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Vatican Secret Archives to Go on Display

The Vatican is to unlock its secret archives for an exhibition on Rome's Capitol Hill next year, officials said Tuesday.

Documents including an account of the 17th century heresy trial of telescope inventor Galileo Galilei will leave the Holy See for the display entitled Lux in Arcana, opening in the city's Capitoline Museums in February.

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Picasso Drawing Stolen From SF Gallery

Police are on the hunt for a man who walked into a San Francisco art gallery, grabbed a valuable pencil drawing by Pablo Picasso off the wall and then fled in a waiting taxicab.

Police on Tuesday said the drawing, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, was taken from the Weinstein Gallery near Union Square.

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Swedish City 'Surprised' at Looming Peru Suit Over Artifacts

The cultural chief in Gothenburg said Tuesday he was surprised to hear that Peru plans to sue Sweden's second city for the alleged theft of pre-Columbian textiles on exhibit at its museum.

"This comes as a total surprise to us, because we've had a good dialogue with Peru ever since they demanded we return the items in question," Bjoern Sandmark, who heads Gothenburg city's culture service division, told Agence France Presse.

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Pope Opens Vatican Art Show

Pope Benedict XVI on Monday reviewed work by 60 artists during the debut of a program he spearheaded hoping to strengthen links between the cultural world and the Roman Catholic Church.

The exhibition, titled "Splendor of the truth, beauty of the Truth", featured mainly European artists, sculptures, architects and musicians who agreed to display their work at the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall.

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India Police Guard Temple Treasure Haul Worth Billions

Armed commandos cordoned off a medieval Hindu temple in south India on Monday after gold coins and precious stones worth billions of dollars were found in its vaults.

The chief minister of southern Kerala state, Oommen Chandy, said local authorities needed to take precautions and had set up a three-tier security ring involving 100 armed police.

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Indonesia's 'Paradise Lost' Opens Up to Intrepid Tourists

For decades, the only foreign visitors to venture into Papua were gold-diggers, anthropologists, missionaries and soldiers fighting imperial wars.

But the vast, western half of New Guinea island is slowly opening its doors to tourists as a "hidden paradise", a land of ancient tribal cultures, glittering reefs, soaring glaciers and teeming wildlife.

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Giant Youngsters' Choir Takes to Stage in Tiny Estonia

More than 22,000 youngsters -- from China to Canada -- took to the stage as a single choir Friday in the small Baltic republic of Estonia, where music is seen as a bedrock of the national identity.

A total of 22,239 performers gave the opening performance of a three-day song and dance festival, tapping into an unbroken tradition stretching back almost 150 years, organisers said.

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Chongqing, Home of China's 'Red' Revival

At the international airport in Chongqing in southwest China, travelers are greeted with a massive sign inviting them to "sing red songs" and spread the Communist party's good word.

Thirty-five years after the death of Mao Zedong, the revolutionary spirit is alive and thriving in this teeming province-sized mega-city, despite the more capitalist leanings adopted by the world's second-largest economy.

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Canada Promotes Cultural Exchange Through Maple Syrup Week at AUB

With the aim of promoting cultural exchange week between the Canadian and Lebanese communities, the McGill Alumni Association in Lebanon organized “McGill Maple Syrup Week” at the American University of Beirut on July 1-2, 2011.

Offering free pancakes and maple syrup outside West Hall, Canadian Embassy volunteers explained to visitors the importance of maple syrup in Canada’s cultural fabric.

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Solved Puzzle Reveals Fabled Cambodian Temple

It has taken half a century, but archaeologists in Cambodia have finally completed the renovation of an ancient Angkor temple described as the world's largest three dimensional puzzle.

The restoration of the 11th-century Baphuon ruin is the result of decades of painstaking work, hampered by tropical rains and civil war, to take apart hundreds of thousands of sandstone blocks and piece them back together again.

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