Voices

These letters were published in the 26th December edition of the Independent

Artist's impression of the £100 million Southbank Centre revamp

£100 million revamp of Southbank Centre hailed as 'biggest step forward since the ‘60s'

London’s Southbank Centre is to bring its Festival Wing out of the 1960s and into the 21st century with a £100m overhaul that marks the “final piece in the jigsaw” in the transformation of the cultural venue.

The Britten-Pears Orchestra is organised by Aldeburgh Music, which received some of the cash, as did Music in the Round

Who was Diana Kurzman? Donor leaves £1m for classical music

Posthumous gift to Arts Council England comes 10 years after mysterious piano-lover’s death

'Lost' Banksy is withdrawn from auction

Mystery deepens over work that disappeared from Poundland wall

The artwork on the side of a Poundland shop on the corner of Whymark Avenue, Wood Green appeared before the Queen's Diamond Jubilee last year and had since become a tourist attraction

Arts Council unable to prevent Banksy Poundland mural from being sold overseas

Arts Council England has said it is unable to intervene in the sale of a Banksy mural removed from a wall in North London over the weekend.

Andrew Lloyd Webber and his wife Madeleine’s foundation donated £150,000 to the project

Andrew Lloyd Webber backs portable theatre-in-the-round (all it needs is a plug socket)

Andrew Lloyd Webber may be at home in the glamorous surroundings of the West End stage, but his charitable foundation is backing a portable theatre that will bring exciting new work to locations from village halls to car parks across Britain. All it needs is a plug socket.

It's not our libraries' responsibility to help the mentally ill. It's the Government's

News that GPs will prescribe books to help those suffering from mental health problems is a smokescreen - the Coalition is failing the most vulnerable

Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England

Arts organisations braced for belt-tightening as Arts Council passes on Government cuts

More than 700 arts organisations supported by Arts Council England will receive a letter tomorrow detailing significant cuts in financial support as a result of an £11.6m reduction in its Government funding.

Anthony McCall with a working model of his mist sculpture, Column, which was due to be in place last year

Lost in the mists of time: saga of Anthony McCall's £0.5m Column drags on

Delays mean artist's plan for a three-mile vortex above the Mersey may be called off

'A Fleet Street legend': Prime Minister leads tributes to former editor of The Times Lord Rees-Mogg

David Cameron has paid tribute to “Fleet Street legend” Lord Rees-Mogg, who has died after a short illness aged 84.

Maria Miller: The Culture Secretary says philanthropic support is so important

Middle classes targeted for charity donations in wills

Government backs plans encouraging hundreds of thousands to bequeath to arts and culture

Boyd Tonkin: The Independent prize brings a planet of stories back home

My mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know." In front of me lies, within its handsome pale blue-and-cream hard covers, Albert Camus's The Outsider (L'Etranger) in the new translation by Sandra Smith for Penguin Classics. I remember when I first met – or rather heard – the laconic, deadpan Meursault. Camus's inscrutable anti-hero reached me, as a greedily omnivorous teenage reader, via the battleship grey of a Penguin Modern Classics paperback bought in WH Smith.

The Space (and John Peel's record collection) to remain online for another six months

A free digital art service set up to give everyone access to the Cultural Olympiad from their living rooms is to be extended for another six months.

James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors at the NT Lyttelton

Artistic director of National Theatre Sir Nicholas Hytner warns of 'clear and present danger' for regional theatre amid arts cuts

Sir Nicholas Hytner said at the launch of the NT’s annual report that he wanted to highlight “enormous short-term issues” for regional theatres, and said further cuts would be “madness”.

Invisible Ink: No 132 - Marghanita Laski

Church halls are great friends of forgotten authors. A rootle in the used-book stacks of St Giles-without-Cripplegate in London brought me to this novelist, journalist and panellist, born to a family of prominent Jewish intellectuals in Manchester in October 1915.

Stephen Gallagher and Gideon Berger with The Tree of Light, a block9 art installation

Olympic tree's 'two-fingered' salute

There may be no Glastonbury Festival this year but the pair behind one of the event’s standout instillations will next week unveil their contribution to the Olympic celebrations. One that “sticks two fingers up” to the commercial side of the games.

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

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Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

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The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
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Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
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Handy hacks that make life easier

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KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker