In this day and age, when Britain sometimes struggles to justify its status as a permernant member of the United Nations Security Council or as a "major player on the world stage", the medal table may prove to be a more accurate measure of the international standing than the size, for example, of the GDP or the armed forces.

...that task fell to none other than British Prime Minister David Cameron, who, in September 2011, launched a “Britain is GREAT” promotional campaign. Coordinated by multiple government departments and foreign consulates, with events in 17 cities worldwide, the £37 million image project is designed to use the Games to jumpstart tourism and increase inward investment and job opportunities in the UK.

And what better year to promote the advantages of British-made products than 2012, which is exactly what the people at kitchen appliance company Stoves thought when they decided to launch their Made in Britain campaign.

The art exhibition, entitled Beyond the Frame...will show the work of 26 of the best-known Cuban artists and of 20 other international artists who have donated work to draw attention to the case. It is the largest collection of Cuban artists ever to be shown in the UK. Art was originally seen as a key part of the Cuban revolution.

April 3, 2012

Since the Hajj exhibit began, the British Museum has been praised for fostering cultural diplomacy, acknowledging the role of Islam in British public life, and attracting new audiences to a cultural venue. In addition to tracing the history of the pilgrimage, the exhibit explains the purpose of the Hajj in Islam and the Muslim beliefs that inform the many rituals.

For those of us interested in cultural diplomacy, the Hajj exhibition is remarkable because it has been made possible by cooperation from Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Malaysia, Mali, and Qatar. Some of these nations often do not play well with others, so their loaning precious items to the British Museum is an important step toward participating in global cultural exchange.

February 27, 2012

The British Museum’s “Hajj: Journey to the heart of Islam“ is the first major exhibition ever to focus on the Hajj. Aiming to draw crowds both Muslim and non-Muslim, the exhibition features objects from a number of different countries, as well as newly commissioned contemporary art works, to highlight the importance and relevance of the ancient tradition throughout history.

Blocs of large superpowers are no longer the movers and shakers, but rather "those who've got the 'soft power' and influence around the world -- these are the important people, and here we are standing in the midst of that," he said during an interview at the Vatican press office.