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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Day In a Page

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
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
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
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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