Byzantine beat on CD
THE beat of the Byzantine secular world is being heard again, almost 800 years after the original players laid down their instruments. The medieval tunes, rediscovered by Greek composer Christofoulos Halaris in the all-male monasteries of Mount Athos, have been released for the first time on compact disc. But the Greeks themselves will have to wait to hear the music of their forbears Mr Halaris refuses to sell the discs on Greek soil because of what he calls "a campaign by certain Greeks, and especially the Greek Orthodox Church, to destroy Byzantine culture".
LECH Vvalesa. the Polish Solidarity leader. has given £125,000 to help mitigate the effects of the flagging Polish economy. The money, which accompanied the award of the Nobel Peace Prize won by Mr Walesa in 1983, will go to a National Gift Fund to provide extra funds for health, social services and education in Poland.
THE leaning tower of Pisa, the 800-sear-old Romanesque campanile of Pisa Cathedral, is to be out of bounds to visitors for three months. The lop-sided structure, which is officially classified as a public danger. is in need of urgent repair.
THE. first Nativity play to be performed in Moscow since the 1917 Revolution has been held in the city 's Academic Theatre. The production was the premier of Jurij W'olkow's "Under the Star of Bethlehem", and cost 62,000 rubles.
THE Vatican's 123-year-long reliance on the Italian state for funds came to an end this week. in accordance with the revised Concordat agreed between the Iwo countries in 1984. Since 1866. Catholics in Italy have contributed to the "congrua" which effectively turned the clergy into public employees. Now the Vatican must depend on the generosity of the faithful.