Heritage

Bitterly contested trove of Crimean gold artefacts must return to Ukraine, not Russia, Dutch court rules

Ancient artefacts were on loan to Amsterdam museum when Crimea was annexed in 2014

Sophia Kishkovskyabout 15 hours ago

Italian mayor launches underwater excavation to find third Riace bronze

Town of Riace is planning a museum, while a new investigation hopes to confirm whether there are more ancient Greek statues to be found

Jasper Johns: a radical look at a colossus of post-war American art

Plus, Venice's tourism problem and Finnish artist Outi Heiskanen

Hosted by Ben Luke and Aimee Dawson. With guest speaker Anna Somers Cocks. Produced by Julia Michalska and David Clack. With Henrietta Bentall
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Unesco report reveals extent of Russian threat to Crimean heritage

Since the annexation in 2014, Russia has been persecuting the Tatar population and appropriating monuments

What do the bells of Notre Dame 'hear'? Artist Bill Fontana listens to the soul of Paris

The Bay Area sound artist is working on a contemporary sound installation in the fire-ravaged cathedral's bell tower

Afghanistan: the threat of the Taliban to artists and heritage

Plus, artist Bill Fontana records Notre Dame's bells

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An ancient Buddhist city is perched on top of an Afghan copper reserve worth $50 billion—what will happen to it under Taliban control?

Cultural heritage workers estimate they have five years to secure the heritage site’s contents before it is destroyed to extract the ore

Louis Armstrong’s ‘second home’ in New Orleans destroyed by Hurricane Ida

The Karnofsky Store, a Jewish family’s former tailor shop where the young jazz legend found early encouragement for his musical talent, has been reduced to rubble

Canadanews

Klee Wyck, a historic home used by Emily Carr in West Vancouver, to be demolished

The property, bequeathed to the district by a physician friend of the artist for use as an arts centre, has been neglected for decades

Afghanistananalysis

Afghanistan: the historical sites of key concern after the Taliban's return

From the Bamiyan Valley to an ancient spiritual centre of Zoroastrianism and Buddhism, former Unesco senior official Francesco Bandarin looks at the embattled country’s most important landmarks

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Pre-Raphaelite paintings go on show in his refurbished historic London theatre

Composer has funded a two-year, £60m renovation of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane to turn it into a public gallery and heritage attraction

Monastery of powerful Anglo Saxon queen discovered in genteel Thames-side Berkshire village

Dig uncovers a wealth of objects, including jewellery probably worn by Queen Cynethryth, an influential female ruler likely to have been buried in the village

Heritagecomment

With the Taliban’s take-over of Afghanistan, it is the diversity of intangible cultural heritage that is most at threat

The music, poetry, traditions and crafts that are kept alive by communities are especially vulnerable under the group’s ultra-conservative rule and the economic chaos of continuing conflict

Amid Taliban insurgency, culture sector fears looting as Kabul descends into chaos

British Council in Afghanistan among international heritage organisations that have suspended operations during the conflict

Sacred rock-hewn churches at risk as rebel forces take control of Ethiopia's Unesco World Heritage Site Lalibela

Historic town, a holy site for millions of Orthodox Christians, caught up in widening Tigray conflict

Acropolis forced to close amid unprecedented heatwave and wildfires in Greece

The birthplace of the Olympic Games is one of the many ancient sites at risk as record temperatures scorch country

Eccentric Wentworth Woodhouse estate—home to centuries-old camellias—gets set to bloom again in Yorkshire

The rambling 365-room mansion is being rescued from near collapse, starting with its tea house

Controversial Stonehenge tunnel is unlawful, High Court rules

Judge concludes that UK transport secretary failed to consider alternatives to the scheme or assessed the ‘risk of harm’ to the Unesco site

Ancient rock art complex Hima listed as Saudi Arabia's sixth Unesco World Heritage site

Global heritage body's decision boosts Saudi government's efforts to promote an open image of the country

Craftsmen in US use medieval techniques to reconstruct Notre Dame roof support

A full-scale truss fit for the Paris cathedral will be built in Washington, DC this summer as part of a teaching project by Handshouse Studio

Liverpool should not be punished for its modern vision

The UK city has been stripped of its World Heritage status. Walter Aubrey Thomas, who designed some of its most famous buildings, would have objected, says his great-grandson

German floods damage archives, soaking historic documents in mud

A team from the Cologne City Archive has sent emergency aid to Stolberg

Nailed it: Kizhi Pogost church is finally restored on Russian island of remarkable wooden buildings

Newly reopened 18th-century Church of the Transfiguration, topped with 22 domes, is said to have been built without a single nail

Venice comment

Now is the time for Unesco to call Venice's authorities to order

For decades, short-termism and conflicting interests have prevented a sustainable plan for Venice from being developed or enacted

Italy bans cruise ships from the Venice lagoon from 1 August

Unesco and citizen action groups have campaigned for the move for years

Last Supper painting once adorned Shakespeare's classroom wall, new research suggests

Scholars believe the 15th-century decorative work was whitewashed in the Tudor era to obliterate the Roman Catholic imagery

Archaeologists find ruins of vast Medieval Nubian cathedral in Sudan

Polish team used remote sensing techniques to detect the building, the largest of its kind in the region, as well as a possible tomb of an archbishop

East German palaces and castles to get €400m for renovation

Move addresses "investment backlog" for upgrades to cultural sites in Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia

Seven sites, including Venice, may be added to Unesco in Danger list

Of the 53 sites on the list—which will be reviewed at a committee meeting next month—only four are in the West

Visitors return to Venice—but at what cost?

