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Feininger Work Fetches 5.7 Million Euros in France

A painting by U.S. impressionist Lyonel Feininger sold for 5.7 million Euros ($8 million) in Paris Sunday -- more than double its estimated price and a nearly two-year French auction high.

A US collector paid 5,775,000 Euros for "Hafen von Swinemuende" ("Swinemuende Harbour"), the highest sum paid for a work at a French auction since 2009, the auctioneers said.

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Cuban Ballet Brings 'Message of Peace' to U.S. after 8 Years

The National Ballet of Cuba plans to deliver a "message of peace" when it leaves Sunday for its first United States tour in eight years, its director, Alicia Alonso, said Friday.

"It will be wonderful to visit again... and bring to the United States our art, and a message of peace and love," the dance legend told reporters.

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Bordeaux Puts Wine at Heart of Revival Strategy

The French "wine capital" of Bordeaux hopes a dramatic new cultural centre dedicated to its best known export can set the seal on this once decaying port's ambitious renewal program.

The voluptuously rounded structure, dominated by glass and wood, will evoke gigantic drops of wine as they are swirled in a glass and transform the skyline of the historic city from its formerly shabby quayside site.

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China's Forbidden City to Lend Works to Louvre

The Forbidden City, China's ancient imperial palace museum, is to loan more than 100 works to the Louvre in Paris, some of which have never left China.

The group of about 130 artefacts includes arms, clothing, bronzes, pieces of jade, lacquerware, enamels, seals, ceramics and personal effects of the Ming and Qing emperors, offering a window on life at China's imperial court.

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German Beer Law Put Forward as World Heritage

A group of German brewers, politicians and public figures have called for the country's 14th century beer purity law to be included on the U.N.'s list of "intangible" world cultural treasures.

"This almost 500-year-old law is one of the oldest food and drink regulations in the world," the German institute for pure beer (DIRB) said after its annual meeting on Wednesday.

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NZ Winegrowers Look to Restore Image After Glut

Striding across her vineyard in New Zealand's picturesque Marlborough region, winemaker Jane Hunter pauses for a moment to reflect on the woes besetting the industry she pioneered.

"It's been a bit soul-destroying really," she says. "If we're all going to survive, we've all got to work together."

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Laos Throws Doors Open to 'Eco Tourists'

In a hilltribe settlement in the forest of northern Laos, an old man sits on the ground weaving a basket while another villager hangs out her washing to dry.

It is a scene of everyday life for the Akha communities living in the Nam Ha Protected Area, where elephants, gibbons and leopards roam among giant bamboo near villages perched on the banks of a tributary of the Mekong river.

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Buenos Aires: A Graffiti Artist's Paradise

A portrait of a murdered activist stares from the graffiti on the wall, a slogan makes a passer-by smile, a colorful pastiche turns visitors' heads: welcome to the city where the walls talk.

"Buenos Aires has become a haven for street art, like Sao Paulo and Mexico City," said Fernando Aita, one of several young editors of the project "Grafiti escritos en la calle" -- or "Graffiti street writings."

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Torn Ancient China Painting to Be Joined in Taiwan

One of China's best-known ancient paintings, torn into two parts in the 17th century, will soon be exhibited in its entirety in Taiwan for the first time in more than 360 years, organisers said Monday.

The public will be able from next week to see "Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains" as it was originally created, after China sent its piece to Taiwan on loan, the National Palace Museum in Taipei said in a statement.

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Vienna's Life Ball Takes Flight With Angels, Flying Horses

Swarms of angels, flying horses and fantastic birds of paradise converged on Vienna's neo-Gothic City Hall on Saturday for this year's Life Ball.

In line with this year's motto -- "Spread the Wings of Tolerance" -- many of the guests to the 19th edition of one of the world's biggest AIDS charity events let their imaginations take flight with their spectacularly colorful fancy dress.

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