A gold and jade statue of Mao Zedong worth more than $16 million was unveiled Friday, in the latest example of Communist China's indecision over how to commemorate its founding father's 120th anniversary.
The statue, 80 cm (32 inches) tall but weighing more than 50 kilograms, was put on display in the southern boom town of Shenzhen, China National Radio (CNR) reported.Full Story
They arrived suddenly on her doorstep pretending to be friends of her dead husband. Faceless men she suspects were security agents, they physically abused her and threatened to come again.
Scared and alone, Gowry did what she always does -- she packed in a hurry and fled with her two young children, the third time in recent years that she has moved house in Sri Lanka's former northern warzone.Full Story
Sotheby's auction house in New York has agreed to return an ancient statue to Cambodia, ending a heated legal battle that began more than a year ago.
The agreement, signed Thursday by lawyers for Sotheby's, the consignor and the U.S. government, states that the auction house will transfer the statue to a representative of Cambodia in New York within 90 days.Full Story
A British woman on Wednesday won her fight to get married in a Scientology chapel in London after the Supreme Court ruled that her church could be considered a place of worship.
Louisa Hodkin had been refused permission to wed fiance Alessandro Calcioli in a Church of Scientology chapel in central London because it was not legally listed as a place of religious worship.Full Story
The annual "kanji" Chinese character of the year in Japan went to "ring" Thursday, after Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020 Olympics, often referred to in local print media as "five rings."
In an event televised nationally, the top monk at world-famous Kiyomizu Temple in the ancient capital of Kyoto drew the character with a large calligraphy brush, whose bristles were the size of a bowling pin, on a huge piece of paper.Full Story
Senegal's Ousmane Sow, who sculpted Nelson Mandela as a goalkeeper extending his hand "to keep corrupt African heads of state at bay", was on Wednesday honored in his adoptive France.
At a ceremony in Paris, Sow -- the first African to be invited to join France's Academy of Fine Arts -- dedicated the honor to "all of Africa, its diaspora and the great man Nelson Mandela".Full Story
Some of the notable figures who have died in the year just ending:
- Nagisa Oshima, Japanese filmmaker, directed "Furyo", aged 80, on January 15.Full Story
Lawyers for a young woman whose arrest for wearing a full-face veil sparked riots, argued Wednesday in court that France's contentious ban on such coverings was unconstitutional and targeted Muslims.
The case relates to Cassandra Belin, 20, who was stopped by police in the gritty town of Trappes, west of Paris, on July 18 for wearing the veil in public.Full Story
The U.S.-based Annenberg Foundation revealed Wednesday that it had bought 24 sacred objects belonging to the Hopi and San Carlos Apache tribes which were sold Monday in a controversial Paris auction.
"Twenty-one of these items will be returned to the Hopi Nation in Arizona, and three artefacts belonging to the San Carlos Apache will be returned to the Apache tribe," the foundation said in a statement, adding their purchase totaled $530,000 (390,000 euros).Full Story
Nativity scene artisans in Italy have taken Pope Francis's social message to heart this Christmas, giving a bigger role to ordinary people in their work and reviving the tradition's simple origins.
Statuettes of disgraced former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi are less and less popular at the bustling San Gregorio Armeno market in Naples, where the new pope is now all the rage.Full Story