History in the Media


Windsor Castle has been granted a prestigious European award in recognition of the standards of restoration after the 1992 fire. The award from Europa Nostra, a pan-European federation for heritage, was announced at a ceremony in Venice. Other medal-winners included the Beguinage at Hoogstraten, Belgium and Tolwice Manor, near Sochazew in Poland. (March 25th)

The long saga of Labour's election plans to scrap admission fees for Britain's museums and galleries has been partly resolved, but free admission for all will not now be an option. Culture Secretary Chris Smith announced a flat fee of 1 [pounds sterling] for adults at all national museums from September 2001, with no charges for children, the over-60s, those receiving benefit or those with disabilities. The nominal charge is to allow museums to continue to reclaim VAT. (April 4th)

The continued display of the Confederate flag on the South Carolina Statehouse dome in Columbia has prompted marches and demonstrations demanding its removal. While supporters of the flag argue it is a symbol of Southern historical pride, opponents claim it cannot be divorced from its association with slavery, and with more recent opposition to racial equality in the US. (April 5th)

DNA analysis of present-day Icelanders has revealed that British women were essential for the ninth-century Viking colonisation of the island. This latest research corroborates the Icelandic sagas, which talk of defeated Norwegian forces, fleeing after the battle of Harfsfjord in 872, stopping off to take women from Orkney and Shetland to partner them -- willingly or unwillingly -- in their settlement of Iceland. (April 7th)

The long-running libel trial brought by controversial historian David Irving against Professor Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books ended dramatically on April 11th, with the judgement branding Irving `a Holocaust denier'. Justice Gray concluded that Irving `persistently and deliberately misrepresented and manipulated historical evidence'. Irving has announced his intention to appeal. See www.newsunlimited.co.uk/irving for background and a copy of the judgement. (April 11th)

An annual memorial service for the 64,000 Indian soldiers who fell fighting for Britain during the First World War is to be abandoned. The Chattri memorial outside Brighton is set back from the road across a field, and the Royal British Legion, who has organised the services held there since 1943, has decided that the returning veterans are now too old to make the trek. Families of Asian veterans have decried the decision. (April 12th)


A Jewish cemetery, discovered during construction work in Prague in 1997, is to be preserved by the Czech government. Hundreds of graves, some from the thirteenth century, are to be rescued from the site (March 30th)

One of the famous Enigma encoding machines, used by the Germans during World War II, has been stolen from Bletchley Park, where British intelligence managed to crack the code. (April 3rd)

A tenth-century marble wall panel, stolen from a Habei tomb in 1995, was discovered at Christie's auction house in New York, its sale halted at the last moment.

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History in the Media


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