News Round Up 364

THE Independent informs us that police have been drafted in to patrol Hadrian’s Wall to stop it from being damaged by rogue metal detectorists who have been stealing artefacts from sections of the 1,900-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The 73-mile-long wall is the largest Roman archaeological feature in the world and was built under the orders of Emperor Hadrian in AD122.

Mike Collins, Historic England’s inspector of ancient monuments for Hadrian’s Wall said: “Most people who go metal detecting comply with the law and the codes of practice for responsible metal detecting, but there’s a small but significant element – known as ‘nighthawks’ – who are damaging and stealing parts of this internationally important historical site.

“Essentially, they are robbing us all of parts of our national heritage as the artefacts they take or destroy could have added to our knowledge of Roman Britain.


On display at the British Museum is a 19th century painting which has hardly ever been seen in public.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s The Death of Breuze Sans Pitié was for decades only known from written descriptions, according to The Guardian.

It is part of a large private collection built up by the late art historian John Christian, recently allocated to the British Museum to offset inheritance tax.

“It is quite different from what we’ve come to expect from Rossetti. We expect lovers and beautiful women, a very dreamy aesthetic. This is a very unusual painting.” said Susannah Walker, the exhibition’s curator at the British Museum.

The watercolour shows two knights of Arthurian legend, Dinadan and Breuze, in a knife fight. Behind them is a dead man hanging from a tree and a terrified woman being held against her will with a halter around her neck.


Also in same newspaper, details of a collection of documents charting 850 years of Cornish history which have been gathered together at a new archive.

The Cornwall Centre in Redruth is home to 1.5m records that give an insight into the history and culture of the far south-west of Britain.

Much of the material is held on 14 miles of shelving in large storerooms and preservation suites, but there are also exhibition spaces showing some of the most intriguing pieces.

These include a manuscript from Elizabeth I – adorned with images of snakes, a strawberry border and letters made up of birds – that hands land over to George Carey, who commanded the Isle of Wight’s defences when under threat from the Spanish Armada.

There is also a Cornish language dictionary compiled in the mid-18th century by William Borlase, the rector of the village of Ludgvan, near Penzance.


If you’re into spiders then the Daily Mirror reports that some of rarest ones on the planet have been born in captivity at Bristol Zoo Gardens.

The 500 critically endangered Desertas wolf are just 4mm in diameter at the moment but will measure 12cm across by the time they are adults.

Zoo spokesman Mark Bushell said: “We’ve learnt so much about the care and conditions required for breeding from our first generation of wolf spiders and to now have welcomed a second generation is a massive success”


Reference list

  • The Independent
  • The Daily Mirror
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