In partnership with Saudi Arabia's King Abdul Aziz Public Library, artefacts from forty collections illustrate the basic elements of the Hajj... At a time when there are many misconceptions about Islam and people are quick to get their information about Muslims from TV, the British Museum's Hajj exhibition is a good place to learn what Islam is really about.

The Barbican in London opened its doors to reveal five decades' worth of possessions accumulated by the mother of the Chinese conceptual artist Song Dong. Jane Alison, senior curator at the Barbican, said that Waste Not was "so personal and poetic … it helps us to understand the reality of Chinese history and culture in the 20th century in a way that newspapers can't".

While organisers hope London 2012's economic impact will be one of its main legacies, bringing £1bn of extra business over four years, some question the mixed message being projected by the GREAT campaign.

Britain’s Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt launched a major campaign on Thursday to attract an extra 4.6 million tourists to the U.K. through advertisements in 14 cities worldwide. The goal of the to maximize the tourism and business potential generated by Britain’s hosting of the 2012 Olympics.

Cambridge University has come under pressure to reveal the identity of a mysterious Chinese foundation that is donating £3.7 million for a new professorship, amid fears that the pressure to raise funds may have exposed it to backdoor diplomacy by Beijing, which granted China an opportunity to deploy "soft power".

December 6, 2011

To be sure, the arrival in Scotland of Tian Tian and Yang Guang has been accompanied by a flurry of diplomatic activity. But underlying these friendly overtures is the stark truth that China's panda diplomacy just isn't what it used to be.

Two giant pandas arrived in Scotland on Sunday. British officials said the 10-year loan of the bears by China strengthened ties between the two countries. Over the years, Beijing gave pandas away as goodwill tokens. The black-and-white bear still apparently inspires warm feelings that span across borders. The difference is, now China makes you pay for it.

Britain is spending £10m to tackle deforestation in Brazil in an effort to protect wildlife and reduce carbon emission. For years, the UK has pledged £2.9bn for projects to tackle climate change, especially to reduce emissions associated with deforestation, which comprise almost a fifth of annual global emissions.