Arts and Entertainment The disputed objects were largely ancient Etruscan treasures, similar to this one - an Etruscan black-figured amphora depicting the death of Medusa - on display in Rome's Qurinale Presidential Palace

Sculptures of marble heads, a bronze bust of Alexander the Great and bronze statuettes of the gods form part of the collection

Company liquidations hit 16-year peak

Many British businesses are giving up trading before being formally forced into insolvency as they face a worsening economy and banks reluctant to provide them with the funding they need to stay afloat, research published today suggests.

Derek Pain: GNE board rocked by shareholder power

No Pain, No Gain

3i Group suffers credit downgrade despite move to raise cash

3i group made further moves to cut its debts yesterday with a deal to buy out and liquidate an underperforming fund, but the private equity group was hit by a credit rating downgrade just hours later.

Madoff: No investments for clients in 13 years

Bernard Madoff, the Wall Street grandee whose confession of a $50bn (£35bn) pyramid scheme prompted a new crackdown on fraud in the US, had not made a single investment on behalf of his clients in at least 13 years, it was revealed yesterday.

Parties: Stars align for Chalayan

It was a long, stylish, but very disgruntled queue that waited in the spitting rain to get into the Design Museum for the British Cypriot fashion designer Hussein Chalayan's retrospective on 21 January.

FSA fines and bans Pacific stockbrokers

The chief City watchdog has fined and banned two former senior executives at collapsed stockbroking firm Pacific Continental Securities (PCS) over "serious failures" at the group.

Consumer rights: The adviser and the bond that was sold to a dying man

A £144,000 investment, which has since fallen in value, was recommended to an elderly man with cancer and 'failing mental health'. Is this a case of mis-selling?

Osborne wants loan scheme for businesses

Pressure on Brown to unblock lending freeze from banks to companies

London Madoff staff meet to learn their fate

Staff at Madoff Securities International, the London arm of Bernie Madoff's collapsed US investment business, will meet tomorrow morning to discover their fate. The meeting will be the first since the $50bn scandal broke.

Laid to rest together, the father and the family he killed

Church hosts separate funeral for millionaire and his wife and daughter

Jeremy Warner: Excessive pay is not yet dead

Outlook It's reassuring to see that even in these straitened times, there are still some able to whoop it up as if in the latter stages of the boom. One such is "lucky" John Tiner, a former chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, no less – lucky because he managed to get out of the FSA just before the proverbial hit the fan over Northern Rock and everything else.

Why buy now if prices are plummeting? How deflation could drag us all down

In debt-heavy Britain, delayed purchases will make a mockery of fiscal stimulus and may lead to depression, writes Phillip Blond

Steep rise in numbers declared insolvent

The number of people declared insolvent in England and Wales rose by nearly 9 per cent during the third quarter of the year, figures showed today.

US government could bail out insurance giant AIG in U-turn deal

The US government could end up controlling the insurance giant AIG under a deal being considered late last night.

Meltdown as bank collapses

Wall Street banks were preparing for one of the most dramatic shake-ups in the finance industry's history last night as it emerged that Lehman Brothers, an investment bank with a 158-year history, was working on a plan to declare bankruptcy.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform