Unesco threatens to put Venice on its Heritage at Risk list


Concern over development projects prompts request for a monitoring mission This Friday, 17 October, is the final deadline for environmental comments to be submitted to the Italian government regarding its desion to deep-dredge a channel through the lagoon so that the vast cruise ships can enter the port of Venice without sailing through the city. Since the decision was announced ... Read More »

Pictures at an execution: The condemned in art

Electric Chair by Andy Warhol

A new exhibition aims to humanise condemned prisoners. From the sword to the electric chair, the death penalty has inspired challenging art, writes Jason Farago. One man, before dying, said, “I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me.” Another said, “I’m going to a beautiful place.” A third: “I am innocent, innocent, innocent.” Those were their last ... Read More »

Who’s afraid of the Marquis de Sade?


The radical 18th Century libertine left a profound mark on our culture. He’s everywhere – but why does he still scare us? Jason Farago explains. “Either kill me or take me like this, for I will not change,” wrote the imprisoned Marquis de Sade to his wife in 1783. It could only be one or the other for the most ... Read More »

Supreme procrastination: Why the nation’s highest court puts off big decisions until the last moment

Epstein 1a

Study suggests three factors for delaying decisions until last week of the session As the Supreme Court of the United States begins its fall 2014 session this month, it faces decisions on several “blockbuster” cases, including freedom of speech, religious freedoms in prison, pregnancy discrimination and a possible decision on gay marriage. Just don’t expect any of these decisions until ... Read More »

Australia could send 100 babies to detention centres


An 11-month old baby born to asylum seekers in Australia has been declared an “unlawful maritime arrival” and does not have the right to stay in the country, in a landmark ruling that could see 100 other babies sent to off-shore detention centres. Baby Ferouz Myuddin, born in Brisbane to an asylum seeker from Burma, could be sent to a ... Read More »

One Controversial Art Exhibit — And Its Cancellation — Sends an Unsettling Message About Race


On its fall calendar, London’s Barbican performing arts center had slated a controversial production called “Exhibit B – The Human Zoo.” The performance featured black actors shackled, bound and gagged, chained and caged in 12 tableaux vivants all to make a point about the history of colonial powers in Africa. The performance’s ambition was to reflect upon, raise awareness about and ultimately skewer the racist model villages (or human ... Read More »

Former Archbishop Arrested for Child Porn Kept Massive Cache of Files on his Vatican Computer


A former archbishop placed under house arrest by the Vatican on Tuesday allegedly had 100,000 child pornography videos and images hidden on his work computer at the Holy See’s compound in the Dominican Republic, according to a report in Italy’s Il Corriere della Sera newspaper. The Vatican arrested Jozef Wesolowski on Tuesday under allegations of paying for sex with minors while serving papal ambassador in the ... Read More »

Will Afghanistan Rebuild the Buddhas of Bamiyan?


There is a movement to rebuild the Buddhas of Bamiyan, destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, in order to promote tourism in Afghanistan, reports Roads and Kingdoms. One local man, Mohammad Reza Ibrahim, is leading the efforts to entice foreigners back, and show them that his country has much to offer in areas removed from conflict. “Bamiyan has a great potential for tourism,” ... Read More »

First major exhibition devoted to Niki de Saint Phalle in twenty years opens in Paris


PARIS.- Niki de Saint Phalle (1930 – 2002) is one of the most renowned artists from the mid-twentieth century. Throughout her prolific career, Saint Phalle created a complex body of work in various media which was deeply embedded with socio-political issues. With themes ranging from joyful to profound to intellectual, the paradoxal nature of her work has yet to be ... Read More »