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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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Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen