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1 Sepetmber 2020

Two Big Film Festivals Go Ahead


Venice to proceed as planned, Toronto will present a slimmed-down event


AFTER COVID-19 forced the 2020 edition of film festivals in Cannes, New York (Tribeca), Austin (SXSW), Telluride, San Francisco, Melbourne and Hong Kong to either cancel or put their programmes entirely online, two of the biggest are going ahead on schedule. The Venice International Film Festival will run 2-12 September. The Toronto International Film Festival will be held 10-19 September. Both will see modifications to conform with physical distancing rules.



New York, NY

27 August 2020

Metropolitan Museum to Reopen


But staying open with reduced admissions isn’t sustainable long-term


THE MOST-VISITED museum in the United States, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which receives 6.5 million visitors in a normal year, will reopen 29 August. New York state governor Andrew Cuomo announced on 14 August that New York City museums (and bowling alleys) could reopen as of 24 August.




19 August 2020

British Museum to Reopen


Joins National Gallery and Victoria and Albert, already welcoming visitors again


THE MOST-VISITED museum in the United Kingdom, the British Museum, will reopen 27 August, joining the Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Gallery, which have been up and running since 6 August and 8 July respectively. In all three cases admission is free but timed-entry tickets must be booked online in advance, face masks must be worn and only parts of each facility is open to the public.




3 August 2020

Virus Causes Locarno Film Festival to Mutate


The focus in 2020 will be on unfinished films


ONE OF THE world’s oldest film festivals is remaking itself this year as a response to the covid-19 virus. The 73rd edition of the Locarno Film Festival runs 5-15 August and has been retitled Locarno 2020—for the Future of Films.

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Tips from the smartest guidebooks





Rajasthan’s Havelis

Grand homes built by merchants and decorated with colourful, often whimsical murals

Lonely Planet Rajasthan, Delhi & Agra, 6th edition

“IT IS SAID,” comments the 6th edition of Lonely Planet Rajasthan, Delhi & Agra, “there is more history in Rajasthan than in the rest of India put together.” Alongside the “majestic forts and lavish palaces,” but a little lower on the scale in a place “littered with splendid architecture” are the havelis of Shekhawati.

The towns in this district, in the arid plains of northern Rajasthan, were, from the 14th century onwards, important trading posts on caravan routes. In the 19th century trade routes shifted and the traders from Shekhawati moved with them, but sent funds home to construct grand homes, havelis, filled with “colourful and often whimsical murals.”

The guidebook notes three towns worth visiting in particular:

Nawalgarh, “a small town almost at the very centre of the Shekhawati region” it has “some excellent accommodation options,” among them the Grand Haveli & Resort, “beautifully renovated” with rooms “individual, spacious and very atmospheric.” The Morarka Haveli Museum “has well-presented original paintings.”

Fatehpur, once a capital for Muslim princes, is “a busy little town.” Le Prince Haveli is “stunningly restored…one of the most exquisite havelis in Shekhawati.” It offers both art tours and guest rooms.

Mandawa has “plenty of places to stay and some decent restaurants.” The Binsidhar Newatia Haveli has “some fanastically entertaining paintings…including…the Wright Brothers in flight watched by a woman in a sari.” Overnight at the Hotel Mandawa Haveli (, a “glorious, restored 1890s haveli.”



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