The Vikings are renowned as bloodthirsty warriors, but a new exhibition at the British Museum aims to show the cultural achievements and trading skills that spread their influence far and wide.
"Vikings: Life and Legend", which opens on Thursday and runs until June 22, seeks to go beyond the stereotypical image of terrifying bearded axemen, raping and pillaging their way around Europe between the ninth and 11th centuries.Full Story
Dr. Sherwin Nuland, a medical ethicist who opposed assisted suicide and wrote an award-winning book about death called "How We Die," has died at age 83.
He died of prostate cancer on Monday at his home in Hamden, Connecticut, said his daughter Amelia Nuland, who recalled how he told her he wasn't ready for death because he loved life.Full Story
Auction house Sotheby's said Tuesday it has been forced to buy back a flawless, near-60 carat pink diamond it sold last November after the buyer defaulted on the record $83-million (60-million-euro) payment.
New York diamond cutter Isaac Wolf had outbid rivals for the gemstone, called the "Pink Star", in the Geneva auction conducted by the company.Full Story
Spain's offer of citizenship to the descendants of Jews who were expelled from the country over 500 years ago during the Inquisition has sparked a flurry of global interest.
Maya Weiss-Tamir, an Israeli lawyer who specializes in applications for citizenship in European countries, said she had received over 1,000 inquiries since the Spanish government approved the draft citizenship bill on February 7.Full Story
The sumptuous gardens of Castel Gandolfo, a summer getaway for centuries of popes, have opened to the public at the behest of Pope Francis, the Vatican Museums announced Monday.
"It took a man like Francis" to open the grounds to all, museum director Antonio Paolucci said in a statement, describing the gardens as a place "where the splendor of art and the glory of nature combine in an admirable balance".Full Story
The Temple of Venus and walls of a tomb and shop in the long-neglected ruins of Pompeii near Naples have been damaged, possibly due to heavy rain, officials said on Monday.
Custodians found that a two-metre wall of an ancient shop in the ruined city -- which had recently been restored -- had collapsed under the weight of another wall that crumbled onto it.Full Story
Russian President Vladimir Putin is repeating history by acting in Crimea much like Adolf Hitler did in central and eastern Europe in the late 1930s, a former Czech foreign minister said in an interview Monday.
"What's happening in Ukraine is history repeating itself," Karel Schwarzenberg said in an interview with Austrian daily Osterreich.Full Story
A year after Hugo Chavez's death, dozens of mourners still trek daily to his mausoleum atop a hillside slum overlooking downtown Caracas.
There, in the century-old military barracks where Hugo Chavez commanded a failed 1992 coup, El Comandante rests in a marble tomb flanked by soldiers wearing the hussar-style uniform that independence hero Simon Bolivar favored, including a tight jacket adorned with gold braid and a tall black hat with a chin strap.Full Story
Malcolm X and rap music have always fit together like a needle in the groove, connected by struggle, strength and defiance. But three recent episodes involving the use or misuse of Malcolm and other black icons have raised the question: Has rap lost touch with black history?
Chart-topping rapstress Nicki Minaj provoked widespread outrage with an Instagram post featuring one of black history's most poignant images: Malcolm X peering out the window of his home, rifle in hand, trying to defend his wife and children from firebombs while under surveillance by federal agents. Superimposed on the photo: the title of Minaj's new song, which denigrates certain black men and repeats a racial epithet 42 times.Full Story
Dozens of works of art were secretly taken from a storage facility at Cuba's flagship National Museum of Fine Arts and some have surfaced across the Florida Straits in Miami, museum and gallery officials said Friday.
In a statement posted online, Cuba's governmental National Council of Cultural Heritage acknowledged what it called a major loss for the museum, located on a main boulevard in central Havana.Full Story