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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.

French 'spiderman' Alain Robert strikes again and climbs France's tallest building First Tower

The extreme climber known to some as Spiderman has struck again: this time, on France's new tallest building.

Construction sector growth slows

Growth in the construction sector slowed in April but another solid rise in new orders shored up confidence in the year ahead.

Mail order: It took two and a half years to transform Gothenburg's historic post office building into the Clarion Hotel

Room Service: Clarion Hotel Post, Gothenburg

A pool on the roof? But this is Sweden ...

Regions missing out on kickstart projects, contractors warn

Regions badly hit by the financial downturn could miss out on the Government's plan to kickstart the economy through £250bn of infrastructure spending.

Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery's new extension designed by Hugh Broughton

Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery's new extension is a modern classic

What on earth is that goldy-looking thing in the middle of Maidstone, that supersized Benson & Hedges fag packet pretending to be a building? Ah, it must be one of those World-Class Places that the government is promoting – as in "iconic" architecture. Not so. The new extension of Maidstone Museum and Bentlif Art Gallery, designed by Hugh Broughton, is a counter-blow to the government's witless, developer-friendly assumption that places, and lives, can be transformed by blinged-up buildings marketed as world class.

Chloë Sevigny as Mia in <i>Hit and Miss</i>

Heads up: Hit and Miss

Abbott hopes for a hit, about the not-quite-a-Miss Mia

The burning fuselage of an F/A-18 Hornet lies smoldering after crashing into a residential building in Virginia Beach

US Navy fighter crashes into beach apartment building

Emergency workers were searching for the occupants of six homes last night after a US Navy jet crashed into a group of apartment buildings.

Travellers given year to quit Meriden site

A group of travellers who settled on green belt land without planning permission have been given a year to leave the site.

Travellers lose Solihull planning appeal

A legal bid by a group of travellers to stay on green belt land was today rejected by a High Court judge.

Experts feel closer to Leonardo da Vinci's lost fresco, The Battle of Anghiari

Art experts find 'possible' lost da Vinci work behind fresco

Experts believe they are close to confirming that a lost Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece has been found in the cavity of a medieval Italian building, following the detection of paint similar to that used in the Mona Lisa.

Beach piste: Split residents ski on the seafront

On The Road: Not everyone in Split is enjoying the snow on the beach

We're snowed in. The ancient stone city of Split and its palm-lined seafront promenade are completely white. No one's ever seen it like this before. Businesses are closed and everyone is out, throwing snowballs. They've launched a Facebook page called "Split opens the Skiing & Bathing Season 2012" with photos of locals skiing, swimming and kayaking, as fluffy snowflakes tumble into the Adriatic.

Scrap metal row murder pair jailed

Two men were jailed for life today for killing an unemployed plumber who was beaten to death after cashing in stolen scrap metal for £105.

BBC presenters including Emily Maitlis are moving office

BBC exposes its engine room to the public gaze

Bush House has been an iconic feature of the BBC since 1925 when it was opened by Lord Balfour.

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, right, at the ceremony announcing the museum in Washington

The museum for black America: a force for unity – or division?

Barack Obama marked its launch, but not everyone welcomes the new addition to the Smithsonian family

Sarkozy with the mystery ‘workforce’ that was swiftly summoned to a building site on Thursday

Mystery labourers bussed in to bulk out Sarkozy photo op

It looks like a two-horse race, but the French President still refuses to declare his candidacy

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea