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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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Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

What are Jaden and Willow on about?

Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

Cold war

How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

‘O, Louis’ is the plaintive title of a biography about the Dutchman. Ian Herbert looks at what it tells us about the Manchester United manager
Isis in Iraq: Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants

Isis takes a big step back

Baghdad hails the retaking of the Baiji oil refinery as the start of the long fightback against the Islamist militants
Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Bill Cosby: America’s beloved TV ‘dad’ or serial rapist?

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits: How to shop politically

How to shop politically

Ukip silk bow ties, Green Party T-shirts, and 'Iron Baby' romper suits
The science of sex: What happens when science meets erotica

Sex on the brain

Fetishes, dominatrixes, kinks and erotica. They are subjects that should get the crowds flocking to a new exhibition at the Wellcome Collection