Visual arts: You don't have to be mad to work here... but it helps

The Bethlehem Royal Hospital not only gave the world a new word for lunatic asylum, it even advertised its wares with a pair of matching stone madmen outside. Not exactly PC. But then, says Tom Lubbock, earlier centuries were under fewer delusions about the human condition than we are today.

Letter: 20th century voices

Sir: I was surprised to read Paul McCann's article "BBC to tape the people's 20th century" (12 December).

Museums which charge lose a third of visitors

Visitor figures at national museums which charge admission have fallen, a survey shows. David Lister, Arts News Editor, reveals the decrease in visitor numbers as the Government prepares to drop its commitment to free admission.

Are we nearly there?

Are we nearly there?

LEADING ARTICLE : Free museums display Britain at its best

The true case for abandoning admissions charges for the national museums is not socialist, it is patriotic. Let Mark Fisher, Labour's junior National Heritage Minister, carry out his review. But when he decides, as he must, that entry to the Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert should be free, let's not hear too much about doing it for the sake of people on low incomes. That is a consideration, but a small one. The case for open admission rests on a Victorian value Lady Thatcher and the Tories never had much time for: institutions created in the public interest and for the celebration of public culture must be open and inclusive.

Days Out: Bringing history up to date

Deborah Jackson's second look at fun days out with the school curriculum in mind

Visual Arts: The art of war Full marks for war effort

Stanley Spencer: Bosnian Landscapes and Shipbuilding on the Clyde Imperial War Museum, London

Thatcher toasts Dame Vera's 80th birthday

The belle of the Allied Forces in the Second World War, Dame Vera Lynn, celebrated her 80th birthday last night.

The Look that shocked the world

Christian Dior's brave challenge to post-war austerity, when he grabbed the news pages of the world with his nipped-in waists and generous, mid-calf skirts, is 50 years old tomorrow. Ian Phillips traces the history of the fashion house that is still famous for the New Look of 1947

A nose for a bargain

Cayte Williams hunts for post-war compacts

Lottery cash for museum

The Imperial War Museum has been offered a lottery grant of pounds 12.6m towards the final stage of its long-term redevelopment, including galleries for a permanent exhibition about the Holocaust - study of which is on the National Curriculum.

Midnight in the fields of war: Books

Peter Parker celebrates the centenary of Edmund Blunden's birth

Oh, what a civil war!

THE FABER BOOK OF WAR POETRY ed Kenneth Baker, Faber pounds 20

Museums and galleries admission charges

Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow

Biggles factor propels wartime aircraft back into the skies

Danger in the air: Airline incidents and crash of historic warplane highlight pressures on maintaining safety in the air
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Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

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An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
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Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

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Set a pest to catch a pest

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