Latest stories
Lord Rabbit Reigns for China's Lunar New Year

Lord Rabbit, a mythical bunny sent down from the moon to bring good health to Beijing, is making a triumphant comeback as the Chinese capital gears up for the Lunar New Year.

Banned during the tumultuous Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) when China's communist rulers sought to stamp out customs seen as superstitious, Lord Rabbit has re-emerged as the nation once again embraces its ancient traditions.

Full Story
Sikh Shrine in Baghdad Lives On in Memories

A desolate courtyard surrounded by fields of mournful graves is all that remains of an ancient shrine to the Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak inside a sprawling Muslim cemetery in Baghdad.

War, insurgents or looters have wiped any trace of a historical footnote that had preserved the memory of the Indian holy man's 16th-century journey through Arabia and his stay in Baghdad, hailed by Sikhs as an early example of inter-faith dialogue.

Full Story
A Literary Melting Pot in India's 'Pink City'

Royalty rubbed shoulders with the rump of India's caste system at the Jaipur Literary Festival this year as crowds flocked to India's "pink city" for an annual dose of celebrity and culture.

Bright sunshine and a roster of 220 authors and performers, including a clutch of Nobel, Booker and Pulitzer prize winners, lured tens of thousands of book lovers to the grounds of the Diggi Palace -- a converted 19th century mansion where the event has been held since 2006.

Full Story
Egypt Asks Berlin to Return Nefertiti Bust

Egypt is officially requesting the return of the 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti that has been in a Berlin museum for decades.

The bust, dating back to the 14th century B.C. monarch, tops Egypt's wish list of artifacts the country hopes to bring back as part of a campaign to retrieve thousands of antiquities spirited out during the colonial period and afterward.

Full Story
China Gives Etiquette Classes for Schoolchildren

China has mandated that all schoolchildren undergo lessons on etiquette -- the latest expression of concern over uncultured manners in one of the world's oldest civilizations.

Teachers will be required to instruct primary school students in the intricacies of basic decorum, respecting elders and proper table manners, according to guidelines posted on the education ministry's website.

Full Story
Booming India Draws Foreign Art Dealers

India's biggest art fair opens on Friday, pulling in dozens of foreign galleries seeking to tap a new breed of buyers in one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

Now in its third edition, the annual Indian Art Summit has expanded sharply in both size and

Full Story
Texas Group to Sell 'The Backs' Sculptures by Matisse

A Texas foundation is selling four Henri Matisse sculptures known as "The Backs," which were once displayed in a public park and are currently on exhibit at an art museum in Fort Worth.

The monumental sculptures move from realism to the abstract in depicting, in bronze relief, the back of a nude woman resting her head on her arm. A casting of "Back IV" sold at auction at Christie's in November for 48.8 million dollars.

Full Story
Pre-Columbian Noble Tomb Discovered in Peru

Peruvian archeologists have discovered the tomb of an ancient pre-Columbian lord buried with gold and silver ornaments in coastal northern Peru, one of the researchers told AFP on Wednesday.

The 1,100-year-old tomb in the Lambayeque region of northern Peru belonged to a noble from the Sican culture, said Carlos Elera, director of the Sican Archeology Project.

Full Story
Martin Luther King Memorial to Open August 28

In between memorials to two presidents and a stone's throw from a site for World War II soldiers, Washington stands to get a new memorial honoring slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The 120-million-dollar memorial was still a building site Thursday when Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Representative Eleanor Holmes-Norton and Washington Mayor Vincent Gray took an inspection tour to see how construction was progressing on the site, which has been dogged by delays.

Full Story
Hi Tech Pays Tribute to Eiffel Tower's 19th-Century Origins

Arguably the most widely recognized structure in the world, the Eiffel Tower was designed to stand for only 20 years -- and some predicted it would collapse long before then.

Even as it was being built for the 1889 Universal Exhibition, a professor of mathematics sagely calculated that when the tower was two-thirds complete, its legs would buckle and the whole thing would come tumbling down, crushing workers and houses alike.

Full Story