Life and Style
 

Drawings from the Codex Atlanticus were used by a Polish pianist to resurrect the 'mythical' instrument

Leonardo painting plot accused cleared

Five men were today cleared of being part of a plot to extort £4.25 million for the return of a stolen Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece.

Collection of manuscripts expected to fetch £16 million

An "outstanding" collection of illuminated manuscripts previously owned by kings, bishops and the aristocracy is expected to fetch up to £16 million when it goes under the hammer.

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Wigmore Hall, London<br/>Psappha, Kings Place, London <br/>Takacs Quartet, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Poetry by a painter, foxtrots on the harpsichord &ndash; music is turned topsy-turvy by a radical ensemble

The National Gallery: An Illustrated History, By Alan Crookham

Archivist Alan Crookham takes us from the gallery's birth in 1838 ( with its sum collection of 38 works) to the appointment of Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, its first director, whose grand tour around Europe to amass artworks may leave the current incumbent, Nicholas Penny, green-eyed with envy.

The secret of Mona Lisa's smile is revealed in Manchester

An exhibition celebrating the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci opened at Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry over the weekend.

Academics hope history in video games spurs interest

Portraying Leonardo da Vinci or World War II in a video game is challenging game developers to mix fun with facts while academics hope this growing genre will get players more interested in history.

Observations: New Renaissance at the V&amp;A

The V&A's new Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, which take up a whole wing of the museum, will finally open on 2 December. Featuring the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, the Becket Casket, thought to have contained his relics, and dramatic Italian sculptures by Donatello, as well as Gothic altarpieces and 13th-century French stained glass windows this is the V&A's most extravagant project since the British Galleries opened in 2001. It has cost 30m.

My Secret Life: VV Brown, singer, 25

My parents were ... business savvy, passionate, eccentric and loving. For 26 years they've owned and run a private school in Northamptonshire.

The top ten most pirated eBooks of 2009

Don’t look at this list if you want to believe that the Internet is feeding a hunger for a deeper kind of learning. The 10 books most downloaded on BitTorrent (a free file-sharing application) this year do not include titles by Victor Hugo or Emily Brontë (or even Dan Brown or J.K. Rowling).

'Mona Lisa' comes to life in high-tech art exhibit

For centuries, Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" and her enigmatic smile have inspired as much speculation as admiration. Now she's ready to answer questions - in Mandarin.

'Frustrated' Russian throws cup at Mona Lisa

A Russian woman frustrated at failing to obtain French nationality hurled a ceramic cup at the Mona Lisa but did not damage Leonardo da Vinci's famed portrait, a spokesman for the Louvre Museum said today.

Pride of Da Vinci's genius walks again after 500 years

This king of the jungle was created to flatter a king of France. Now Leonardo's amazing feat of engineering has been given new life by an Italian designer, to roars of approval. John Lichfield reports

Brown in pole position to finish top of the class

Macalister Bryan meets a young man who is learning to handle pressures on the track and back at school

E3: New PlayStation 3 titles push the limits

There were some big surprises in the PlayStation 3 game line-up revealed today at E3 - good news for SCEA, obviously still smarting from PSPgate.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003