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George Ortiz was one of the great contemporary collectors. He came to public attention in 1994, when the Royal Academy showed his breathtaking collection of antiquities. Not all were impressed: Lord Renfrew criticised the show, talking of “the large-scale looting which is the ultimate source of so much of what he is able to exhibit.” This stung, because Ortiz’s collecting was guided by the concept of André Malraux’s Musée Imaginaire, where objects could be viewed without the preconceptions that grouped them by country and period – contrary to the traditional practice of curators and art historians.

The Sanssouci Palace

Fresh cuts: There are lots of pluses in Prussia

Adrian Mourby takes in Christmas markets with a gulp of glühwein and a dash of history

Gennady Bogolyubov has become a frequent visitor to London’s civil courts

Heard the one about the rabbi and the oligarch? Business deal turned sour sends shockwaves through London’s Chabad Jewish community

Gennady Bogolyubov and Rabbi Yonah Pruss' bitter legal battle over multi-million pound property deals looks destined for the High Court

St Peter's bones are believed to have been found in the fourth century

Vatican to display relics that it believes are the bones of St Peter

Relics believed to be the bones of St Peter are to be put on public display for the first time.

The real-life Willy Wonka: Brian Sollitt, inventor of the After Eight, dies aged 74

A historian described his impact on chocolate making in Britain as ‘incalculable’

On this day 1504: Michaelangelo's David unveiled in Florence

Michelangelo's David was unveiled in Florence 509 years ago today.

Room Service: Hotel B, Peru

Art and glamour by the sea in Lima

China issues nationwide warning as Shanghai suffers hottest July for 140 years

More than 10 people have died from heatstroke as temperatures soar to nearly 41C

Police fired teargas and water cannons at protesters as they tried to prevent them gathering in Gezi Park

Turkey unrest: Gezi Park reopens after police fire teargas during overnight clashes with protesters

Preparations made for Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in park

Designer digs: One of the Four Rooms

B&B and Beyond: Four rooms, Porto - Discreet elegance in Portugal’s lovely second city

This converted townhouse offers design fans a serene and stylish stay in Porto’s old fishermen’s district, says Katie Monk

The front entrance to Liberace's former home in Las Vegas

Behind the Michaelangelo copies and bling… Liberace party house for sale at £345,000

It was once the ultimate bling-filled party house, but, despite its gilded history, Liberace’s sprawling Las Vegas mansion is now on the market for a mere $529,900 (£345,000).

Andy McSmith's Diary: Dear Leader Dave dips his toe into the macho political pool

By taking a 6am dip in the chilly waters of Lough Erne, accompanied by a reluctant police protection officer, while the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, stayed in bed, David Cameron has joined the macho band of political leaders who have sought to reinforce their authority with displays of physical fitness.

Pretty lethal: Ian Poulter attempts to blast out of a sand trap on the 16th hole as he completed his second round

US Open 2013: Ian Poulter discovers Merion favours the lucky player

This brute of a course punishes good shots rather than testing the best as many have discovered

Light fantastic: One of the bright, spacious apartments

Stay the Night: Baixa House, Lisbon

A dozen apartments in a converted 18th-century building offer an insight to local life in the city, says Caroline Kamp

Carlton House used to be Mukhtar Ablyazov 's main UK residence

High Court rules that billionaire fraudster should lose three luxury properties

It is alleged that Kazakh businessman, Mukhtar Ablyazov, embezzled more than $6bn during his time as chairman of BTA Bank

Revealed: Stunning new images show gold-plated, ultra-luxurious Riyadh metro station that Saudi king has ordered to be built

King Abdullah Financial District Metro Station has been designed by half-British architect Zaha Hadid

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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 1 May 2015
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk