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.

Cultural Life: Niamh Cusack, actress

Theatre: Brian Friel's masterpiece 'Faith Healer' at Bristol's Old Vic is a haunting, mysterious play. Three people telling their version of the same sad story. At Salisbury Playhouse I saw 'The Constant Wife' by Somerset Maugham, a witty period piece about sexual politics. At the Old Vic, I went to see 'A Flea in her Ear', which reminded me of those silent movies with everyone running away from each other at top speed and then bumping into each other anyway...

Looted Afghan treasures identified

Afghan treasures looted from Kabul have come to light nearly 20 years after they were stolen, thanks to an unknown benefactor.

Travel Agenda: Karura Forest; W Retreat & Spa in Bali; British Museum; Singapore; London 2012 Festival

Today: Karura Forest on the edge of Nairobi, opens to tourists with waterfalls, bamboo forest and monkeys (magicalkenya.com)

As seen on screen: the UK's hottest tourist spots

The Downton Abbey effect is being felt at stately homes across Britain as visitors flock to see real-life sets

Forgotten Author: No 62 - Thomas Love Peacock

To say that Thomas Love Peacock is an acquired taste is something of an understatement.

High Kicks and Low Life: Toulouse-Lautrec

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec has been described by a contemporary critic as, ‘the quintessential chronicler of Paris’. The work of the artist (1864-1901) immediately evokes the decadent atmosphere of fin-de siècle Paris. And a touch of gay Paree might well rub off on Bedford next month when the British Museum Tour of his work arrives at Bedford Gallery.

Royal Opera boss demands tax breaks for philanthropists

The cash crisis facing arts organisations nationwide can only be solved by changing tax rules for philanthropic giving, says the Royal Opera House's chief executive, Tony Hall.

The nation's paper fortune: Drawings from the British Museum collection

The British Museum is showing some of its superb collection of drawings by the masters of modern art. Adrian Hamilton enjoys a rare feast of line and colour

Afghanistan's ancient jewels to sparkle in London

The shimmering brightness of a collection of priceless artifacts from Afghanistan contrasts with the darkness in which they languished for most of their existence.

Julian Roberts: British Museum and Bodleian librarian who led his field for half a century

Anyone who had anything to do with books and libraries and their history over the last 60 years was almost certain to have met Julian Roberts.

Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, British Museum, London

The great necrocracy's hieroglyphs reach over the millennia with images of death invoking ceremony, celebration and pleasure

Ancient Egyptian manual to the afterlife goes on show

Manuscripts containing the ancient Egyptians' manual to the afterlife have been taken out of storage at the British Museum to go on display for the first time.

Roman helmet found in field sells for £2.3m

A Roman helmet unearthed found in a Cumbrian field by a metal detector enthusiast sold for £2.3 million today - almost eight times the estimated price.

Lord Sainsbury donates £25m to extension of British Museum

His uncle funded the multi-million pound Norman Foster-designed Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, while a brother donated an estimated £100m worth of paintings to the Tate and National galleries. And, along with his siblings, he has already given £50m to the British Museum.

First human rights charter goes home

A Babylonian artifact sometimes described as the world's first human rights charter is to go on display in Iran after the government threatened to cut ties with the British Museum if it did not loan the object.

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Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little