The joy of the Internet is also its drawback: there is simply too much information, much of it excellent, for the mind to absorb. I hope that in making these suggestions for your web surfing I have singled out some of the best.

As warfare engulfs culture in some areas of the world, tremendous efforts are being made to preserve the treasures of the past. Harper's magazine has a fascinating article on the strenuous efforts to preserve ancient manuscripts in Timbuktu. Roughly 45,000 documents, saved for generations by one family alone, were in danger of being destroyed by Islamic militants as the French military moved into the city. Some of the oldest manuscripts were almost one thousand years old, made of tree bark, parchment or gazelle skin. The story of how many of these cultural treasures were saved makes for thoughtful reading. Note: according to the Art Newspaper, Unesco is raising eleven million US Dollars to help save Timbuktu's treasures.

From an ordinary-looking building outside in Zurich, Google has turned its headquarters into a center for play and imagination. It's pretty certain that offices and working spaces will never be the same.

A United States court has ruled that the Schneerson collection of manuscripts and books, currently held in Russia, should be transferred to the Chabad Jewish group in Brooklyn, New York. Unfortunately, Russian President Vladimir Putin disagrees and suggested that the material be kept at the Jewish Museum in Moscow. Additionally, Russia's Foreign Minister suggested that two Russian organizations sue the U.S.Library of Congress to retaliate for the U.S. Court's imposition of a fine of $50,000.USD per day against the Russians for failure to deliver the documents as ordered.

Tate Modern is showing a retrospective exhibition of the work of Roy Lichtenstein. Featured are the early comic-strip paintings which made fun of American mass-media and its consumer obsessions, with representations also of steel and ceramic sculptures. More on the exhibition can be seen in the Visual Arts section of the Financial Times.

The British Museum is showing art from the Ice Age and emphasizing the origins of the modern mind. Most of the pieces were created between forty thousand and ten thouand years ago. Included are portraits, drawings and sculptures.

The more intimate paintings of Manet, the French master painter, are being shown at the Royal Academy, London, with a focus on his genre scenes and portraits. It is rare to find Manet's workss outside of Paris. The article mentions that two of Manet's masterpieces were created during the first year of his marriage to Suzanne Leenhoff, a Dutch piano instructor whom he had been seeing for eleven years, although there is some controversy as to who exactly was the father of their son Leon. There are also portraits of Berthe Morisot, Manet's siste-in-law, and paintings of Baudelaire and Jacques Offenbach.

Did you know that Titian was the first painter to use live women as models for his sensual female nudes? At the age of almost seventy, he was commissioned by Philip II of Spain to create a series of paintings for the Monarch's bedroom, all of them based on Ovid's "Metamorphoses". The three paintings are now being shown at the National Gallery in London, the first time since the 18th century that all three have been exhibited together.

The Museum of Art and Design in New York City is offering a rare glimpse into the black and white photography of William Klein. Known primarily for his urban stills, Klein is also famous among connoisseurs for his first feature film, titled "Qui etes vous, Polly Maggoo? There is also an interview here with Klein, who rarely liked to talk about his work.

c.Corinne Whitaker 2013