News

One of the most important relics of indigenous Viking culture will leave Scotland for the first time in its 1,100 year history to go on display at the British Museum this week.

'I was set up as a hate figure': Hilary Mantel defends criticism of Kate Middleton

Award-winning novelist says she has "absolutely nothing to apologise for"

David Cameron visits the Golden Temple in Amritsar

David Cameron makes no apology for Amritsar massacre

PM says killing of 380 people was 'shameful' but does not apologise

Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum – British Museum: Priceless treasures from the cities destroyed by the Mount Vesuvius eruption will aim to satisfy the international fascination with the disaster when screened on 18 June

Pompeii exhibit to be disaster movie of the summer

British Museum show joins growing trend for major exhibitions to be streamed in cinemas

Postcard from... Istanbul

At its peak at the end of the 16th Century, the Ottoman Empire ruled over parts of North Africa, Asia and Europe, even reaching the outskirts of Vienna. Today's Turkey is much smaller but it has not forgotten its imperial past.

Postcard from... Istanbul

At its peak at the end of the 16th Century, the Ottoman Empire ruled over parts of North Africa, Asia and Europe, even reaching the outskirts of Vienna. Today's Turkey is much smaller but it has not forgotten its imperial past.

Comedy duo admitted to hallowed halls of British Museum

The Gentlemen of Leisure are first comedy act allowed to perform a tour at the London-based museum

Submariner jailed for trying to sell secrets to Russia who tried to spy for Russians is jailed

A Royal Navy submariner who betrayed his country and colleagues by trying to pass secrets to men he believed were Russian spies has been jailed for eight years.

Temptresses, decrepit hags and glamorous spell-casters: New Scottish art exhibition to reveal real faces of witchcraft

The dark history of European witchcraft will be explored in an exhibition opening at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art next July.

Actors will play BP ‘executive witches’. The performance will culminate in the BP witches being physically carried out of the museum by the crowd, and banished from any further involvement in British culture.

The great Shakespearean flashmob strikes again

The Reclaim Shakespeare Company plans to stage a protest against BP sponsorship at the British Museum this weekend

Battle-scarred Viking swords go on sale

The death of distinguished Danish collector EA Christensen has prompted a collection of battle-scarred Viking swords to come up for auction.

Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber calls on Government for 'serious investment' in arts education

Andrew Lloyd Webber has become the latest cultural heavyweight to take aim at the Government over its education policy, saying funding arts in schools has produced “enormous returns” for the Treasury.

Weekend work: Time to feed tomatoes

What to do

UK returns stolen artefacts to Afghanistan

The British armed forces have returned historical artefacts dating back as far as the Bronze Age to Afghan museums, after they were stolen and smuggled abroad, it was announced today.

Looted treasures returned to Afghanistan by British Museum

The British Museum, aided by British police and the UK Border Force, has helped return to Afghanistan hundreds of looted antiquities seized from smugglers, The Independent can reveal.

On The Road in Brussels: Never mind the antiques, I'll take the chocolate

Sundays in European cities kill me. I've lost count of the number of times I've trailed aimlessly around a city, found the gallery I desperately wanted to visit is closed and all the restaurants are so busy that I can't get a seat. I then walk for miles, eating a stale sandwich for lunch and spend money in pointless shops just to while away the time.

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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
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering