Mona Lisa attacked but undamaged

The Louvre has admitted that the Mona Lisa was attacked on 2nd August. A ceramic cup was thrown at the painting by a Russian woman, in protest at her failing to be granted French citizenship. The Mona Lisa is protected by bullet-proof glass and was undamaged in the attack.

For the BBC report on the incident, click here.

1 Aug 2009

Courtauld image archives under threat

The Courtauld Institute's three major image archives are set to reduce their public access as a cost-cutting measure. The Witt Library, Conway Library and Photographic Survey will cut opening to one day a week from September and it is feared they may cease to collect systematically.

Conservation reveals Rembrandt signature

A portrait previously attributed to a pupil of Rembrandt has been discovered to be by the master himself following conservation. The painting from Antwerp's Royal Museum of Fine Arts had been in storage for many years before funds were found for its conservation.

Cleaning the 1637 portrait of Pastor Swalmius revealed the painter's signature. The Rembrandt Research Project also confirmed the painting's authenticity after examination indicated that it was painted on the same linen as two other autograph Rembrandts.

The portrait will go on display on 8th August 2009.

7 Aug 2009

Keats house reopens after restoration

Poet John Keats' famous London home has reopened after a four year restoration. Keats wrote some of his best-known poetry there, such as the five odes of 1819 which include Ode to a Nightingale and Ode on a Grecian Urn.

New Heritage in Africa website launched

The Centre for Heritage Development in Africa has gone live with its new website available at

CHDA is an international non governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to the preservation, management and promotion of cultural heritage in Africa through a programme of training and development support services. Its core value is in the preservation of immovable, movable and intangible cultural heritage in Africa.

Conservation book donations sought in Iraq

The newly founded National Institute for the Preservation of Iraqi Cultural Heritage in Erbil is receiving help from AIC in putting together its library. The Iraqi National Institute will carry out training in conservation, museum management, historic preservation and archaeology, but to do this, it first needs help putting together its library.

UNESCO release final Babylon report

The archaeological site of Babylon, used by coalition forces as a military base between 2003 and 2004, has sustained substantial damage, according to the final UNESCO report.

Conservation benefits from French stimulus package

The French government's €26.5 billion economic stimulus programme is fast-tracking funding into major conservation projects, the New York Times reports. The Palace of Fontainebleau is among 50 chateaux and 75 cathedrals to undergo conservation. The funding for the cultural sector is also supporting museums and is said to total more than €100 million. To read the article, click here.

Earliest Christian Bible virtually restored

Around eight hundred pages of the earliest surviving Christian Bible have been virtually pieced together and put online.

Written in Greek, the 1600 year old Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in 1844 at St Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, Egypt. It was shortly afterwards split between institutions in Egypt, Russia, Germany and Britain. The current project sees the separated fragments reunited, albeit virtually, for the first time and has involved cooperation between all the international institutions which have parts of the manuscript.

Rare Punic necropolis under threat

Building developments are threatening the important Punic necropolis of Tuvixeddu at Cagliari in Sardinia. Campaigners have responded by taking their case to the European Union, having failed to resolve the problem with the local authorities.


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