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Turkish President Erdogan fined 10,000 lira for calling statue symbolising peace a ‘monstrosity

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The statue was a symbol of unity between Turkey and Armenia An Istanbul court has ordered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to pay an artist 10,000 Turkish Lira (£2,500) in compensation, after the politician called his sculpture a “monstrosity.” Kashmira Gander The Independent Mehmet Aksoy’s Monument to Humanity featured two human figures towering 30 metres above the eastern city of Kars, ... Read More »

Artists protest against Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s detention

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Group of 14, including four Turner prize winners, condemns arrest and legal charges over free speech performance piece in Havana Hannah Ellis-Petersen The Guardian Fourteen of the world’s most prominent artists, including Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor and painter Howard Hodgkin, have publicly condemned the detention of Cuban artist Tania Bruguera. In an open letter to the Guardian on Monday, the ... Read More »

The greatest mistranslations ever

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After Google Translate’s latest update, BBC Culture finds history’s biggest language mistakes – including a US president stating ‘I desire the Poles carnally’. Fiona Macdonald BBC Google Translate’s latest update – turning the app into a real-time interpreter – has been heralded as bringing us closer to ‘a world where language is no longer a barrier’. Despite glitches, it offers ... Read More »

Alexander the Great claimed by both sides in battle over name of Macedonia

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Alexander waxwork given pride of place in Macedonian museum in latest example of symbolic point-scoring by Skopje Nikola Gruevski’s love affair with statues began with Alexander the Great. In 2011, much to the consternation of Greece, the Macedonian prime minister had the world’s largest sculpture of the warrior king installed in Skopje’s central square. Now, after peppering the capital with ... Read More »

New Scans of the Voynich Manuscript, a Medieval Book No One Can Read

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The Voynich Manuscript is one of the most obsessed-over historical enigmas. A medieval book dating from the late 15th or 16th century, its strange, flowing script has never been deciphered, its origins never determined. The 113 plant illustrations it contains seem to depict no flora found on Earth, and throughout its vellum pages are visuals of the cosmos, a small army of naked women cavorting ... Read More »

Inside the Notorious Yarl’s Wood Immigration Detention Centre

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Susan wrings her hands and twitches as she speaks, jerking her head from side to side. She is clearly not well. “I ate washing powder to try and kill myself,” says the nervous woman in her fifties. Her eyes flash wild. “It was all I could find. I wanted to die. I would rather die than go back.” Susan, whose ... Read More »

China Weighing More Emphasis on Traditional Culture in Textbooks

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Education officials in China are considering changes to elementary and middle school textbooks that would  expand the study of Chinese philosophy and literature, a shift that some education experts say is connected to recent efforts by the government to emphasize China’s cultural heritage. At an annual education conference this past weekend in the southwestern city of Chengdu, Wang Xuming, president ... Read More »

Pussy Riot On Art, Activism, and Their Name’s Hilarious Russian Translation

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On November 2nd, Pussy Riot members Masha Alekhina, Nadya Tolokonnikova, and Petya Verzilov joined Klaus Biesenbach for a discussion at MoMA PS1, in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, “Zero Tolerance“, which features the group’s work. After making an unsurprisingly badass entrance in colored sunglasses (sans facemasks) and a pause to take an Instagram photo from the stage, the trio dropped some ... Read More »

Canada’s new human rights museum shares oral histories from genocide survivors

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WINNIPEG (AFP).- A new museum in Canada’s western prairies has amassed a unique collection of personal stories from genocide survivors, human rights defenders and others, and wants to share them. Dedicated to the 60-year-old notion of human rights, a singular but intricate ideal, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, Manitoba will open its doors on November 11. It ... Read More »

How to Kill a Culture in 3 Easy Steps

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Over the past few years I’ve been filming interviews with random people I’ve met from the streets of New York, to Prague and from the farms of Eastern Europe to the Midwest and Western United States. I’ve interviewed hundreds of people from farmers, artist, workers, professors and even celebrities and pop stars, and in nearly all cases most people especially ... Read More »