Ravel's 'L'heure espagnole'

L'heure espagnole/ L'enfant et les sortilèges, Glyndebourne, East Sussex
Tête à Tête Opera Festival, Riverside Studios, London
The Francis Bacon Opera, Camden Arts Centre, London

Glyndeborne's double bill of Ravel operas captures the composer's delicate touch and ability to combine laughter and pain

Postcard From...Baalbek

The mighty Roman ruins of Baalbek jut dramatically out of the fertile plains of Lebanon's Bekaa valley. They have drawn visitors for centuries, as chronicled in the graffiti of ancient travellers scrawled into the vast limestone walls and columns.

The High Marnham cooling towers in Nottinghamshire

Cooling towers: Will you miss them when they're gone?

Love them or loathe them, they are becoming ever more rare as the demolition squads move in. And tomorrow another set will vanish forever

Bog Man, 1990, by Margaret Mellis

Estate of the Artist

London's skyline will have a new attraction from Thursday as the Thames cable car opens between the O2 Arena, Greenwich, and the ExCeL centre at Royal Victoria Dock.

Parsifal, Mariinsky/Gergiev, Barbican

Wagner made very sure people would pay attention to the meaning of the opera he called his 'farewell to the world', by decreeing that it should only be performed, like a sacred ritual, in his theatre in Bayreuth. And though it was conceived as – and undoubtedly is – a paean to peace and reconciliation, it has sowed remarkable discord among the cognoscenti.

New BBC series to examine Shakespeare's world

A dagger, an eye relic and a fork are among the subjects of a new BBC series which will examine the turbulent lives of the Bard's original audience.

The preserved heart of St Laurence O'Toole was taken from Saint Lauds Chapel

Dublin patron saint's heart stolen in cathedral raid

Irish police puzzled by latest in series of bizarre thefts of religious artefacts from churches

David Shrigley plays with anatomy - just like Damien Hirst

David Shrigley: Brain Activity, Hayward Gallery,
London

The master of whimsy wears his art-school credentials on his sleeve, but his ideas feel derivative and the jokes wear thin

Lost for words: Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo in Michel Hazanavicius's enthralling 'The Artist'

The Artist (PG)

Starring: Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo

Picture of the Day: Sorry Rudolph, we're taking the gondola...

Rowers dressed as Father Christmas escort a gondola ferrying a live nativity scene from St Mark's Basilica to the island of San Giorgio in Venice yesterday.

Trail of the unexpected: Saint Nicholas in Puglia

A Turkish bishop adopted by an Italian port is an inspiration for shoppers.

Scientists say Turin Shroud is supernatural

Italian government scientists have claimed to have discovered evidence that a supernatural event formed the image on the Turin Shroud, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

Signed rally photo: Signed by the Hitler Youth leader Arthur Axmann. $150-200

Boom in demand for relics from the Third Reich

US auction house expects bids in excess of $300,00 as memorabilia attracts new wave of buyers

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Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf