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Egyptian Pharaoh Statue to Spend 10 Years in NY

A colossal, 4,000-year-old statue of a seated Egyptian pharaoh will be visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for the next ten years.

The Met announced Friday that the sculpture is going on loan from a Berlin museum that is renovating a courtyard where the piece was most recently displayed.

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Blind Date to Blindfold: The Kidnap Business in Iraq

Nineteen-year-old Mehdi was looking forward to meeting the girl who had been calling for days on his cell phone. But he was about to learn that the blind date was a lure by kidnappers, who have turned abductions into a multi-million dollar business in Iraq.

When he arrived for his rendezvous, Mehdi was forced at gunpoint into a car, then held bound and blindfolded for two weeks until his father paid the $60,000 ransom demanded by the kidnappers.

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Goa's Female Porters on The Verge of Extinction

On a rainy monsoon morning, 70-year-old Joaquina Colaco clutched an umbrella and walked through the crowded lanes of Margao market in the Indian state of Goa, hoping for a full day's work.

After wading through puddles, she sat down next to a carpenter's shop, waiting expectantly for customers who need a porter or "coolie" to carry their wares.

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Malaysian Church Slams Islamic Officials over Raid

Malaysian Christian officials accused Islamic authorities on Thursday of unlawfully entering a church and harassing guests at a community dinner.

The incident reignited criticism that authorities in the Muslim-majority country fail to respect the rights of Christian, Buddhist and Hindu minorities.

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Kolkata Set for 'London Eye' in Major Facelift

The local government in Kolkata, once capital of British India, is to kick off plans Tuesday to transform the congested city into a "second London" replete with a London Eye ferris wheel.

Mamata Banerjee, the feisty newly elected chief minister of the state of West Bengal, made an election pledge to transform the dysfunctional and poverty-stricken Indian metropolis into a world class city.

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Israeli Museum Showing Muslim-world Artists

A museum on the road separating Jewish west Jerusalem from the Arab neighborhoods in the city's east is attracting a daring group of artists from Middle Eastern nations that shun contact with Israel, trying to erode political barriers through art.

It's been a years-long process for the Museum on the Seam, which is one of the few art museums in Israel that aggressively tries to convince Arab and Muslim artists to show in its galleries.

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Rome Archaeologists find Apollo Mosaic

Archaeologists have unearthed a 2,000-year-old mosaic in Rome depicting the Greek god Apollo surrounded by his muses in a cellar once used as a park tool shed near the Colosseum, officials said on Friday.

"This is a very important discovery. The mosaic is in perfect condition and it can be dated exactly to between 64 and 109 AD," Umberto Broccoli, head of the culture department of the Rome city council, told reporters on a visit.

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A Palace for Hire as Italy Tigthens Budgets

Winds of change are sweeping through the dusty palazzos and abandoned ruins of Italy -- as budget cuts in tough economic times force the managers of famous monuments to seek revenues and investment.

The crumbling Colosseum is being restored by shoe tycoon Diego Della Valle, the ancient Roman city of Pompeii is looking for private funders and the august royal residence of Venaria near Turin has opened its gates to banquets and fashion shows.

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Fall of Berlin Wall Halted Extradition of Key Nazi

Top Nazi war crimes suspect Alois Brunner was close to being extradited to former East Germany when the fall of the Berlin Wall put a halt on proceedings, an Austrian weekly said Saturday.

Based on unpublished documents from the former East German Stasi secret police, communist East Germany (GDR) negotiated with Syria in the late 1980s to have the Austrian Brunner extradited and arrested in Berlin, the 'profil' news weekly said in a statement.

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Switzerland to Fete National Day with New 'Swiss' Apple

Switzerland will celebrate its founding this year with its own new apple species, the Galmac, adding a new twist to William Tell's mythical apple-shot which indirectly led to Swiss independence.

According to the ministry of agriculture, the apple "with a bright luminous skin, crispy, juicy and with a harmonious and refreshing taste", will for the first time be commercially available nationwide.

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