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White horse sculpture unveiled on the Mall

Artist Mark Wallinger with the new sculpture. Credit: Frank Noon/British Council/PA Wire

A life-sized sculpture of a white racehorse has been unveiled on the Mall.

The statue, by artist Mark Wallinger, will stand outside the British Council's headquarters for two years before being taken abroad to be displayed.

The statue is a smaller version of the giant white horse Wallinger plans to install in Kent. Credit: Frank Noon/British Council/PA Wire

The marble and resin work is a copy of a larger, 50 metre, design that Wallinger wants to build at Ebbsfleet in Kent dubbed "The Angel of the South".

New sculpture at Southwark Cathedral

The sculpture is called "Christ Rests in Peace". Credit: ITN

A new sculpture of Jesus Christ has been installed at Southwark Cathedral for the duration of Lent.

It's called "Christ Rests In Peace" and has been created by one of Britain's greatest sculptors, Nic Fiddian-Green.

It will sit in front of the high altar until Easter Sunday at the end of March.


Picasso sells for £28.5m

Femme Assise Pres d'une Fenetre (Woman Sitting Near a Window) by Pablo Picasso. Credit: Anthony Delvin, PA

A painting by Pablo Picasso has sold for more than £28.5m at auction in London.

The 1932 piece, Femme Assise Pres d'une Fenetre (Woman Sitting Neara Window), is a portrait of his "golden muse" Marie-Therese Walter.

Helena Newman, from Sotheby's, said:

"We are delighted that this stunning and monumental portrait, which is part of the defining series that introduced his 'golden muse' to the public eye, fetched such a strong price....

"This particular portrait is a striking and notably modern-looking work from one of the artist's most celebrated periods."

Theatre society 'astonished' at West End takings

Society of LondonTheatre president Mark Rubinstein said:

"I am delighted that for the ninth year running we are able to report year-on-year growth in ticket income for London Theatres.

"It is particularly astonishing that we are able to report increasing sales - of over half a billion pounds - for a year that we always knew would have exceptional challenges.

"Against the background of a tough economic climate, London theatre continues to buck the trend, offering dazzling, world-class entertainment, which has audiences from both home and abroad flocking to the West End to catch exciting new productions as well as much-loved long running favourites."

Theatreland defies fears of Olympic slump

New productions such as "The Bodyguard" have been credited with boosting ticket sales. Credit: Adelphi Theatre.

London's theatres enjoyed an increase in box office takings last year, despite fears that the Olympics would hit business.

Andrew Lloyd Webber had predicted that the Games would create a "bloodbath of a summer" in the capital's theatreland - but audience numbers for 2012 were actually up slightly on the previous year.

According to the Society of London Theatre, box offices sales set a new record at almost £530 million - up 0.27% on 2011 - and attendances increased by 0.56% to nearly 14 million. Although audiences for musicals dropped by 2%, that was made up for by an increase in those attending plays.

The Society said that the Olympics did have some impact, with venues closing on the night of the opening ceremony and fewer performances being staged in August. However, more tickets were sold for the first week of the Games than during the 2011 Royal Wedding week.

New productions such as Top Hat, Sweeney Todd and The Bodyguard, have been credited with helping to boost sales, along with ongoing hits like One Man, Two Guvnors and Matilda The Musical.


Belting tunes, but will it live up to the film version?

Twenty years ago, "The Bodyguard" took hundreds of millions of pounds worldwide and created what was then the best-selling soundtrack of all time.

It also had film-goers weeping bucket-loads for the doomed love story of Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner.

So, the West End stage version has a lot to live up to when it opens tomorrow - as our Entertainment Correspondent Lucrezia Millarini reports.

Fourth plinth is 'must-see cultural attraction'

Mayor of London Boris Johnson says the fourth plinth has become an important part of London's art scene:

"I am immensely proud to support the Fourth Plinth, which has become a must-see cultural attraction for London, one that underpins the capital's status as a great world city for art. Just a few minutes walk away from Trafalgar Square itself, this exhibition promises a fascinating journey through the work of some of the best international artists working today."

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