Portuguese Masterpiece Destroyed in Christmas Eve Fire

A painting of the Holy Family by Josefa de Óbidos (1630-1684), the greatest Portuguese painter of the seventeenth century, was destroyed in a fire in the church of the Holy Cross Monastery in Bussaco, near the university town of Coimbra, on Christmas Eve. The fire is believed to have been caused by an electrical short …

Gibraltar: More than ‘Britain in the Sun’

On the back of successful viewing figures, Channel 5 has lost little time in commissioning a second series of its fly-on-the-wall documentary ‘Gibraltar: Britain in the Sun‘. Notwithstanding the personal trials and tribulations of the individuals featured in the programme, the overall picture presented of Gibraltar is overwhelmingly positive. Glossy production values, quick edits, overlapping …

The New Pope and Latin America

Had a Latin American been elected Pope in 1978 (when John Paul II was chosen), he would probably have been someone influenced by the politically progressive ‘Liberation Theology’ which (declaring ‘an option for the poor’) then dominated Church thinking there. Now, however, the election of Argentina’s Jorge Bergoglio (as Francis I), following three decades of …

Women and Independence in Latin America: Empowerment through Art

Being a Latin American woman in this country you must be very brave in whatever comes along. Even if things get hard at a certain stage, it is very important to continue to work hard, following your ideals and defending your points of view. These are the words of Evelyn, an Ecuadorian teenager who has …