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Madoff Wine Collection to Hit Auction Block

Anyone with a taste for toasting the rich, famous and incarcerated might want to bid on this: fraudster Bernard Madoff's wine cellar is coming to the auction block.

Morrel and Company, a New York concern, will hold the sale May 18 on the Internet.

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Italian Archaeologists Hunt for Mona Lisa Model

Archaeologists on Wednesday began digging for the remains of a 16th-century woman believed to be the model for Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa in a bid to unlock an art world mystery.

The team of historians say they will try to find the remains using geo-radar equipment and then try to re-create a likeness of what the woman, Lisa Gherardini, would have looked like to compare her to the painting.

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Hong Kong Stages Bizarre 'Bun Scrambling' Festival

Tens of thousands of people flocked to a tiny Hong Kong island Tuesday for a bizarre ancient ritual known as "bun scrambling", part of a religious festival to celebrate victory over evil.

Huge crowds converged on Cheung Chau, a picturesque fishing village, for the annual "Bun Festival", a celebration unique to the southern Chinese city.

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Tunis Museum Flourishes After Ben Ali Fall

Sitting in his vast office, crammed full of relics and curiosities, museum curator Taher Ghalia has good reason to welcome the downfall of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Just as a fresh breeze now blows through the country's politics and press, Tunisia's cultural institutions too have the chance to flourish.

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Exhibit Aims to Inspire Next Indiana Jones

A museum in Montreal is showcasing the on-screen discoveries of Hollywood's fictional adventurer Indiana Jones, in hopes of inspiring a new generation of young archaeologists.

"Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology: The Exhibition," marking the 30th anniversary of the famed character's silver screen debut, takes visitors on a virtual tour of sites depicted in the adventure film series.

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Berlin Swimming Pool Hosts Underwater Opera

A specially composed opera with a difference premiered in a Berlin swimming pool this week, with singers performing in and out and even under the water.

"Aquaria Palaoa" is the brainchild of Claudia Herr, a champion swimmer in her youth before turning to singing, who plays the lead role, diving into the Stadtbad Neukoelln pool in her green evening dress.

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Record Set for Gauguin Sculpture at NY Auction

A rare wooden bust by Paul Gauguin sold Tuesday at auction in New York for $11.2 million, setting a record for a sculpture by the French artist.

The "Jeune Tahitienne" sculpture was estimated by Sotheby's to sell for between $10-15 million and depicts the head of a young girl with large earrings and coral necklaces.

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Vienna Premieres Jerome Robbins Ballet With Humor

The sense of humor that the Vienna Ballet displayed at the start of the season is here to stay, if Tuesday's "Homage to Jerome Robbins" is anything to go by.

"The Concert," a brief one-act choreography brilliantly merging comedy and ballet, drew bursts of laughter and impromptu applause throughout, making this evening -- the first-ever performance of Robbins's works by the company -- a hit with the audience.

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Maestro Barenboim Leads Historic Concert in Gaza

Israeli conductor Daniel Barenboim and an orchestra of prestigious European musicians on Tuesday played an historic concert in Gaza, drawing rapturous applause as they performed in a show of solidarity and peace.

It was the first time such a large group of celebrated classical musicians had played in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, which has been largely sealed off from the rest of the world by an Israeli blockade for nearly five years.

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Study Shows Ancient 'Nutcracker' Man Preferred Salad

He had the powerful jaws and big chompers to crack the toughest of shells, but a new study has shown that the ancient human relative known as "Nutcracker Man" actually preferred to munch on grass.

"It most likely was eating grass, and most definitely was not cracking nuts," said University of Utah geochemist Thure Cerling, lead author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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