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Slipping through the safety net

If a French national museum wishes to buy a work of art at auction, it simply exercises its ‘right of pre-emption’. Substituting itself for the final bidder, which is what this means, is less fair than it sounds – word invariably gets out about the museum’s intentions and few bother to bid. In France, as

Hands off Northern Cyprus

A trip to Northern Cyprus is a trip to the 1970s. While the Greek South of the island – home to the Russian Mafia and to the ecstasy-induced raves of Ayia Napa -seethes in corrupt prosperity, the Turkish North indulges in the gentler delights of crazy paving, the New Seekers and Ford Capris. Neither the

A land unfit for heroes

Things have to come a pretty pass, eh, when an institution as self-consciously august as the University of Oxford has to headhunt a perjuring philanderer to be its next chancellor; even if the felon happens to be the President of the United States (there are no former presidents, of course, just as alumnae of St