Travel
 

The Big Six: from outdoor Jacuzzis and inky interiors to views of the Eiffel Tower

Book review: Mitterrand. A Study in Ambiguity, By Philip Short

A penetrating study of a president that captures his extravagant complexities

The Louvre has 460,000 works of art

Risk of flooding forces the Louvre to move World’s biggest 'hidden' art collection

200,000 paintings, sculptures and other artefacts from museum’s cellars will now be stored in Pas de Calais

The work, by Jacques-Louis David, shows Napoleon in his National Guard uniform

Sold for £15,000 – but Napoleon portrait by Jacques-Louis David is worth £2m

Gravy-stained painting thought to be a copy has now been confirmed as master painter’s work

Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris feels fury of disenchanted customers as more than 5,000 visitors sign petition demanding higher standards

Theme park enthusiast starts petition after being shocked by closed attractions and 're-heated food in one of the most expensive restaurants'

Vases and human bones lie in the family grave of Lisa Gherardini, in Florenceís Santissima Annunziata basilica

Researchers open Florence tomb in search for identity of the real Mona Lisa

Scientists hope to match DNA from a skeleton to reveal identity of woman thought to be Leonardo da Vinci's muse

The Mona Lisa is arguably the most recognisable painting in the world

Small is beautiful: The molecular art that’s made a mini-masterpiece of the Mona Lisa

The Mona Lisa is one of the most reproduced images of all time, but art fans may struggle to make out that enigmatic smile on one unusual replica.

Old Master class: Vermeer's 'Milkmaid'

Simon Calder: A new encounter with Old Masters

The man who pays his way

Inferno author Dan Brown

Dan Brown: Inferno is is not an activist book, I don't have a solution to overpopulation

The author on what is expected to be this year's publishing sensation

Visitors look at

Art review: Birth of a Museum, Manarat al-Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi

Stalled by downturns, delays and even the threat of a boycott by artists over the conditions of the building workers, Abu Dhabi’s masterplan to convert a vast sandy swathe of Saadiyat Island into a world-beating “cultural quarter” has sometimes looked like a desert mirage.

Zao in his Paris studio in 2003; a gallerist said his paintings ‘were not simply abstract – they expressed thoughts and feelings’

Zao Wou-Ki: Artist whose work combined Oriental landscapes and Western abstraction

Zao Wou-Ki was an artist whose work unites Oriental landscapes with the influences of abstraction and of the Paris School. His signature, which combines a first name in Chinese characters and the Zao family name in Western script, symbolises this synthesis of Eastern and Western cultures in his paintings.

A view from across the lake

Sexuality and religion 'not off-limits' at Abu Dhabi Louvre

The curator of the Abu Dhabi branch of the Louvre says no artistic subjects are off limits as the museum builds its collection for the planned 2015 opening.

James Ashton: Abu Dhabi is trying hard – maybe too hard – to be a new desert playground

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is stunning, but will the tourists come?

Mona Lisa (left)
Leonardo’s preferred medium was wood, not canvas which the Isleworth version is painted on. Art historian Martin Kemp said: 'The head, like all other copies, does not capture the profound elusiveness of the original'
The 'Isleworth' Mona Lisa (right)
The Mona Lisa Foundation's researchers claim they can identify Leonardo's brush strokes. Art historian Stanley Feldman said: 'It strikes us that in order for that to be so accurate... only the person who did one did the other.'

Isleworth Mona Lisa 'younger' than the Louvre's treasured Leonardo da Vinci

New tests on a painting billed as the original version of the Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci's 15th century portrait, have produced fresh proof that it is the work of the Italian master, a Swiss-based art foundation claims.

The mystery of AE911 Cryptic code scrawled on Delacroix’s vandalised masterpiece

Woman held after scrawling message in marker pen on work that inspired Les Misérables

Delacroix Liberty painting defaced by woman with marker pen at Louvre exhibition

A woman was seized by security guards after using marker pen to deface one of the most famous paintings by Eugene Delacroix at an exhibition in northern France.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea