Rob Sharp

Rob Sharp is a freelance journalist specialising in arts and culture. He was on staff at The Independent from July 2007 to December 2011, first as a features writer, and then as the paper’s arts correspondent. He has written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines. For more information visit his website, or email him at

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Activists from Liberate Tate pouran oil-like substance over a naked group member in the middle of the Tate Britain

Tate trustee reignites BP row ahead of Turner Prize

Patrick Brill brands oil company "a disgrace", as campaign groups call for end of sponsorship deal

Tim Minchin

Fantastic Mr Minchin wows the West End

Comedian earns acclaim for musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic surreal novel Matilda

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living 1991

Skill or skullduggery? Damien Hirst gets a major UK retrospective

The ultimate symbol of the art world's excesses will form the centrepiece of the first major British retrospective of Damien Hirst's work next year at Tate Modern. For the Love of God, the diamond-encrusted skull which notoriously sold for £50m in 2007 to a consortium which included Hirst himself, will be housed in the gallery's huge turbine hall for nearly three months. As the world struggles with economic troubles, some of the artist's best-known works, many of which have sold for millions, have been chosen to showcase British art during London's Olympic year.

The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living 1991

Has Damien Hirst jumped the shark?

Tate Modern will host the artist's first British retrospective next year. But critics are divided about whether he deserves it

The Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

That'll teach them – mural records Duffy's rift with exam board that banned her poem

Poet Laureate's work is enshrined by Leeds school in a giant wood-cut artwork

2003: One of the Priddy Circles, with sinkholes and ditches clearly visible

Not a Priddy sight: man held after Bronze Age stone circle vandalised

A man has been arrested after a set of Bronze Age earthworks more than 4,000 years old were vandalised.

Judge puts library cuts back on shelf

A High Court judge has ruled proposed library closures in Somerset and Gloucestershire are "unlawful", reversing the decision to close them and creating fresh hope for those seeking to challenge library service cutbacks nationwide.

Nurse goes from children's wards to literary awards with first novel

Christie Watson makes Costa shortlist only three years after quitting job to study creative writing

Bookshops attack charity tax breaks

A battle has broken out on the high street after bookshops attacked charity shops for using tax breaks to undercut them.

The Last Supper, 1495-1498, Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan:
Impossible to transport, as it is painted directly on to a wall, this is Leonardo's second most famous painting, and shows the last days of Jesus. It began to flake as early as 1517, and has been the subject of a series of restoration projects, the most recent of which was completed in 1999.

Who needs the National? Where to see the world's other Da Vincis

If you can't face the new blockbuster show, visit these instead

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Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'