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Last Mountain Priest Dies in India's Sikkim

An ancient ritual worshipping Kanchenjunga, the world's third-highest mountain, has ended with the death of the last Lepcha priest in remote northeast India, reports said Sunday.

The indigenous Lepcha people of Sikkim paid homage to the Himalayan peak for hundreds of years in an annual ceremony led by direct descendants of the original "bongthing" or priest.

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Miss World Comes Home as Contest Turns 60

The glitz and glamour of Miss World returns to its British home to celebrate the global beauty contest's 60th birthday on Sunday, with a billion viewers expected across the planet.

A record 122 beauty queens from Albania to Zimbabwe are taking part in the pageant, which will be broadcast live to more than 150 countries.

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Posters for London 2012 Olympics Unveiled

A nude Paralympic cyclist, an abstract take on Big Ben and two birds kissing.

Olympic officials on Friday unveiled the posters for the London 2012 games, which highlight 12 different takes on how to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic games.

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Massive Gold Coin Returns to Canada

A large gold coin which had displaced an Australian coin as the world's biggest, but recently lost the title, was on display this week in Canada's largest city.

The coin, measuring 50 centimeters across, took over two years to make from design to final product. When it was introduced in 2007 by the Royal Canadian Mint, it set a Guinness World Record.

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Giant British Arts Fest to Run alongside Olympics

Cultural events will take over Scottish castles, ancient English monuments and every corner of London as part of a giant arts festival running in conjunction with the 2012 Olympics.

The lineup for the 12-week London 2012 Festival, announced by organizers Friday, ranges from pop-up William Shakespeare to vintage Alfred Hitchcock, and includes artists, musicians, writers and performers from Britain and around the world.

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German Museum Piece Falls Victim to Cleaning Lady

A cleaning woman at a German museum who mistook a sculpture for an unsightly mess has destroyed the valuable artwork beyond recognition, a spokeswoman for the western city of Dortmund said Thursday.

The cleaner at the city's Ostwall Museum went to work on the Martin Kippenberger installation entitled "When It Starts Dripping From the Ceiling" which was valued by insurers at 800,000 Euros ($1.1 million), she said.

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Police Recover Two Stolen Paintings by Dutch Masters

Police recovered two stolen paintings by Dutch masters and handed them back Thursday to the provincial museum they were stolen from five months ago. Three suspects are in custody, police said.

The 17th-century paintings, a depiction of two laughing boys by Frans Hals and a forest landscape by Jacob van Ruisdael, were snatched from the Hofje van Mevrouw van Aerden museum in the central town of Leerdam in late May.

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Grisly Theory for Holy Land Mystery

A newly proposed solution to an ancient enigma is reviving debate about the nature of a mysterious prehistoric site that some call the Holy Land's answer to Stonehenge.

Some scholars believe the structure of concentric stone circles known as Rujm al-Hiri was an astrological temple or observatory, others a burial complex. The new theory proposed by archaeologist Rami Arav of the University of Nebraska links the structure to an ancient method of disposing of the dead.

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Klimt landscape fetches $40 million in New York

A landscape by painter Gustav Klimt that was stolen by the Nazis then returned this year to the family of the Jewish owner sold for a huge $40.4 million on Wednesday at Sotheby's in New York.

The painting, "Litzlberg am Attersee (Litzlberg on the Attersee)," easily topped its pre-sale high estimate of $25 million at the impressionist and modern sale.

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UNESCO Chief Calls on U.S. to Find Way to Continue Funding

UNESCO's Director General Irina Bokova called on the United States Wednesday to find a way to continue funding the U.N. cultural agency after Washington stopped its financing for admitting the Palestinians.

"I call on the U.S. administration, Congress and the American people to find a way forward and continue support for UNESCO in these turbulent times," Bokova said in a statement in which she detailed the agency's work.

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