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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: A landmark of luxury

The original isn't always the best. Cars, computers, songs by Bob Dylan: so many good ideas have been taken and improved by others. When The Savoy opened in 1889, it was London's first luxury hotel, offering hot and cold running water, 24-hour room service, electric lighting and "ascending rooms", or lifts, as we now say.

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

How to get ideas above your station
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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