Arts and Culture

Butterflies, the unlikely victims of Trump’s border wall

by Inès BEL AIBA Agence France Presse MISSION, United States (AFP) — In Mission, Texas, the construction of part of a long-promised wall on the border with Mexico to stem the tide of undocumented migrants is already in progress. Among the many who will be affected? Butterflies. Mission, located in the lower Rio Grande Valley, is home to the National Butterfly Center, a private non-profit 100-acre (40-hectare) preserve dedicated to conservation of the insects in […]

After 600 years, night watchman still keeps vigil over Lausanne

by Eloi ROUYER Agence France Presse LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AFP) — Every evening, the night watchman clambers to the top of the Lausanne cathedral bell tower and gets to work: he shouts out the time each hour, keeping a six-century-old tradition alive. The night watchman, one of the last in Europe, no longer alerts this Swiss city to fires, but he does help residents to keep track of the time. “This is the watchman! The bell […]

Brazil museum holds first exhibition since fire

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) — Brazil’s historic National Museum on Wednesday displayed fossils discovered in the Antarctic at an off-site venue in its first exhibition since the Rio-based institution was gutted by fire last year. Among the fossils on display at a sister museum — the Palace of the House of Money — was a bone from a pterodactyl, which the National says is the first evidence of a big reptile species from the Jurassic […]

Historic library weaves ‘Harry Potter’-style tourist magic in Rio

by Marie Hospital and Marc Burleigh Agence France-Presse RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) — From the outside, it looks like another historic edifice in Rio’s rundown city center. Inside, however, is a multi-tiered library so spectacular, so ornate, that stunned visitors feel like they’ve walked into a movie fantasy set. “In ‘Harry Potter’ we’ve seen libraries like this!” exclaimed Didier Margouet, a 57-year-old French tourist, looking around at the shelves of leather bound books climbing […]

S.Korean grain silo transforms into world’s largest mural

INCHEON, South Korea (AFP) — A dreary grain silo that was transformed into an enormous colorful artwork in South Korea has been named by Guinness World Records as the largest outdoor mural in the world. The painting which depicts a young boy’s journey into adulthood covers the outside of giant storage containers in the port city of Incheon, west of Seoul, taking up 23,688 square meters. The mural was commissioned by the city’s government and […]

EBC Films’ “Guerrero” captivates global audience with heartwarming story of resilience and triumph

by Emily Manuel Contributor, Eagle News (Eagle News) — EBC Films takes center stage once more with the international release of its first full-length feature film, “Guerrero.” “Guerrero” premiered in Philippine cinemas on October 2017. Since then, it has won accolades, including, “Best Feature Comedy Film” in the 2018 Amsterdam International Filmmaker Festival of World Cinema, “Best Editing of a Foreign Language Film” in the 2018 Madrid International Film Fest, and “Movie Child Performer of […]

Sinatra memorabilia, jewelry on sale in New York

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — A sweeping range of Frank Sinatra memorabilia and jewelry owned by his fourth and last wife Barbara goes on sale in New York on Thursday, likely to be snapped up by mega fans and aficionados all over the world. The single most expensive lot, the enormous 20-karat diamond engagement ring that Sinatra gave Barbara in a champagne glass has already sold, fetching $1.7 million in a battle between two […]

Iraq’s ancient pottery struggles to outlive modern plastic

by Haydar Indhar Agence France Presse NAJAF, Iraq (AFP) — Adel al-Kawwaz expertly spins the potter’s wheel, shaping the wet clay into a smooth jug. His family is famous for this millennia-old Iraqi craft, but Kawwaz is struggling to keep it alive. For thousands of years, clay utensils for storing food and cooking were found in virtually every home in Sumer, the earliest known civilization in modern-day southern Iraq. Kawwaz’s own family drew their name […]

How engineers are straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa

  by Sonia LOGRE and Charles ONIANS Agence France Presse PISA, Italy (AFP) — “It’s still straightening,” said engineer Roberto Cela, gazing at the Leaning Tower of Pisa gleaming in the autumn sunshine of northern Italy. “And many years will have to pass before it stops.” The gravitationally-challenged landmark is leaning less after years of ambitious engineering work. Fortunately for the millions of tourists who come here every year, the 57-metre (186-feet) tower remains beautifully […]

UNESCO adds reggae music to global cultural heritage list

  PORT LOUIS, Mauritius (AFP) — Reggae music, whose chill, lilting grooves found international fame thanks to artists like Bob Marley, on Thursday won a spot on the United Nations’ list of global cultural treasures. UNESCO, the world body’s cultural and scientific agency, added the genre that originated in Jamaica to its collection of “intangible cultural heritage” deemed worthy of protection and promotion. Reggae music’s “contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love […]

Stairs from Eiffel Tower sell for 169,000 euros

PARIS, France (AFP) — A section of stairs from the Eiffel Tower in Paris sold for almost 170,000 euros on Tuesday, auctioneers announced, around three times the pre-sale estimate. More than two dozen wrought-iron steps from the original spiral structure, from between the second and third floors of the Paris landmark, were sold to a Middle East collector for 169,000 euros ($190,000) after a bidding-war in the French capital. Auction house Artcurial originally estimated the […]