In popular imagination the Vatican is, away from the hallowed halls, a place of dark corridors, skulduggery and shady secrets.
On Sunday the Pope’s press secretary appeared to give weight to the Hollywood image, with the remarkable announcement that the Vatican had received a ransom demand for the return of two rare documents written by Renaissance master Michelangelo, which were stolen from its archives nearly 20 years ago.
Jordan M. Wright’s collection of political memorabilia is unquestionably prodigious.
Consisting of perhaps a million-plus items, amassed over four decades, it includes an assortment of ephemera like a George W. Bush piñata and a portrait of Lincoln made of seed and saplings, but also legions of important historical artifacts, like a George Washington picture flag from his swearing in and a purse with a Warren G. Harding logo that was used to attract newly enfranchised female voters.
The interior of Sarajevo's Presidency building would make any historian wince. Not the decor itself - but the charred papers, piled against the walls.
This display of damaged documents stretches away down the ground floor corridors of the building, leaving dark smears on the white paint, leading to a heap of burned books, boxes and manuscripts in a stairwell.
Grandson of Irish dramatist has unearthed medical evidence in private family letters which points to likely cause of death
The sudden death of the wife of Oscar Wilde at the tender age of 40 has long been a mystery. In the 116 years since she met her tragic end, speculative theories have ranged from spinal damage following a fall down stairs to syphilis caught from her husband. Now the mystery may have been solved.
For centuries, Timbuktu was a center of learning, home to a university and a vast collection of manuscripts containing priceless written records of Islamic and African history. When, a few years ago, jihadists invaded the city and set about to destroy its cultural treasures, one man organized a mission to smuggle out most of the manuscripts. Jeffrey Brown reports from Mali.
The cosily niche books and manuscripts market may be about to be hit by one its biggest scandals in recent years. And Paris's Musée des Lettres et Manuscrits, as well as its sister organization the Institut des Lettres et Manuscrits, is in the eye of the storm.