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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
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate