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5,000 Relics from Titanic to Sell in New York

Five thousand items recovered from the Atlantic grave of the Titanic, from a 17-ton piece of the hull to china used to serve first-class passengers, will go on auction in New York a century after the liner sank.

The unprecedented collection will be sold as a single lot by Guernsey's Auctioneers on April 11, 100 years after Titanic's maiden voyage in the city where the doomed ship had been destined when it was holed by an iceberg off Newfoundland.

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For France's People's University, Knowledge is Power

The People's University in the northern French town of Caen is no ivory tower for the elite. Radical philosopher Michel Onfray set it up for those who were "programmed" to let education pass them by.

The lectures regularly attract about 1,000 students, among them the jobless and employed, youngsters just getting started in life and those already retired.

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Vaclav Havel Laid to Rest at Prague Cemetery

The leader of Czech's Velvet Revolution and former president Vaclav Havel, who died on December 18 aged 75, was laid to rest in a family tomb at a Prague cemetery on Wednesday, his secretary said.

Havel's second wife Dagmar, an actress, "laid the remains of her husband in a family tomb on the day and hour of the 15th anniversary of their wedding," Sabina Tancevova told Agence France Presse.

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Ancient Villain-Hitting Ritual Thrives in Hong Kong

Squatting at a makeshift shrine with joss sticks burning beside her, Granny Leung starts bashing a manlike paper cut-out with a pair of sandals.

"I beat you little people, I'm sending you away!" chants the 76-year-old woman, one of the last practitioners in Hong Kong of the ancient Chinese ritual of "da siu yan", or "beating the petty little people".

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Madrid Top Museums Post Record Attendance in 2011

Madrid's top three museums -- the Prado, the Reina Sofia and the Thyssen-Bornemisza -- received a record number of visitors last year as blockbuster exhibits drew crowds despite a weak economy.

The private Thyssen-Bornemisza, which displays works by artists ranging from El Greco to Picasso, posted the biggest rise in visitor numbers of the three museums that make up the Spanish capital's so-called "Golden Triangle of Art".

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NKorea Holds Rally, Shows Young Kim Meeting Troops

Pumping their fists and chanting, tens of thousands of North Koreans packed the snowy main square of the capital Tuesday to pledge their loyalty to new leader Kim Jong Un as the campaign to consolidate his power deepened.

State television also aired footage of Kim's recent visit to an elite tank unit with family and historical ties that showed him interacting with ease with soldiers and carrying out inspections much like his father and grandfather did before him. Soldiers cheered and chanted his name as Kim made an inaugural solo trip to provide "on-the-spot guidance" in the first official documentary of the new leader shown on North Korean TV.

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Hockney Takes a Swipe at Hirst Over Work Ethic

British painter David Hockney has criticized controversial fellow artist Damien Hirst for employing other people to help create his works of art, saying it was "insulting".

A poster for a major exhibition of landscapes by the 74-year-old Hockney opening in London this month reads: "All the works here were made by the artist himself, personally."

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Restoration Threatens Georgian Mediaeval Masterpiece

Bagrati cathedral, a world-renowned but crumbling masterpiece of mediaeval Georgian architecture, is suffering not only from wear and tear but also from the impact of human meddling.

Keen to please the influential Orthodox Church, the government in the deeply religious former Soviet republic has defied world heritage body UNESCO by starting to rebuild the 11th century monument.

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Wealth Brings Art to Delhi's New Gallery District

It's late in the evening and the Indian capital's moneyed art crowd is spilling out of congested galleries into a narrow maze of streets, sipping glasses of wine as they peer at catalogues.

Lado Sarai, a warren of bylanes and haphazardly constructed buildings in New Delhi's hinterland, has become a thriving new art district where Mercedes and BMWs jostle with bullock carts for space to pass.

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Saudi to Apply Law for Women Only to Sell Lingerie

Saudi Arabia says starting Thursday, only females can work in women's lingerie stores.

The 2006 law banning men from working in female apparel and cosmetic stores has never been put into effect, partly due to hard-liners in the religious establishment who oppose the whole idea of women working where men and women congregate together, like malls.

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