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Six Greek Artifacts Returned From London Gallery

A London gallery has sent back to Greece six stolen icons dated from the 18th and 19th centuries, and six more found in The Netherlands were to be returned, the culture ministry said Thursday.

The pieces returned from Britain were temporarily displayed at a Byzantine museum in Athens where Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos said the finds were a "great success against the forces that want to harm our patrimony".

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France Returns Rare Korean Books After 145 Years

France Thursday sent back a shipment of ancient Korean royal books, 145 years after its troops looted them during a retaliatory raid on an island west of Seoul.

Two containers carrying 75 volumes of "Uigue", illustrated manuals on royal protocol written during the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910), arrived at Incheon airport after being released by the National Library of France.

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Rome's Bloody, Art-Loving Emperor Nero in New Show

It's safe to say that the Emperor Nero -- the subject of a major new exhibition and archaeology trail that opened in the Roman Forum this week -- has always had something of an image problem.

He has gone down in the history books as the man who had his domineering mother Agrippina killed, kicked his pregnant wife Poppaea to death and -- as legend would have it -- played his lyre on a hill while Rome burnt below him.

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2,000-Year-Old Nails 'May be Tied to Crucifixion'

Two Roman nails dating back 2000 years, found in the burial cave of the Jewish high priest who handed Jesus over to the Romans, may be linked to the crucifixion, an Israeli filmmaker has claimed.

The gnarled bits of iron, which measure around three inches (eight centimeters) each, were shown to reporters in Jerusalem on Tuesday at the premier of a television documentary series examining the question of whether they could have been the nails used to crucify Jesus.

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Italy Announces Pompeii Restoration Project

Italy's culture minister Tuesday announced a major new restoration project for the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, following international outrage over the collapse of a house and a wall at the site.

"In an archaeological area of this size, the urgency never goes away but the restoration starts tomorrow," Giancarlo Galan said at a news conference.

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US Marks 150th Anniversary of Start of Civil War

Americans on Tuesday mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the U.S. Civil War, a bloody conflict that historians say still deeply influences the United States.

"The Civil War is one of the most significant events in American history in terms of the way the American nation was defined," said William Link, a historian at the University of Florida.

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Venice's Hottest Gallery Launches Startling Show

Grotesque heads, an American brothel and a life-sized headless horse star in a new Venice exhibition drawn from French billionaire fashion tycoon Francois Pinault's personal collection.

"In Praise of Doubt" is the latest contemporary art exhibition at the Punta della Dogana gallery, a former Venetian Republic Customs House at the center of the lagoon on the Grand Canal, just across from Piazza San Marco.

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Philippine School Creates Arts Ambassadors

Tucked in the mist-covered slopes of Mount Makiling, the Philippines' premier public school for the arts is busy molding the country's future cultural ambassadors.

The gifted scholars embark on a rigorous 12-hour daily routine of academic study, music, dance, theatre, visual arts and creative writing at the state-funded Philippine High School for the Arts.

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From The Amazon to The Edge of Lima, 'Boom' Remains a Dream

Thousands of Peruvians on the edge of Lima are a world away from the capital's prosperity, with little hope they will share the fruit of a decade of growth, despite promises from presidential candidates.

Hundreds of homes sit atop a former rubbish dump in the slum of Cantagallo, which has a clear view across the rapidly developing capital and lies only a mile (some two kilometers) from the presidential palace.

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Archeologists Dig for Secrets in Mexico Tunnel

Archeologists are unearthing a 2,000-year-old tunnel outside bustling modern day Mexico City searching for clues to one of the region's most influential former civilizations.

Heavy rains at the site of Teotihuacan, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the capital, accidentally provided the first sign of the tunnel's existence in 2003, when the water made a tiny hole in the ground.

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