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Culture

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A United Arab Emirates official in long flowing robes, white headdress firmly in place and face covered with a Covid-19 mask, rubbed elbows with the Israeli National Security Advisor, dressed in a smart suit, his head covered with a large Jewish skullcap and his features also obscured by a Covid mask. The scene took place… Read the full article

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Tyger Tyger burning bright / In the forests of the night… / Did he who made the Lamb make thee? William Blake, Songs of Experience, 1794 The Covid-19 pandemic and other recent outbreaks of infectious diseases of animal origin have shed a new light on one of the most famous passages of Genesis, the story… Read the full article

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For Confucius, “a noble man of spirit does not use colors such as amaranth or purple for the hems of his clothes, neither red nor purple for everyday wear.”[1] The Analects of Confucius abound in similar aphorisms and, at first glance, one might wonder whether the detail of the dress standards that the Chinese philosopher… Read the full article

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On November 29, 2014, during his apostolic trip to Turkey, Pope Francis visited the Hagia Sophia Basilica in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia – in Turkish Aya Sofya – is an ancient monument that dominates the entire city, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. At the end of the visit he wrote in Greek characters in the… Read the full article

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Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn on December 16, 1770, and died in Vienna on March 26, 1827. Hence December 2020 will mark the 250th anniversary of his birth. Among the great musicians of 19th-century Germany, Beethoven is certainly the best known and most popular. It has been said of him that “he is… Read the full article

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The question of post-truth goes beyond the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary: “Objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal beliefs.”[1] The so-called “objective facts” imply the possibility of being recorded and quantified. Today we see that the possibility of quantifying in real time the truth as… Read the full article

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Our ambivalent relationship with death A revealing test of how much digital technology has changed our way of life is our relationship with time. It has been established that our awareness of time diminishes as we navigate; we find ourselves at the end of the day without being aware of its actual duration, just as… Read the full article

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Als Ich Can (How can I): these are the words engraved on the frame of the first self-portrait in history, a work by Jan van Eyck.[1] Three words and a challenge to generations of artists to measure themselves against this challenging artistic claim. In the case of the great Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69),… Read the full article

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