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‘I shall go on collecting until I die’

The charitable giving of Sir Paul Getty always had a deliciously quirky element to it – one thinks of the elegant replacement of the hideous old Mound Stand at Lord’s, the funding of the National Film Archive’s work in housing and restoring their immense collection of historic films, the saving of the Mappa Mundi and

Killing time

There have been far more hangings in British prisons since the abolition of the death penalty than ever there were before. I suspect – though of course I cannot actually prove – that in the old days of what was affectionately known as the topping shed the infrequent official executions acted as a kind of

With friends like these. . .

One hundred years ago, on 1 May 1903, King Edward VII arrived in Paris on the last stop of a European tour. It had already sparked some controversy: His Majesty’s Protestant subjects were not happy that he had dropped in at the Vatican to see the 93-year-old Pope, Leo XIII. What came next, however, was

Is green the new blue?

Phew! Made it! Just in time, mind. And not without a rather costly rearrangement of the flights back from the Far East, I might add. And a holiday cut short as a result of a lamentable slip of the memory. But all worth it, in the end. Like you, I suspect, I couldn’t have lived

Hoon: we have to find those weapons

We could go and invade some country none of us has yet thought of and destroy the regime there while leaving the rest of the country intact. That is not quite how Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary, put it when I interviewed him on Monday afternoon in the presence of three members of his staff,

The fear, the squalor …and the hope

Baghdad We could tell something was up as soon as we approached the petrol station. There was an American tank parked amid a big crowd of jerrycan-toting Iraqis. Unusually, the soldiers were down and walking around, guns at the ready. Then I heard shouting and saw the Americans using their carbines like staves to push