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Rare Kabul Exhibition Brings Taste Of Mughal Art Back Home

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KABUL – An exhibition that reproduces the precious treasures of Mughal art in their original setting in Kabul’s Babur Garden opened this weekend, bringing a rare moment of cultural relief to a city pounded by war for decades.

“King Babur’s Kabul: Cradle of the Mughal Empire” displays a selection of high quality reproductions of some of the masterpieces of the Timurid and Mughal periods from the mid-16th century, one of Central Asia’s richest cultural eras.

It follows a similar exhibition in December held in the historic citadel of the western Afghan city of Herat, at one time the seat of the powerful Timurid dynasty and one of the great centers of the Persian world.

At the Kabul exhibition’s launch on Saturday, Michael Barry, a world authority on Afghan art and culture who curated the exhibition reminisced about a visit he made to the city at the height of the brutal 1990s civil war.

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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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