The city took a big financial hit during the pandemic. But as things improve, locals are pushing for a more sustainable form of tourism

Unesco warns that Stonehenge will go on its danger list unless plans to build tunnel beneath it are modified

World Heritage Site status may also be removed from Liverpool's waterfront after excessive development

Venice comment

The damnation of Venice: locals are being systematically driven out by officials who are selling off sites for tourism

Venetians are leaving the city in thousands because rents are unaffordable, while more than 11% of social housing stands empty

'Geffrye must fall': Labour MP Diane Abbott leads protests demanding slaver statue be removed from London museum

Former UK shadow home secretary led protests at the Museum of the Home in Hoxton, which reopened to the public at the weekend

Oxford professors refuse to teach undergraduate students if Cecil Rhodes statue stays in place

Oriel College said it had no plans to “begin the legal process for relocation” of the monument

Chinanews

Uyghur tribunal reveals horrific abuses inside Xinjiang detention camps

Museums who partner with China need to know about the violence, says panel investigating alleged crimes against humanity

Italynews

Mussolini family feuds over reopened crypt of fascist Italian dictator

The controversial site has become a pilgrimage for far-right supporters

Amazon's plans to build massive warehouse near Roman aqueduct in south of France cause concern

Locals say the construction will be a "wart" on the way to Pont du Gard, a Unesco world heritage site, and will harm the surrounding environment

Crime news

Number of art thefts in Italy plummets—partly thanks to drones

New report by special police force finds increase in security and surveillance technology has dissuaded dealers in stolen art

Museum chiefs—and Mick Jagger—say Venice must be saved as cruise ships are set to return to lagoon city after 18-month break

Signatories of the open letter supporting ten point-plan to save La Serenissima also include the artist Anish Kapoor and The Art Newspaper's founding editor Anna Somers Cocks

Uyghurnews

China's destruction of Uyghur cultural property evidence of 'genocidal intent', UK MPs declare

Members of Parliament send warning to China ahead of motion to acknowledge human rights abuses against minorities in Xinjiang region

Heritagefeature

Special investigation: Declassified satellite images show erasure of Armenian churches

Covert destruction of Armenian-Christian heritage in Azerbaijan’s autonomous republic of Nakhichevan has been exposed in recently surfaced Cold War spy imagery taken by the US in the 1970s, published here for the first time

Egyptnews

First the Louvre's pyramid, now the actual Pyramids—JR to create show-stopping project in Egypt

Street artist hints he might make a photo collage at the 4,500-year-old Unesco World Heritage Site as part of exhibition organised by Art D’Egypte

Woolworth Building in San Antonio, a landmark in civil rights history, is spared from demolition

Former 1921 dime store, which peacefully desegregated its lunch counter in 1960, will house an Alamo museum

Campaigners fight to preserve monumental Soviet-era murals in Ukraine

Victor Arnautoff’s large-scale 1960s mosaics on public buildings in Mariupol are threatened by neglect and a “decommunisation” campaign

The fight to save Saudi Arabia’s Modern architecture

The reaction to the destruction of Al Rabooa mosque highlights changing attitudes to the conservation of Modernist and post-Modernist buildings in the kingdom

Off with her head! Infrared technology shows how a 15th-century French king used a paintbrush to replace one wife with another

Francis I of Brittany had his first wife painted over in a medieval prayer book before giving it to his new spouse, research at Cambridge's Fitzwilliam Museum shows

Prominent Israeli rabbi: 'al-Aqsa mosque is the heart of the deadly hostilities—nobody really gets it'

Respect for religious sites and religions—not military might—is the only way forward, he says

Bell foundry that cast Big Ben can be turned into boutique hotel, UK government says

Decision has drawn wave of criticism from culture and heritage professionals, accusing government of ‘money-grabbing philistinism’

Lootnews

Looted Libyan sculpture seized at Heathrow Airport heads back home with help from the British Museum

The funerary piece was illicitly excavated from the ancient city of Cyrene which is under threat from property developers

‘The Colosseum is the last thing I would spend money on’: experts angry over plans for €15m floor at Italy’s most famous site

Archaeologists object to covering the amphitheatre's unique underground space and point to more vital restoration projects in the country

Indianews

As India's death toll surges, £2bn renovation of Delhi parliament buildings continues as 'essential service'

Many are questioning how Prime Minister Narendra Modi can justify his "vanity project" as hospitals are overwhelmed with patients

Acropolis renovation plans spark accusations that it’s ‘just another way to fit in more tourists’

Archaeologists fear the structural changes aimed to improve access to the Unesco site will “dramatically” change its form

'Hurrah, it’s leprosy!' How a conservator and a historian are decoding the grisly tales in Canterbury Cathedral’s stained-glass windows

New research for British Museum exhibition means panels depicting St Thomas Becket's healing miracles will be correctly reassembled after centuries in the wrong order

From heartstrings to purse strings: nostalgia's pull on the art market

Sometimes the wistful memory of time long past is all one needs to spend a few hundred thousand.

Only connect: Icomos and Europa Nostra join up to influence European Union’s one trillion euro Green Deal

Conservation experts and lobby group launch a Green Paper to put Europe’s heritage at the heart of the EU’s greening policy

Egyptian archaeologists uncover ‘lost golden city of Luxor’

The 3,000-year-old site is remarkably preserved, with pottery, daily tools and human remains found among its intact walls

Gifted to the English city 80 years ago, Coventry's medieval Charterhouse will finally open to the public

After a £4.3m National Lottery Heritage Fund grant and years of restoration, the historic priory is set to open this summer

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