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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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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes