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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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
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Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
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Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
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Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

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Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
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