart by numerous fashionable African restaurants and Kate Winslet's new film, Hideous Kinky - you can nip across the Channel and check out its inspiration in Belgium. Splendid Morocco is a collection of more than 700 items which illustrate the artistic diversity of this rich culture, including geometrically patterned pottery, tapestries, delicate silver jewellery and decorated trunks and doors. You can also go inside a souk and watch videos showing how the jewellery is made and how the tapestries are woven.

Musee Royal de L'Afrique Centrale, 13 chaussee de Louvain, , Belgium (00 32 2769 5211) to 31 May, closed Mon


The evolution of science in Spain and the impact that technology has had on its society throughout the last century is examined in Images of Science in Contemporary Spain, an exhibition of over 150 photographs and moving images. The enhanced visual aspect of the show is to make it more accessible to the general public, many of whom still need persuading that science can be sexy. To this end, it has also been divided into eight digestible sections, which are roughly chronological and address such topics as the role of science in war, and how technology has changed daily life.

Fundacin Arte y Tecnologa, 3 Fuencarral, Madrid, Spain (00 34 91 584 0878) to 24 Jan, closed Mon, free


Scandinavian design continues to grow in popularity - and not just with the Wallpaper*- clutching cognoscenti. New Scandinavia - Contemporary Nordic Design, an eclectic selection of over 150 examples, demonstrates how the Nordic approach has permeated and transformed the worlds of interior design and industrial design, graphics, fashion and architecture. Economic use of material, simple form and functionality have always been apparent, but young designers have added an urban edge to their work, increasing its appeal to those who love unobtrusive yet warmly appealing pieces which fit perfectly into cramped city spaces.

Museum of Applied Arts, 2-4 Richartzstrae, Cologne, Germany (00 49 221 221 3860) to 11 April, closed Mon

New York

Under its principal conductor, Sir Colin Davis, The London Symphony Orchestra (below left) will be presenting three concerts at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts during its critically acclaimed annual residency this month. The programmes will feature the music of both Beethoven and Elgar, who was principal conductor of the LSO briefly from 1911-1912.

Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center Plaza, 65th on Broadway, New York, USA (001 212 721 6500 ) 24-26 Jan, $25-$47