Iraq is seeking to replace its national anthem and flag in a move aimed at unifying national symbols and putting decades of conflict and hardship in the country behind it.
"We are determined to finish the new flag and anthem this year, in this legislative session," MP Ali Shlah, the chairman of parliament's culture and media commission, told Agence France Presse.Full Story
Sotheby's is set to become the first international fine art auction house in China after signing a joint venture with a state-owned company, it said Friday.
The deal with Beijing GeHua Art Company, which is subject to government approval, will give Sotheby's a foothold in China where foreign auction houses are normally prevented from operating by law.Full Story
In the remote town of Kannauj, the perfume capital of India, traditional workers are struggling to keep their craft alive in the face of fierce competition from modern fragrance makers.
This fight, between small businesses such as the Pragati Aroma Oil distillery and global groups such as Armani and Chanel, mirrors thousands of other battles across India between ancient practices and the forces of modernity.Full Story
Capitalizing on low water levels in Warsaw's Vistula River, police are teaming up with archaeologists to recover gigantic marble and alabaster treasures that apparently were stolen from royals in Poland by Swedish invaders in the mid-17th century.
A police Mi-8 helicopter hovered over a riverbed on Thursday, lifting ornaments such as the centerpiece of a fountain with water outlets decorated with Satyr-like faces.Full Story
Canada and Turkey's foreign ministers unveiled a monument to fallen diplomats Thursday, a week after U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in Libya.
The monument in Ottawa stands on the very spot where a Turkish diplomat was assassinated on his way to work 30 years ago, allegedly by Armenian gunmen.Full Story
Egypt on Thursday reopened the Serapeum of Saqqara, a vast underground necropolis south of Cairo dedicated to the bulls of Apis, after 11 years and complete renovation of the historic pharaonic site.
The Serapeum, whose origin dates back to around 1400 BC, was discovered in 1851 by French Egyptologist Auguste Mariette, founder of the first department of Egyptian antiquities.Full Story
Restrictions on religion were growing worldwide by mid-2010, even in Western countries with traditionally few limits on the practice of faith, the Pew Research Center said Thursday.
It said three-quarters of the world's seven billion people lived in countries with either "high government restrictions on religion or high social hostilities involving religion," according to data from July 2009 through June 2010.Full Story
When a famous U.S. architect visited Venice's celerated Venini glass works in 1951, he was so entranced by a green and black bowl that turned red in the light he ordered 25 replicas.
But the glaziers never managed to reproduce it and today the bowl has pride of place at an exhibition paying tribute to a golden age of 20th century glassmaking through the experimental work of architect Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978).Full Story
A mining giant is showcasing dozens of the world's rarest diamonds in Hong Kong, as it seeks to tap into the booming Chinese jewellery market.
The 75 pink, red and blue diamonds are being shown at a private exhibition by Anglo-Australian mining firm Rio Tinto, which unearthed a huge 12.76-carat pink diamond in Australia in February -- the largest of the precious stones ever found in the country.Full Story
Once banned by Christian missionaries as a barbaric, heathen custom, traditional tattooing is making a comeback in the Cook Islands as locals in the Pacific nation reconnect with their cultural roots.
Body art was common in South Pacific nations such as the Cooks, Tonga, Tahiti and Samoa before missionaries arrived in the 19th Century -- so much so that the English word tattoo is derived from the Polynesian terms "tatau" and "tatatau".Full Story