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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 Savoy: The landmark of luxury

Many of the Savoy's staff have been poached from top hotels and restaurants around the world

The Rivals, Theatre Royal Haymarket, London

One should study geometry, says Mrs Malaprop, in order to know about the contagious countries. If Sheridan's The Rivals is a challenge to the national curriculum, it is also a satire on having one in the first place.

The Last Word: I would enjoy watching the English suffer

Fifa executives are used to being treated with the utmost respect, so what chance have the FA got?

Stay the night: The Merchant Hotel, Belfast

The former financial institution oozes luxury, but it needs better soundproofing, says Fiona Sturges

Berlusconi orders private repair for statue

A Roman statue of Mars, the god of war, displayed in Silvio Berlusconi's office in Rome has been controversially restored with a new marble penis at a cost of €70,000 (£59,000).

48 Hours In: Valletta

The honey-coloured walls of the Maltese capital embrace crusader history, palaces and elaborate churches.

48 Hours In: Naples

Sample life in the shadow of Vesuvius this autumn with an eruption of stunning views, sumptuous cuisine and fascinating heritage.

Poetry in motion: On the trail of Shelley

Helen Buhaenko takes a nostalgic trip through continental Europe

Saatchi to sell £36m flat after falling out with the neighbours

The scourge of basement conversion has driven one of London's most famous couples – Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson – to put their £36m Chelsea home up for sale.

Chatsworth 'cash in the attic' sale makes £4.4m on the first day

Most of us would be happy to find a few bits and bobs for a car boot sale while clearing out our attics. Yesterday, the 12th Duke of Devonshire, owner of Chatsworth House, put such modest hopes into perspective when the first day of his spring-clean auction raised £4.4m, with two days still to go.

24-Hour Room Service: Four Seasons Hotel, Beirut

There are times, walking through Beirut, when the city feels like a classic Mediterranean coastal city: a Marseilles, perhaps, or a Naples. Then you spot a bullet-scarred building or one of the many machine gun-toting police that are posted on streets corners, clear reminders to visitors that this is a city with a recent violent past.

Stay the night: Royal Mansour, Marrakech

Mohammed VI issued an edict for a sumptuous hotel, and lo! It came to pass. Adrian Mourby reports

Stay the night: Cedar Court, York

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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
Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect