Development close to Roman catacombs could be withdrawn

The site in Kercem.17/06/2017 (Times of Malta – Malta): The Planning Authority board will be deciding whether to withdraw a permit for a terraced house which could threaten Gozo’s only surviving Roman catacombs. The controversial permit given to the development at a protected site in Għar Għerduf, Kercem, has triggered off protests from NGOs and residents. In a statement this afternoon, the PA said when the application was being processed, the Planning Directorate considered the zone as a Class B archaeology site. However, government records show the site had been protected as a Class A category (top protection) until October 2000. The same discrepancy was shown on the PA’s electronic system used by the Planning Directorate when the application was evaluated…


Hellenic-era tomb discovered in Shatby, Alexandria

09/06/2017 (Egypt Indipendent – Egypt): The Egyptian Archaeological Mission in Alexandria on Thursday discovered a Hellenic-era tomb in Al-Shatby district of Alexandria city. The Head of the Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, Mahmoud Afifi, said the discovery was made during the excavation work carried out by an Egyptian archaeological mission from the ministry’s inspectorate in Alexandria.Mustafa Rushdi, General Director of Antiquities for the Western Delta and Alexandria, said in a statement that the tomb was dated based on its architectural style and the remains of the pottery found inside it…


Istanbul Modern displays vivid, colorful art by Fahrelnissa Zeid

Fahrelnissa Zeid, 1952 Abstract Composition 181 x 167,5 cm03/06/2017 (Sabah – Turkey): Bringing together “Two Generations Under the Rainbow” consisting of the 2006 works of renowned artist Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901-1991) and her son, Nejad Melih Devrim, Istanbul Modern is once again displaying the Zeids’ works for the first time in 11 years with a new selection. The Short-Term Exhibitions’ Hall will welcome visitors with the geometrical compositions which Zeid specializes in as well as 23 expressionist works that have references to a trio of Byzantium, Islamic and Western arts combined with her unique use of color. The collection contains works from 1940s’ Amman to 1970s’ Jordan…


Arab TV series showcases untold stories of ISIL women

28/05/2017 (Hurriyet – Turkey): They are mothers, daughters, wives and suicide bombers: an Arab television drama timed for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan tells the untold stories of women and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Inspired by true events, “Black Crows” airs over Ramadan, prime time for television viewers in the Arab world and it is the first television series depicting life under ISIL rule in Syria and Iraq. Produced by Saudi Arabia’s MBC Group, the series focuses on the stories of the women who volunteer with or are forced to join the jihadist group and “the fear that shapes” their relationships.  “We wanted to tell real stories that would both touch people and reflect the ugly reality of terrorism,” MBC spokesman Mazen Hayek said at the network’s Dubai headquarters…


New discovery of stone block dates back to 30th Dynasty King Nectanebo II in Sohag

20/05/2017 (Egypt Indipendent – Egypt): The Egyptian archaeological committee from Al-Belinna inspectorate in Abydos town in Sohag governorate has stumbled upon a stone block engraved with the cartouche of the 30th Dynasty King Nectanebo II, during the inspection of an old house in Beni Mansour area, whose owner had illegally excavated. The Tourism and Antiquities Police caught the criminals red-handed and put the house under their jurisdiction, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Antiquities. Hani Abul Azm, Head of the Central Administration for Antiquities of Upper Egypt announced that the discovered block may be a part of King Nectanebo II’s royal shrine or an extension of a wall of a temple that the king built there. Nectanebo II is well known for his construction activities in Abydos…


Dubai Cares’ volunteers catalogue 10,000 books destined for Syrian Refugee Children in Jordan

13/05/2017 (Emirates 24/7 – UAE): In line with the spirit of the UAE’s “Year of Giving 2017”, Dubai Cares, part of Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, has harnessed the kindness and clerical skills of Arabic-speaking volunteers in the UAE to set a 10,000 Arabic-language books inventory. The books destined to be distributed to Syrian refugee children in Jordan, were catalogued by 200 Arabic-speaking volunteers at the National Charity School in Dubai on May 13. Each volunteer made a commitment to complete one of two 4-hour shifts, with most working their way through a pile of around 50 books, inputting title, author, year published and other details on an Excel spreadsheet. All processed reading material is part of the collection of books assembled through the Dubai Cares-supported Reading Nation campaign.


