art

From the glories of ancient culture to darker shades of contemporary conflict, works by Iraq’s most influential artists are to go on display at a major European event expected to draw at least 500,000 visitors. The National Pavilion of Iraq’s exhibition will be staged at the 57th Venice Biennale in May and feature artefacts spanning six millennia from the Neolithic Age to the Neo-Babylonian period alongside the works of eight modern Iraqi artists.

Two rare busts rescued from the Isis group's destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra will soon be heading back to Syria, after a painstaking restoration in Italy [...] "This is an example of an issue we hold dear: that of cultural diplomacy, the fact that culture can be an instrument for dialogue between people, even when circumstances are difficult," Italian culture minister Dario Franceschini said. 

Unsurprisingly, people have been quick to voice their outrage while simultaneously expressing their solidarity with those affected by the ban. Many people have been resorting to art to make their feelings clear, and Hank Green has gone one step further. "For every reply to this tweet with a hand-drawn message of support for immigrants, Muslims, and/or refugees, I will donate $5 to the ACLU," he wrote on Twitter. 

The new director of the Vatican museums, Barbara Jatta, presented a new multimedia web site to journalists at the Vatican press office on Monday. The user-friendly site, available in Italian, English, French, Spanish and German, contains thousands of images plus over fifty videos and virtual tours and has taken almost three years to complete.

Nicholas Thomas is the director of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. He likens museums to regions and nations in which all sorts of disparate elements are brought together [...] The thrust of his ruminations on the nature of collections is that, like collections of people, the sum is greater than the parts because of the dialogues, conversations, connections and interactions between inanimate objects as well as people.

An international dance festival and fashion show are featured in this week's roundup

As the realm of diplomacy increasingly engages the public at large, culture is being writ large in the vocabulary and method of foreign affairs experts around the globe. One of the major tasks of diplomats is mastering the art of public diplomacy, employing the allures of visual art, music, literature and performing arts, in a world increasingly interconnected culturally. 

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