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.

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

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.

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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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project