Rembrandt, Renoir paintings stolen in a 29-million-dollar heist in Italy

emFile Photo/em30/04/2017 (Sabah – Turkey): Two paintings, one by Rembrandt and the other by Renoir, have been stolen in northern Italy in a 27-million-euro (29-million-dollar) heist, news reports said Wednesday. Two men paid several visits to an art dealer in Monza, a town in the northern outskirts of Milan, to study the artworks and win the dealer’s confidence, newspaper Il Giorno said. The men eventually asked the dealer to bring the pictures to a luxury property in the center of town to finalize the deal. After a sales agreement was signed but no money had changed hands, the three men celebrated with a round of coffee. The fraudsters then used an excuse to leave the room – they said they needed to pick up a tray for the coffee cups – and disappeared with the paintings. A spokesman for the art heritage squad of the Carabinieri police told dpa he could not comment on the report because of an order from judicial authorities…


Rommel Cave Museum receives visitors after closure of 6 years

Rommel Cave Museum  22/04/2017 (Egypt Indipendent – Egypt): Rommel Cave Museum in Marsa Matruh will resume receiving visitors this summer after a closure of 6 years for renovations and development, Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry said Saturday. The Rommel Cave is one of the natural caves in Marsa Matruh, but the German leader Erwin Rommel used it as his headquarters while conducting the North African wars during World War II. In 1997, the idea came up of turning the cave into a museum and turning it into a tourist destination. A construction company in Matruh province started a month ago on the development work, while a restoration team from the Antiquities Ministry is working on the archeological artifacts in preparation for the opening, said Elham Salah, head of the Museums Department at the Antiquities Ministry…



Decentralising theatre: A look at the 2nd edition of Sharm El-Sheikh Youth Theatre Festival

The Flower15/04/2017 (Ahram Online – Egypt): The young and ambitious always seek challenges; they innovate and gracefully cross traditional barriers. This is exactly what Mazen El-Gharabawy and Wafaa El-Hakim have done since last year. Accomplished theatre artists, the two teamed up to create a new theatre festival outside of the centrality of Cairo, creating the Sharm El-Sheikh Youth Theatre Festival, whose second edition took place between 1 and 9 April.  Launching the festival was not the only challenge. They also aspired to defy international political and security attitudes towards Egypt as repercussions of the mid-air explosion of a Russian airplane after take-off from Sharm El-Sheikh in late 2015.  Since the very beginning, El-Gharabawy and El-Hakim planted seeds for a theatre event that would also have political, national and international significance…–Culture/Spring-Festivals/Decentralising-theatre-A-look-at-the-nd-edition-of.aspx


Istanbul Film Festival kicks off

07/04/2017 (Hurriyet – Turkey): Organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), the Istanbul Film Festival’s 36th edition kicked off with an opening gala on April 4. The opening gala brought the stars and distinguished figures of Turkish cinema together at TİM Show Center where Cinema Honorary Awards and plaques were presented. The gala, starting with plaque presentations to representatives of the supporting institutions and organizations of the festival, was presented by actor Cem Davran and hosted by İKSV General Director Görgün Taner and the festival director Kerem Ayan. This year, a total of 59 films will be competing for the International and National Golden Tulip Awards, FACE Human Rights in Cinema Award, Seyfi Teoman Best Debut Film Award, National Documentary Competition and National Short Film Competition Awards. The International Competition Jury will be led by Reha Erdem, while the head of the National Competition Jury will be the director duo Taylan Brothers…