Adolf Hitler Praying Statue

Causes controversy. The Telegraph:


A statue of Adolf Hitler praying on his knees is on display in the former Warsaw Ghetto, the place where so many Jews were killed or sent to their deaths by the Nazis, provoking mixed reactions…

You can find more here.

It does seem rather inappropriate. However,

Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, said he was consulted on the installation’s placement ahead of time and did not oppose it because he saw value in the artist’s attempt to try to raise moral questions by provoking viewers.

He said he was reassured by curators who told him there was no intention of rehabilitating Hitler but rather of showing that evil can present itself in the guise of a “sweet praying child.”


Bible Archaeology

Oldest Known Depiction of Pharaoh Found

Discovery News:

The oldest known representation of a pharaoh has been found carved on rocks at a desert site in southern Egypt, according to new research into long forgotten engravings.

Found on vertical rocks at Nag el-Hamdulab, four miles north of the Aswan Dam, the images depict a pharaoh riding boats with attendant prisoners and animals in what is thought to be a tax-collecting tour.

“We don’t know with certainty who the king represented at Hamdulab is. We can guess on paleographic and iconographic grounds,” Maria Carmela Gatto, associate research scholar in Egyptology at Yale University and co-director of  thee Aswan-Kom Ombo archaeological project in Egypt, told Discovery News.

Indeed, the style of the carvings suggests that the images were made at a late Dynasty date, around 3200-3100 B.C. This would have been the reign of Narmer, the first king to unify northern and southern Egypt, thus regarded by many scholars as Egypt’s founding pharaoh.

Dating back more than 5,000 years, the rock drawings appear to feature the earliest known depiction of a pharaoh…

More here.



Rare Bible Discovered in Devon

A rare 16th century Bible which could be worth up to £10,000 if sold at auction has been discovered in a church in Devon.

The Telegraph:

The Bishop’s Bible, which is one of just 70 printed more than 400 years ago, was discovered during a clear out at St James’ Church in Teignmouth and could have ended up thrown in a skip.

It was found in poor condition by church reader Arthur Brooks, who rescued it from being discarded after recognising its potential value. It has now been restored and protected for future generations.

He said: “It was rotting away in a cupboard, the wooden and leather covers covered in beetles. The pages were like blotting paper and didn’t smell too good.”

Experts at Exeter Museum killed off the bugs and have restored the bible which was published by London firm Charles Barker in 1591 – the only Bible allowed to be printed at the time by the monarch Queen Elizabeth I.

The translated version in the book was largely replaced by that ordered by King James I in 1604 in an attempt to forge unity between England and Scotland. It was completed by 1611 and is widely regarded as the most influential book ever written in English.


Chalice Sold to the British Museum for £1.3m


A Wiltshire church has been given permission to sell a medieval silver cup to the British Museum by the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Bristol.

On 4 Dec 2012 the diocesan consistory court met at St Cyriac’s Church, Lacock to adjudicate a dispute over the sale of the “Lacock Cup”.  The silver 15th century cup was given to the parish in the mid-Seventeenth century by Sir Robert Baynard, of Lackham Manor.  Since 1963 the cup has been on loan to the British Museum.

The Museum had offered to purchase the cup for £1.3 million and churchwarden John Catchpole had petitioned for a faculty to allow the sale.  However Geoffrey Fox (82) had led a village group objecting to the sale.

Nigel Lane, the Lacock PCC treasurer, said the sale was necessary to support the restoration of the parish church.  “The income would help pay for any repair works for years to come,” he told the court.

Diocesan chancellor, the Rev. Justin Gau, who presided at the hearing, held that the cost and difficulty of obtaining appropriate insurance made it impossible to return the cup to the church and that, even if such insurance could be arranged, this would not be a good use of the PCC’s resources. He judged that funds would be better used for the maintenance of the church as a hub for mission.

The Archdeacon of Malmesbury, the Ven. Christine Froude, stated: “Although I am aware this case has generated strong feelings on both sides, I do think the very thoughtful and sensible judgement the Chancellor has given is the right one. It not only ensures the security and visibility of the cup to future generations but also, more importantly, allows the parish to focus its energy and resources on mission and outreach, safe in the knowledge that essential repairs to the building can be covered.”

The chancellor requested the parish set up a charitable trust to manage the funds from the sale and directed that a replica of the cup, costing no more than £5,000 be created for liturgical use by the church.



General Norman Schwarzkopf Has Died

He was 78.

Norman Schwarzkopf, the US general who led 1991 Operation Desert Storm, which liberated Kuwait from Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, has died at the age of 78.

The Telegraph continues:

Gen Schwarzkopf, an American hero known popularly as “Stormin Norman,” died at his home in Tampa. The cause of death was not known.

Former president George HW Bush, himself sick in intensive care in Texas, was first to issue a statement mourning the loss of the man he chose to lead the war that came to define both of their careers.

“Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation,” his statement said.

“A distinguished member of that Long Gray Line hailing from West Point, General Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomized the ‘duty, service, country’ creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great nation through our most trying international crises,” Mr Bush said.

“More than that, he was a good and decent man – and a dear friend. Barbara and I send our condolences to his wife Brenda and his wonderful family.”

In a statement the White House said: “We’ve lost an American original.”

Leon Panetta, the defence secretary, said: “The men and women of the Department of Defense join me in mourning the loss of General Norman Schwarzkopf”.

Mr Panetta said the decorated combat leader had in “35 years of service in uniform left an indelible imprint on the United States military and the country.”

There’s more here.

There are three quotes of his that I always seem to remember:

  • War is a profane thing.
  • The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.
  • When placed in command, take charge.



Baron Williams of Oystermouth

The Lord Bishop Dr  Druidish-something Master Rowan Douglas Williams, FBA, FRSL, FLSW, and now, add, The Lord Baron of Oystermouth. Titles… The British sure know how to do it!

Peerage for the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury:

Peerage for Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury upon his retirement from the See of Canterbury

The Queen has been pleased to confer a peerage of the United Kingdom for Life on the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Rowan Williams Lord Archbishop of Canterbury upon his retirement from the See of Canterbury.

Notes for editors:

1. Rowan Williams was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury in 2002, having previously been Archbishop of Wales.

2. Rowan Williams will be created a Baron for Life by the style and title of Baron Williams of Oystermouth in the City and County of Swansea.

3. The Prime Minister retains the right to nominate up to ten people for Life Peerages each Parliament. These are awarded to people who have given significant public service.

A Life Peer, by the way, is:

In the United Kingdom, life peers are appointed members of the peerage, whose titles cannot be inherited, in contrast to hereditary peers. Nowadays life peerages, always of baronial rank, are created under the Life Peerages Act 1958 and entitle the holders to seats in the House of Lords, presuming they meet qualifications such as age and citizenship. The legitimate children of a life peer take the privilege of children of hereditary peers, being entitled to style themselves with the prefix ‘The Honourable’.

Oops, I forgot to add ‘The Honourable’ to his list of titles above. I don’t think they could fit in anymore, even if they wanted to!