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Destroyed By Islamic State Ancient Winged Bull Rises Again In London

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LONDON – An ancient Assyrian winged bull sculpture destroyed by Islamic State (IS) fighters in 2015 and subsequently recast in recycled Middle Eastern food packaging went on display in London’s Trafalgar Square on Wednesday.

The work by US artist Michael Rakowitz is the latest of 11 to be commissioned to occupy the square’s fourth plinth, which was erected in 1841 to display an equestrian statue but left bare for 158 years after funding ran out.

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Audubons Birds Of America Could Fetch 12 Million At Ny Auction

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– A first edition of John James Audubon’s “The Birds of America,” one of the most celebrated books of natural history, is going up for auction in New York in June and could fetch up to $12 million, Christie’s said on Wednesday.

The richly illustrated 19th Century book, featuring more than 400 hand-colored illustrations of 1,037 life-size birds, is one of just 13 complete sets thought remaining in private hands, Christie’s said.

Proceeds from the June 14 sale will benefit conservation of plants, animals and natural habitats through the work of the Knobloch Family Foundation.

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Anti-semitic Letter By Wagner Sold At Auction In Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM – A letter written by German composer Richard Wagner that underscored his anti-Semitism was sold to Jewish collector from Switzerland at auction in Israel on Tuesday for $34,000, the auction house said.

The letter, written on a yellowing double-spread sheet of paper, was penned by Wagner in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1869. It was apparently intended for the French philosopher Edouard Schoure, said Meron Eren, of the Kedem Auction House.

The buyer’s identity was not made public.

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Ethiopia Says British Museum Must Permanently Return Its Artifacts

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ADDIS ABABA – Britain must permanently return all artifacts from Ethiopia held by the Victoria and Albert Museum and Addis Ababa will not accept them on loan, an Ethiopian government official said.

The call comes after the museum, one of London’s most popular tourist attractions, put Ethiopian treasures plundered by British forces on display.

“Well, it would be exciting if the items held at the V&A could be part of a long-term loan with a cultural institution in Ethiopia,” museum director Tristram Hunt said.

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