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Tintin Set to Go under the Hammer at Paris Auctions

Tintin's latest adventure is taking him to Sotheby's and Christie's in Paris this month, as booming prices for comic books attract the attention of ultra-rich collectors.

Both auction houses have organised major sales of comic and graphic novel items in the French capital this month that are expected to rake in millions.

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15 Artworks Stolen from Chinese Museum South of Paris

French cultural officials say 15 pieces of art have been stolen from a Chinese museum south of Paris, including a replica crown of the King of Siam given to France's emperor in the mid-19th century.

The Culture Ministry says the break-in before dawn Sunday at the Chinese Museum at Fontainebleau Castle was over in less than seven minutes.

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Lithuania's Lost Jewish Archives Come to Life Online

After seven decades holed up in a Catholic church basement in the Lithuanian capital, thousands of Yiddish manuscripts that survived the Holocaust and Stalin's anti-Jewish onslaught are finally seeing the light of day.

A browning, century-old play by renowned Jewish playwright Jacob Gordin is among them. Penned in Yiddish but using the Latin alphabet, it still bears the red wax seal of Tsarist Russia's censors.

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Japan Shrugs off South Korean Calls on 'Comfort Women'

The Japanese government on Monday shrugged off renewed calls from South Korean President Park Geun-Hye to apologize to former wartime sex slaves, saying Tokyo hoped Seoul would change its views.

"We have explained our position many times. We want to continue our diplomatic efforts so that our view will be understood," said Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga.

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Iraq Reopens Baghdad Museum 12 Years after Looting

Iraq's national museum officially reopened Saturday after 12 years of painstaking efforts during which close to a third of 15,000 stolen pieces were recovered.

The much-delayed reopening was brought forward in what officials said was a response to the destruction of priceless artefacts by Islamic State group jihadists in the northern city of Mosul.

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Stolen Picasso Worth Millions Discovered in New York

A Picasso painting, snatched more than a decade ago from a storeroom in Paris, has surfaced in New York and will be returned to the French government, U.S. officials said Thursday.

The century-old Cubist oil was smuggled into the United States last December from Belgium with a shipping label that described the contents as a handicraft holiday present worth 30 euros ($37).

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Kerry: U.S. 'Unwavering' in Protecting Gay Rights

Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday the United States was "unwavering" in its commitment to protecting homosexuals worldwide, as he introduced Washington's first envoy for gay rights.

Randy Berry, who was named Monday, is tasked with helping countries coordinate U.S. strategy on rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, as well as to highlight such issues around the world.

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In Algeria, Women 'Imams' Battle Islamist Radicalisation

Hundreds of female religious guides have been at the forefront of Algeria's battle against Islamic radicalization since the civil war that devastated the North African country in the 1990s.

Their aim is to steer women away from false preachers promoting radical forms of Islam.

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Cambodians Angered over Nude Photo Incidents at Temples

Cambodia's most popular tourist attraction — the complex of ancient temples that includes Angkor Wat — is suffering from a form of overexposure: At least five foreign visitors have been arrested and deported this year for taking nude photos at the sacred sites.

Authorities have no tolerance for people stripping down at Angkor Archeological Park, a sprawling, centuries-old UNESCO World Heritage Site that drew 2 million visitors last year. The incidents are also upsetting to ordinary Cambodians, for whom the Khmer-era complex holds enormous spiritual and historical significance.

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400-Year-Old Books Stolen in Italy are Found in California

Two stolen Italian books dating to the 17th century that were discovered in California and many other plundered ancient artifacts will be returned to their country of origin, federal officials say.

The books, "Stirpium Historiae" and "Rariorm Plantarum Historia Anno 1601," were taken from Italy's Historical National Library of Agriculture and sold to an antiquities dealer in Italy, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement. The San Francisco Bay Area buyer willingly surrendered the books to investigators.

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