£1bn haul of art by Picasso, Renoir and Matisse found in squalid Munich flat | Mail Online

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Tuesday, Nov 05 2013 12PM  39°F 3PM 46°F 5-Day Forecast
£1bn haul of art treasures seized by Nazis found in squalid Munich flat: 1,500 works by masters such as Picasso, Renoir and Matisse hidden behind tins of noodles, fruit and beans
More than 1,500 paintings found including pieces by Picasso and Matisse
Collector Hildebrandt Gurlitt ordered for them to be destroyed in 1945
But in a routine search on a train from Switzerland to Germany, his son was caught with 9,000 euros cash earned from an illicit art deal
Officials searched his small rented apartment in Munich and found the art
Experts claim most were acquired from Jews in exchange for escape
By ALLAN HALL

PUBLISHED: 09:43 EST, 3 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:12 EST, 4 November 2013

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A remarkable secret trove of paintings worth nearly £1billion, seized by the Nazis in the 1930s and thought to have been destroyed in the war, has been found – hidden behind tins of rotting food in a shabby flat.

The 1,500 works by such masters as Picasso, Renoir, Matisse and Chagall were said to have been lost to the flames when Allied aircraft bombed Dresden in 1945.

They had been taken from their owners, many of them Jewish, by the Nazis, who regarded the Impressionist, Cubist and Modernist pieces as ‘degenerate’, and never seen again.

Control: Hitler only liked classical art and held exhibitions of modern ‘dissident’ pieces to show German people what not to like
Control: Hitler only liked classical art and held exhibitions of modern ‘dissident’ pieces to show German people what not to like. Many of those paintings that appeared in those shows have been found in Gurlitt’s collection

Their astonishing rediscovery nearly 70 years on in a rundown apartment in Munich came about because of a chance customs inspection of a man returning to Germany by train from Switzerland.

The man turned out to be Cornelius Gurlitt – the reclusive son of Hildebrandt Gurlitt, the art dealer who in the run-up to the Second World War had been in charge of gathering up the so-called degenerate art for the Nazis.

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Cornelius was not registered with the German authorities, had never worked and had no apparent source of income, raising suspicions among investigators who then uncovered the art cache hidden behind years-old tins of noodles, beans and fruit in his decrepit flat.

His father had bought for a pittance many of the paintings he seized, and they had passed to his son on his death. Cornelius then quietly sold a few, one at a time, to give him money to live on.

Revealed: The art was discovered in 2011 but kept secret. Today German Focus magazine reported it
Revealed: The art was discovered in 2011 but kept secret. Today German Focus magazine reported it

The works – sketches, oil paintings, charcoals, lithographs and watercolours – have not been publicly identified by investigators, who are working to reunite them with the families of their rightful owners.

But one painting is known to have been The Lion Tamer, by German artist Max Beckmann. Cornelius sold it through an auction house for nearly £750,000 shortly before the collection was seized.

Another is a portrait of a woman by the French master Matisse that belonged to the Jewish connoisseur Paul Rosenberg.

Rosenberg had to abandon his collection as he fled Paris when France fell to the Nazis in 1940. His granddaughter Anne Sinclair, wife of disgraced former IMF bank chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has been fighting for decades for the return of her grandfather’s pictures, but is said to have not known of the existence of this painting.

Other works discovered in the flat in the Munich suburb of Schwabing are by noted artists such as Paul Klee, Emil Nolde, Franz Marc, Otto Dix, Oskar Kokoschka, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Max Liebermann.

In the words of a spokesman for German customs: ‘This is a sensational find. A true treasure trove. It is an incredible story.’

Collector: Hildebrandt Gurlitt amassed more than 1,500 masterpieces and ordered them to be destroyed in 1945
Collector: Hildebrandt Gurlitt amassed more than 1,500 masterpieces and ordered them to be destroyed in 1945. His son was found on a train with 9,000 euros cash after selling off one of the collection in Switzerland

Holding place: The £600-a-month apartment in Munich where officials discovered the hidden paintings
Holding place: Cornelius Gurlitt, lived off the collection and as a consequence he has managed to survive his entire life without any official bank account, pension or insurance. Pictured: The Munich apartment where officials discovered the hidden paintings

Looters: American soldiers are pictured discovering one of the Nazi’s enormous art stash during the war
Loot: American soldiers are pictured discovering one of the Nazi’s enormous art stash during the war

A story which begins one evening in September 2010 aboard a German Intercity Express train from Zurich in Switzerland to Munich.

THE GREAT NAZI ART ROBBERY: HOW JEWISH DEALERS WERE BRIBED TO SACRIFICE PRECIOUS PAINTINGS FOR A SAFE ESCAPE
Over the six years of World War Two, the Nazis looted Europe for all it was worth.

As they raided homes, SS soldiers would take valuables from the walls and bring them proudly back to their leader.

But in their hunt for priceless art and massacre of Jews, a new business began: bribing Jewish dealers.

Many of Europe’s finest artworks were in the hands of Jewish brokers who had been making a living out of art consultancy for decades.

By 1941, a trend started where people would force these dealers, fearing for their life, to give up classics by Matisse, Picasso, and Renoir for little to no money.

The bribers were often members of the regime with connections to transport links.

In exchange they would be offered safe passage to countries such as Britain – knowing senior Nazis would pay excessive amounts for their new purchase.

Customs officials were carrying out a routine check on passengers – many wealthy Germans deposit money illegally in Switzerland to evade high tax rates at home – and asked for the papers of a white-haired man.

