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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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
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future