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

A communique of breathtaking blandness

The trek to the foothills by the sherpas - the officials who prepare economic summits - is over, and now the world leaders can scale the peak. But what in practice will the Group of Seven achieve when they meet in Halifax during the next three days? Very little, according to the draft of the final communique that was leaked last week. Even by the now modest standards expected of G7 meetings, we are apparently promised an agreement of breathtaking blandness.

A grand project to look forward to

When the British Library finally moves out, the British Museum has exciting new plans for the space; There is absolutely no indignity being inflicted on the Reading Room

THE MASTER BUILDER OF PARIS

The most enduring legacy of Franois Mitterrand, France's outgoing president, lies not in politics but in architecture - in the great building projects which he has authorised during 14 years in office. Photographs by EMILE LUIDER. Words by PETER POPHAM

The Prince who would be President

Buses for the handicapped, hostels for Aids sufferers ... there is no end to his promises The glory belongs to Paris, and Jacques Chirac is the prince of the city

Pictures speak louder than words

The photographs are designed to subvert conservatism At first glance, the show could be an advertisement for a new perfume

SAILING: French dream fades away

SAILING

Mention art, and I reach for my wand

The Tate Gallery is about to introduce an easy-to-use, hi-tech gadget t hat guides you around its exhibitions. Tim Jackson finds out how it works

CHOICE: Art through the ears

Walk into any public art gallery and you will see visitors looking not at the pictures, but at the explanatory labels beside them. One suspects that for every minute's glance allowed a work of art, double that is spent attempting to decode the inc reasingly lengthy accompanying text. It's not a very satisfactory way of learning: at its best simplistic and, at worst, apt to confuse.

Down a tunnel and up among glories

It's surprising how many people, when you say you've been through the Channel tunnel, ask whether it wasn't a bit frightening, or say they could not do the same. I've never noticed people saying how frightening it was, for instance, to get from K ennedy airport to New York, or from Hong Kong airport to the city centre, both of which journeys might involve a fair amount of time in a tunnel under water.

Putting flesh on Poussin's bones Iain Gale finds Sir Denis Mahon, last of the great gentleman scholars, still pa ssionate in his defence of Poussin the sensualist

`Look at the painting closely and you can see the shaky hand of an old man at work. He preferred to paint landscapes in his late period because he cou ldn't cope with figures. Everything is askew. Nature is taking over'

Is British art really as bad as it is painted?

A recent exhibition of British art at the Louvre will have done little to change French views of those across the Channel. Iain Gale reports

The people's college

Museums are pulling in more punters than ever. Are we really a nation r avenous for knowledge? Kevin Jackson reports Tabloids do not splash scantily clad curators over their front pages

The IoS playlist the five best discs of the moment

Lully: Phaeton. Les Musiciens du Louvre / Minkowski (Erato, CD). World-premiere recording of a great Versailles spectacle. Michael White

Let the buck find its mark: Despite fears of panic in the bond market, Peter Torday finds few takers for official action to prop the dollar

THE TURMOIL in the financial markets may have subsided temporarily, but concern over the sliding dollar persists and expectations of official action to stabilise the US currency are riding high.
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Independent Travel
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