Life and Style

Viollet-le-Duc dominates 19th-century theories of architectural restoration.

The Big Picture: In perfect harmony

Set against a deep ocean blue backdrop, these two dancers from the Royal Ballet look suspended in thin air as they leap in synch to George Balanchine's Symphony in C.

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand: The monarch whose silence is deafening

No living leader has sat on a throne as long as he has. But frail in hospital, and conspicuous by his absence during his country's crisis, is there still time for the King of Righteousness to heal the wounds of a fragile, Buddhist society?

Observations: Sanaa reaches peak critical acclaim after 15 years

This week, Sanaa, aka the Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa, won their profession's Oscar, the $100,000 Pritzker Prize. It's either an extraordinary achievement, or just a sign of our age of cultural velocities, that this design partnership has reached peak critical acclaim after only 15 years. It took Fumihiko Maki, one of Japan's other two Pritzker laureates, decades to get the gong. Ditto the godfather of baroque modernism, Oscar Niemeyer. Even Rem Koolhaas, already a legendary architectural manifesto machine in the early 1970s, had to wait more than 25 years to be anointed.

Learning curve: Sanaa's spectacular floating Lausanne library rockets them into architecture's premier league

In Lausanne yesterday, the feted Japanese architects Kazuo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa – aka Sanaa – became the profession's anointed artists of the floating world. Their new SF110m (£65m) building is a fluid exercise in glass and concrete. It is called the Rolex Learning Centre. Yet visually, it is the reverse – a kind of unlearning centre where the doors of perception melt into a soft vitreous glaze and shape and edge become ambiguous.

Jean-François Bergier: Historian whose commission exposed Swiss wrongdoing during the Second World War

Jean-François Bergier was a respected Swiss historian who exposed his country's dark deeds during the Second World War. He led the Independent Commission of Experts (ICE), which was set up in December 1996 by the Swiss parliament and given a wide range of powers to examine neutral Switzerland's relationship with Nazi Germany during the war. The investigation came about following a scandal involving dormant Swiss bank accounts belonging to victims of the Holocaust. There was much criticism from Jewish groups, particularly in America, that Swiss banks had made it difficult for heirs of Holocaust victims to claim assets deposited by their relatives. The saga became a huge national embarrassment and received worldwide coverage, much to the annoyance of the Swiss authorities.

Life in the fast lane: Steven McRae

Steven McRae grew up in the world of motor racing but now he is one of the Royal Ballet's brightest stars

Inside Lines: Kelly's aye on schools sport gives Labour the blues

Getting Kelly Holmes to chair their proposed Olympic legacy task force is certainly more of a bonus than Bono for the Tories; it is a slap in the face for the Government who have been using the dashing Dame as their resident sporting A-lister, spearheading a number of their projects. It isn't yet clear whether Holmes has actually boarded the Blues bandwagon – she was at both party conferences – but her proposals for a Schools Olympics, enthusiastically endorsed by the Conservatives, does not augur well for the future of the Government-backed UK School Games. Currently organised by the Youth Sport Trust, there have been criticisms that these do not truly represent school sports. Holmes and the Tories want to feature 38 sports, including Paralympic events, and introduce a more competitive element among schoolkids of all ages.

Swiss tensions rise over 'racist' minaret poster

Zurich claims banning anti-Islamic placards would infringe laws of free speech

Mason's heading in the right direction

High-jumper on the road to success after a tough time on and off track

Child porn hidden in Swiss hip-hop website

Child pornography was downloaded from a Swiss hip-hop music website to around 2,300 computers in 78 countries, Swiss police said on Monday.

Michael McCarthy: Conservationists warned us of the dangers. Now look at the results

All around the world, wildlife and habitats are under threat: forests are being cut down, seas are being polluted, fish stocks are plummeting, seabirds and dolphins are vanishing, and the great mammals such as India's tigers and Africa's rhinoceroses and elephants are falling to poachers.

Too drunk to jump: Sporting types who didn't have a leg to stand on

Ivan Ukhov has put his tipsy display in Lausanne behind him and, says Simon Turnbull, is the man to beat in Birmingham today

Margaret Kitchin: Concert pianist and champion of modern British composers

The pianist Margaret Kitchin was a child prodigy who later became a specialist in modern music. While she made few recordings, she was a regular for more than 20 years for this repertoire with the BBC, where she warmly remembered her favourite producer as Stephen Plaistow.

Tim Don: 'If there is a stigma stuck to me, I hope it is that I was foolish'

The Briton, who is the world's top triathlete, was shocked when he was banned for missing drug tests. But, he tells Mike Rowbottom, he's learned his lesson and is now aiming for a golden summer

Forgotten woman Mersh ready to hit the high notes again

There were no fanfares when Jo Mersh packed her bags and left her Birmingham home on Wednesday to spend three weeks in Switzerland preparing for her summer challenge for Olympic selection. "People have sort of written me off," she said. "I'm sort of forgotten."

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