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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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month