The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Master sale

New York, Jan. 24 (Reuters): A rare painting by Renaissance master Andrea Mantegna sold at Sotheby’s auction house yesterday for more than $28 million, more than double the previous record for a work by the artist.

The painting,“Descent into Limbo,” dates to the late 15th century and depicts the episode of Jesus Christ descending into limbo to liberate the souls of the righteous who had predeceased him.

The painting sold for $28,568,000 at Sotheby’s January sale of Old Master paintings in New York. That surpasses the $10.4 million paid at auction for Mantegna’s “Adoration of the Magi” in 1985.

Spy recipes

Berlin (Reuters): Germany’s spies have written a cookery book as part of public relations drive that has also seen them launch their own range of underwear. The book is called Topf Secret (topf means pot in German), and contains recipes ranging from Scottish Haggis and to Central African Dongo Dongo — a vegetable and fish stew — from countries that German agents may have spied on over the years. “We want to awaken people's curiosity and get them to identify with the service,” said a spokeswoman for the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's version of the CIA. The publicity drive could also help recruitment, she added.

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