News

Kent dockyard loses out to Lake District national park as UK's next world heritage site

Building craze threatens to end Lanzarote's biosphere status

Many tourists travel to Lanzarote for nothing more than a sunny beach and a pitcher of sangria with a cliff-top view. But the Spanish Canary Island is also a Unesco biosphere site: an arid stretch of lava fields, salt marshes and coastal mountains where high-rises are taboo. And for decades, the island's elegant-and-ecological style of tourism defied the construction craze of its wilder island neighbours, like Gran Canaria.

'Strange bones' in Colchester Egyptian Mummy

The skull of an ancient Egyptian mummy in Colchester is packed with 'strange bones', a CT-scan has revealed. The scan on 2,500-year-old Lady Ta-Hathor yesterday also revealed an odd bundle between her thighs, thought to be the remains of her organs.

UN delays prize funded by dictator

Unesco, the United Nations' culture and education agency, has delayed awarding a prize for life sciences named after the leader of Equatorial Guinea, whose government has a reputation for corruption and human rights abuses.

Colchester to make UNESCO's elite World Heritage list?

The Pyramids, Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and...Colchester? The Essex town is preparing an audacious bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and it's not as unlikely as it sounds. Destination Colchester, a group of local business owners and heritage enthusiasts, is preparing a bid to be entered onto a tentative list of the UK's heritage sites. If the bid, due next Friday, is successful, Colchester could find itself inscribed alongside famous British landmarks like Bath Spa, Hadrian's Wall and the Tower of London.

Lauren Child: These childish things

As the phenomenally successful Charlie and Lola prepare to celebrate their 10th birthday, their creator is setting her sights on further adventures in design. Susie Mesure meets Lauren Child

Ugandan royal tomb fire stokes tensions between government and king

Ugandan forces shoot at protesters trying to block President from historic site

Best for getting lost: Fez

Every great city is entirely itself and nowhere else. At the same time, they're all like ... somewhere. Somewhere that doesn't exist. A Platonic copy, perhaps; an embodiment of the idea of the city, whatever that may be. Morocco has several versions – all different – but in the end Tangier, Rabat and Marrakesh seem to me just rehearsals for the world's great masterpiece, Fez. In particular, the Bali Medina, the walled Old City, of Fez. The traditional Great City – traditional now, in our post-Enlightenment eyes – is a place of visual harmony, of vistas and prospects, squares, spires and domes. Old Fez is the exact opposite. The alleyways of the medina are so sinuous, straitened and overbuilt that there is, quite literally, no view. You never know what is around the next corner as it tilts down towards the river. You barely know where the next corner is. There is no angle that can lead the eye upwards more than 30ft. The rooflines are a mystery. The medina from the air reveals nothing about the medina on the ground. The eye is made useless.

Unesco criticised over dictator's $300,000 prize

A Human rights group has accused Unesco of gross hypocrisy for its collaboration with Equatorial Guinea's dictator of 30 years, Teodoro Obiang Nguema.

English voyager finds whales in Egyptian desert

Driving through the desert in search of whales sounds counterproductive, but I had been assured that if I hired a jeep and drove seventy kilometres from Egypt’s Faiyum Oasis out into the Sahara this is indeed what I would find. If this was a ruse it was a clever one, and UNESCO were in on it.

Botched facelift puts Bolivian pyramid at risk

Repair work may cause renowned site to be struck off World Heritage list

Boyd Tonkin: The artist-minister is painted into a corner

The Week In Books

Book-burning threat costs Egypt Unesco leadership

The suspense-laden, drawn-out race to lead the UN agency for culture and education ended yesterday with a career diplomat from Bulgaria beating an Egyptian candidate whose one-time threat to burn Israeli books had galvanised opposition.

Finalists named for '7 Wonders of Nature' poll

The Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef are competing with 26 other spectacular natural landmarks in the final phase of the global poll to choose the "New 7 Wonders of Nature," organisers said today.

Travel By Numbers: World Heritage sites

As the longest aqueduct in Britain joins Unesco's premier league of global attractions, Ben Ross assesses the dimensions of the list's other highlights

Aqueduct named as World Heritage Site

A 200-year-old aqueduct in North Wales has been named as Britain's newest World Heritage Site.

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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
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue
E L James's book Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

Grey is a reminder of how the phenomenon of the best-seller works

It's hard to understand why so many are buying it – but then best-selling was ever an inexact science, says DJ Taylor
Behind the scenes of the world's most experimental science labs

World's most experimental science labs

The photographer Daniel Stier has spent four years gaining access to some of the world's most curious scientific experiments
It's the stroke of champions - so why is the single-handed backhand on the way out?

Single-handed backhand: on the way out?

If today's young guns wish to elevate themselves to the heights of Sampras, Graf and Federer, it's time to fire up the most thrilling shot in tennis
HMS Saracen: Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled

HMS Saracen

Meeting the last survivor of a submarine found 72 years after it was scuttled
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'

7/7 bombings 10 years on

Martine Wright lost both legs in the attack – she explains how her experience since shows 'anything is possible'