News The 'death mask' was almost certainly taken by Francis Burton, a British surgeon in attendance at Napoleon's death

The plaster mask was sold for £175,000 to an overseas buyer earlier this year by a descendant of the brother of its original owner

What's on this weekend

Search for your sea-legs, check out a coracle and learn the difference between a Cat's Paw and a Lark's head at the International Wooden Boat Show. Canoes, skiffs, yachts and other watery craft from all over Europe will be shown outside the National Maritime Museum in London, alongside sailmakers and knot-tyers demonstrating their nautical skills for sailors and curious land-lubbers. The highlight of the show is an al fresco re- enactment of the Battle of Trafalgar using a giant stage to represent HMS Victory, Lord Nelson's flagship. The admiral's bloodstained uniform can be seen on display inside the National Maritime Museum.

Letter: West of Greenwich

THE French are not all longitudinally nationalistic (letter, 10 April). The small rural commune of Chalandray, about 15 miles north-west of Poitiers, has for many years caught the eye of motorists speeding though on the busy N149 by a smart sign outside La Poste: "Ici passe le Meridien de Greenwich".

Travel-London: Tsar trek

The father of modern Russia learnt the ropes in what is now London SE8. As an exhibition opens celebrating Peter the Great's time in Britain,

Grace and favours: Lord Chancellor may open refurbished doors to the public tours

Public tours of Lord Irvine of Lairg's lavish grace and favour apartment at the House of Lords could be started in April, Downing Street said yesterday as the Government fought to damp down the latest controversy over the Lord Chancellor's loan of over 80 paintings for the walls of his rooms.

Museum Preview: Secrets of Christmas past

Oliver Cromwell's love of hunting, hawking and music and Milton's delight in the classical arts, the odd glass of wine and a good knees- up are often forgotten when the strictures of the 17th-century Puritans are discussed. And rightly so, you might argue. The original party poopers judged the harmless rituals of Christmas Day and May Day as idolatrous and pagan atrocities. With the Republic, the zealous Puritan government finally set about banning them, along with theatre, organs in church and any other "sins which go under the name of pastimes".

Architecture: lottery winners and losers

It is, after all, a lottery. With what other truism can the River and Rowing Museum Foundation comfort themselves today as they contemplate a pounds 4m hole in their plans to celebrate the jolly boating life?

Outings: Of stars and sailing ships

Go to Greenwich for a day out and you're almost guaranteed

pounds 330,000 for Irvine decor

The Lord Chancellor, Derry Irvine, has spent more than pounds 330,000 renovating his Parliamentary residence, it was confirmed last night. The sum included almost pounds 60,000 for wallpaper.

Artistic merit

Artistic merit: Stephen Deuchar, left, the new director of the Tate Gallery of British Art, with Jeremy Lewison, new director of collections for the Tate, at the gallery in Millbank, London, yesterday. The British Art gallery is the name which will be given to the existing Tate when the contemporary art collection is moved to the new Tate Gallery of Modern Art at Bankside in 2000.

Only 73,526,400 (or so) seconds to go...

In the light of recent rumblings surrounding the future of the Millennium Experience, now might be a good time to take a stroll round the projected site. Whatever happens to this peculiar peninsular in the Thames known as East Greenwich, it is unlikely to look quite the same again. A leisurely two-hour walk will take you along that section of the Thames Pathway (clearly marked) from Greenwich Pier to the Thames Flood Barrier.

Artful move for Lord Chancellor's redecorations

Even critics of "Derry" Irvine, the Lord Chancellor, have to admit he never misses a trick.

Museums to ignore call for free entry

National museums are likely to ignore Government calls to scrap admission charges.

Obituary: George Chatham

The lessons which Dick Hobbs adduces from George Chat-ham's sordid career [10 June] include one about television and real crime: both the risks implicit in the former and the morality of packaging the latter as entertainment, writes Pieter van der Merwe.

The party starts here

With the Millennium approaching, estate agents in Greenwich think houses on the Meridian could be worth pounds 6,000 more than their off-line equivalents.
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