What I’m Reading: 04/12/2016

  1. “Three Palestinians arrested smuggling statue of King Herod’s lover to Israel” (via The Jerusalem Post) – Three Palestinians tried to smuggle a small statue worth almost $1m into Israel before being arrested by the Palestinian Preventive Security Services. They aimed to sell the statue to an Arab-Israeli merchant for $600,000.
  2. “Found: A Gruesome Painting That May Be an Authentic Caravaggio” (via Atlas Obscura) – A French family discovered a painting in their attic that looks remarkably like a work of Caravaggio’s. It depicts the famous Biblical scene of the beheading of Holofernes. No one knows for sure if it is actually by the artist, but if it is, it could be worth around $136.5m.
  3. “The Cursed History of P.T. Barnum’s Museums” (via Atlas Obscura) – P.T. Barnum was well-known for creating unique venues of entertainment including circuses and museums. But did you know he also may have been cursed…? After opening a series of museums, all of them were consumed by fire. A curse? Perhaps!
  4. “These Before-and-After Photos of Palmyra Show What ISIS Did to the Historic City”  (via BuzzFeed) – ISIS has gained notoriety in destroying cultural heritage that dates back thousands of years. The past few years have seen considerable damage wreaked on Palmyra, one of the greatest cities in the ancient world. This grieves me as a historian and as an appreciator of this history.
  5.  “The Charming Doodles Charles Darwin’s Children Left All Over the Manuscript of ‘On the Origin of Species'” (via Brain Pickings) – Kids will be kids! Charles Darwin’s children doodled in one manuscript of his famous Origin of Species. These are quite adorable, and some of them look quite similar to doodles I’ve done myself.

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