Arts and Culture

Prehistoric Tell al-Sultan site added to world heritage list

By Imad Abu Sombul with Jay Deshmukh in Jerusalem UNESCO inscribed the prehistoric site of Tell al-Sultan, near the Palestinian city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank, on its World Heritage List Sunday, in a move criticised by Israel. Tell al-Sultan, which predates Egypt’s pyramids, is an oval-shaped tell, or mound, in the Jordan Valley, and contains the prehistoric deposits of human activity. The decision by the United Nations cultural organisation, which it posted […]

US authorities seize artworks allegedly stolen by Nazis

NEW YORK, Sept 15, 2023 (AFP) – US authorities seized three artworks allegedly looted by the Nazis and which are being sought by the heirs of a Jewish art collector who died in the Holocaust, officials said Thursday. They confirmed a report in The New York Times that said New York investigators had taken these works by the 1900s Austrian expressionist Egon Schiele from three US-based museums. In warrants issued Tuesday and seen by AFP, […]

Rarely seen works by abstract master Nicolas De Stael open in Paris

PARIS, Sept 15, 2023 (AFP) – An unprecedented collection of paintings by 20th century abstract master Nicolas de Stael have been gathered for a show that opened in Paris on Friday — including several even his own children have never seen. The exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art includes some 200 paintings by de Stael, a key figure in France’s postwar art scene. They include several that have never shown in public because the […]

Italian police find stolen treasures at Australian museum

Italian art detectives have found stolen ancient treasures at a leading Australian university, including an artefact likely smuggled out of the country under piles of pasta, the institution said Friday. Australian National University (ANU) said Friday it was working with the “specialist art squad” of Italy’s Carabinieri military police to return the priceless pieces. The looted works discovered within the university’s classics museum included a 2,500-year-old amphora depicting Greek champion Heracles fighting the mythical Nemean […]

Picasso masterpiece to fetch $120 mn in November auction: Sotheby’s

The November auction of a Pablo Picasso masterpiece, the late Spanish painter’s “Femme a la montre” from 1932, is expected to fetch at least $120 million, Sotheby’s announced Wednesday. The painting, which depicts Picasso’s mistress wearing a watch, will be sold as part of a two-day auction of late New Yorker Emily Fisher Landau’s prestigious collection. Other works up for sale include pieces by Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko and Andy Warhol. Fisher […]

Dutch art detective recovers stolen Van Gogh

By Jan HENNOP A Dutch art detective has recovered a precious Vincent van Gogh painting that was stolen from a museum in a daring midnight heist during the coronavirus lockdown three-and-a-half years ago, police said Tuesday. Arthur Brand took possession of the missing painting, the 1884 “Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring”, worth between three and six million euros ($3.2 million), at his Amsterdam home on Monday, stuffed in a blue IKEA bag. Brand, dubbed […]

‘Nothing allowed for them’: Afghan women demand education rights in UN appeal

By Ana FERNÁNDEZ Engineering student Somaya Faruqi had to flee Afghanistan to continue her studies after the Taliban government returned to power two years ago and banned more than 1.1 million girls and women from schools and universities. The 21-year-old, now living in the United States, is the face of a campaign launched Tuesday by the UN’s Education Cannot Wait global fund to combat the crisis, marking the two-year anniversary of the fall of the […]

Japan’s second-oldest museum forced to crowdfund to pay bills

TOKYO, Aug 9, 2023 (AFP) – Japan’s second-oldest museum has raised $3.4 million through crowdfunding after reportedly being denied additional financial support to cover soaring utility bills to preserve its collection of animal and plant specimens. More than 30,000 people have donated a total of 480 million yen to the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, easily surpassing the 100-million-yen target, campaign platform READYFOR said on Wednesday. The head of the 146-year-old museum, […]

Belgium canal city of Bruges hits ‘red line’ with tourist crowds

BRUGES, Belgium, Aug 5, 2023 (AFP) – Inhabitants of Belgium’s cobblestone-and-canal city of Bruges are clear: summertime tourism has hit capacity. “It’s really reached a red line now,” says one, 55-year-old architect Arnout Goegebuer, as he sits inside a cafe, peering out a window across a packed outside terrace. “We don’t need more tourists anymore, it’s enough — maybe a little bit less” is needed, he says. It’s a sentiment reiterated by other residents of […]

‘Shattered Souls’ art installation shines light on Catholic church scandals

Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany : This photo taken on August 4, 2023 shows the art installation ‘Shattered Souls … in a Sea of Silence’ by German artist Dennis Josef Meseg in front of Cologne Cathedral, western Germany. With his installation, the artist wants to make the public aware of the desperate, silent cry of abused children for justice for their maltreated souls. 333 small mannequins, draped in the colours of innocence and the Curia, will […]

Library restores Palestinian history one manuscript at a time

By Hiba Aslan JERUSALEM, July 24, 2023 (AFP) – A library in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem offers a rare glimpse into Palestinian history with its treasure trove of manuscripts dating back hundreds of years before the creation of Israel. At the Khalidi Library in the walled Old City, Rami Salameh expertly inspects a damaged manuscript as part of the effort to restore and digitise historical Palestinian documents. “The manuscripts range from jurisprudence to astronomy, the Prophet’s […]

Violins in the sun: Stradivari’s home workshop reopens in Italy

By Brigitte HAGEMANN Agence France-Presse CREMONA, Italy (AFP) — For over three centuries, music lovers the world over have been trying to unlock the secrets of Antonio Stradivari’s prized string instruments. Budding luthiers and young musicians can now get a step closer to the master by honing their skills in his original house and workshop, which have been transformed into a center of learning and a musical pilgrimage site in northern Italy. “The Stradivarius myth […]