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OSCE Condemns Desecration of Jewish Cemetery in Kosovo

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe late Friday condemned the "disgraceful" desecration of an abandoned Jewish cemetery in Pristina where graves were daubed with Nazi graffiti.

"As the leading international human rights organization in Kosovo, the OSCE wholeheartedly condemns this disgraceful act," the acting head of the OSCE mission in Kosovo, Edward Joseph, said in a statement.

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Experts Re-Classify Painting as Real Rembrandt

Experts have reclassified a painting of an old man long thought to have been made by one of Rembrandts' students as having come from the hand of the Dutch master himself, after X-ray analysis revealed outlines of a self-portrait of the artist as a young man underneath.

Ernst van de Wetering of the Rembrandt Research Project cited the new X-ray scans of the painting "Bearded Old Man," in addition to stylistic analysis and circumstantial evidence in support of the conclusion.

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French Court Convicts Art Thieves Stung by FBI

A French court on Friday convicted five men arrested in an FBI sting after stealing paintings by Monet, Sisley and Brueghel and sentenced them to between two and nine years in prison.

The thieves, who pulled off the brazen heist in 2007 at the Musee des Beaux-Arts Jules Cheret in Nice, had claimed they were enticed by the FBI to commit the crime.

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Basel Art Fair Converts Miami into Cultural Oasis

Miami, once known mostly for its abundance of palm trees and bikinis, is forging a new identity as a world arts capital as it hosts the Art Basel fair, attracting collectors and aficionados from around the globe.

Beginning on Thursday and running through the weekend, Miami's edition of Art Basel -- billed as the most prestigious art show in the Americas -- will welcome some 50,000 visitors.

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British Library Puts 19th Century Newspapers Online

The newspaper coverage was troubling: London's huge international showcase was beset by planning problems, local opposition and labor woes — and the transport was a mess.

It sounds like the 2012 Olympics, but this was the Great Exhibition of 1851 generating stories of late trains, unscrupulous landlords and dangerous overcrowding.

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Mariachi, Fado, Chinese Shadow Puppetry on U.N. List

Mexican mariachi music, Chinese shadow puppetry and poetic dueling from Cyprus were among the cultural traditions identified by the United Nations on Tuesday as in need of protection.

Also added to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list — now in its second year and nearly 250 strong — were French-style horseback riding, which celebrates harmony between beast and man, the doleful fado songs of Portugal and Jultagi tightrope walking from Korea.

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'Human Zoos' Go on Show in Paris

The story of men, women and children plucked from their homes in the West's colonies and exhibited like zoo animals is the focus of a major show that opened on Monday at Paris' tribal arts museum.

"Exhibitions: the invention of the savage", at the Quai Branly museum, shows how up until the mid-20th century, labeling indigenous peoples of Africa, Asia, Oceania and America "savages" helped to justify the brutality of colonial rule.

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Relic Leaves Russia after 'Blessing Three Million'

A relic said to have belonged to the Virgin Mary left Russia Monday after a tour that saw it worshipped by three million people in a potent display of the power of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Belt of the Virgin Mary attracted a million people in Moscow alone, inspiring them to queue in a five-kilometer (three-mile) line for up to 26 hours in hope of touching the silver chest holding the relic and receiving a miracle.

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UNESCO Adds French Horse-Riding to 'Intangible Heritage' List

French-style horseback riding guided by principles of non-violence was one of seven items added Sunday to UNESCO's list of "intangible cultural heritage" in need of preservation.

Envoys on Indonesia's resort island of Bali picked the new listings among scores of entries to add to the U.N. cultural agency's list of traditions in need of urgent protection.

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Libyans Recover Looted Roman Antiquities

Moammar Gadhafi's forces tried to flee Tripoli with a sack of ancient Roman artifacts in hopes of selling them abroad to help fund their doomed fight, Libya's new leaders said Saturday as they displayed the recovered objects for the first time.

The director of the state antiquities department, Saleh Algabe, hailed the find of 17 pieces, mostly small stone heads, as an important recovery of national treasures.

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