He proffered an Austrian passport in the name of Rolf Nikolaus Cornelius Gurlitt, born December 28, 1933, in Hamburg and currently residing in Salzburg.

‘He appeared nervous,’ said customs officials. He said he had travelled to Switzerland for ‘business’ at the Galerie Kornfeld in Bern.

He then he pulled out an envelope with 9,000 euros in 500 euro notes inside – 1,000 euros under the legal limit which must declared to officials when crossing borders in Europe.

Gurlitt was allowed to go on his way, but the officials remained suspicious.

Extensive checks soon disclosed that he did not live in Salzburg but in Schwabing, but he was not registered with the police – mandatory in Germany – the tax authorities or social services. He drew no pension and had no health insurance.

‘He was a man who didn’t exist,’ one official told Germany’s Focus magazine, which broke the story.

Investigators applied for a warrant to search behind the barred windows of his £600-a-month rented flat, eventually entering it in spring 2011.

There they discovered a mountain of tinned and bottled food, long past its sell-by date. Behind the decomposing food were found the missing artworks.

Sold: The Lion Tamer by painter Max Beckmann was one of the paintings in the collection Gurlitt has already sold
Sold: The Lion Tamer by painter Max Beckmann was one of the paintings in the collection Gurlitt has already sold

Matisse: Art historians are excited about the discovery of a painting by Matisse of a young woman like this
Matisse: Art historians are excited about the discovery of a painting by Matisse of a young woman like this

A customs official said: ‘We went into the apartment expecting to find a few thousand undeclared euros, maybe a black bank account.

‘But we were stunned with what we found. From floor to ceiling, from bedroom to bathroom, were piles and piles of old food in tins and old noodles, much of it from the 1980s.

And behind it all these pictures. They are worth over a billion euros [over £850million] we are told, but the real worth is inestimable. They are treasures.’

Treasures they may be, but the provincial-minded Nazi hierarchy despised them and termed them ‘degenerate’.

Hitler liked only romantic paintings that idolised his vision of German supermen. He and his propaganda minister Josef Goebbels ordered the seizure of some 20,000 ‘degenerate’ works by artists including Matisse, Picasso, Dali and Van Gogh.

Anne Sinclair, wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (pictured together) is the granddaughter of Paul Rosenberg
Potential heir: Anne Sinclair, wife of Dominique Strauss-Kahn (pictured together) is the granddaughter of Paul Rosenberg who is believed to have given his paintings to Gurlitt for a passage to safety

Many were displayed in the Degenerate Art exhibition which opened in Munich in 1937. Tens of thousands of Germans queued up to see exactly what their leaders were telling them not to like.

THE ‘DEGENERATE ART’ EXHIBITION: HITLER’S LESSON IN TASTE
Hitler invested thousands in collecting classical art – his favourite.

But the Gurlitt collection comprises at least 300 pieces Hitler hated that he confiscated from across German exhibitions.

With the help of painter and politician Adolf Ziegler, he displayed the pieces – all modern – as a lesson in ‘degenerate art’.

The pieces were exhibited for a month in July 1937 in Munich under the title ‘Entartete Kunst’ (degenerate art).

The day of the launch, Hitler declared ‘merciless war’ on cultural disintegration.

After the exhibition they were meant to be destroyed.

But in parallel to this exhibition was a behind-the-scenes fleecing of those who owned the paintings, many of them Jewish, who were forced to sell them at rock-bottom prices to art dealers with connections to the Nazi hierarchy in order to purchase expensive exit visas to flee Germany for safer countries.

According to Focus magazine, between 200 and 300 of the Gurlitt collection appeared in the Degenerate Art exhibition and the rest were bought at shamefully low prices from Jews who needed to get out of the country as fast as they could.

Gurlitt is a name well-known to art aficionados, a family which once catered to the elite of the German art collecting scene.

Hildebrandt Gurlitt, Cornelius’s father, was among the most respected art historians in Germany by the time the Nazis came to power in 1933.

He was a champion of modern art – and therefore, initially, hated by the Nazis. He was relieved of museum directorial posts by the regime and persecuted because he had a Jewish grandmother.

But the Nazis needed him because no one had the contacts within Nazi Germany – and outside – that he had with collectors.

Culture: Hitler and Goebbels (far left), here with actress Leni Riefenstahl, amassed large art collections together
Culture: Hitler and Goebbels (far left), here with actress Leni Riefenstahl, amassed large art collections together

He was tasked by Goebbels personally to ‘versilbern’ – turn into cash – the degenerate artworks for the regime.

He did this with some zeal and was rewarded by being offered the future post of director of the super-museum of art that Hitler planned to open in Linz, Austria, where he had once lived.

Hildebrandt Gurlitt acquired ‘hundreds and hundreds’ of artworks at knock-down prices, according to Focus. After the Degenerate Art exhibition, he took control of some of the exhibits too.

At the end of the war Gurlitt claimed that the firebombing of Dresden in February 1945 had destroyed his collection at the family home in Kaitzer Strasse.

His Jewish roots and his initial disfavour with Nazism made him, in the eyes of the Allies, a victim not a persecutor and he was never charged with fleecing Jews out of selling their collections for pennies. He carried on dealing in art until 1956 when he was killed in a car crash.

The recovered works are now in a security wing of Bavarian customs near Munich and an art historian is leading a team of experts trying to find the descendants of the rightful owners.

Meanwhile, investigators are said to have found a bank savings book belonging to Cornelius Gurlitt with hundreds of thousands of euros on deposit in it – the fruits of his sale of the artwork over the years. He faces jail for tax evasion and money laundering.

Ironically, however, if the rightful heirs to the paintings are not found – and because his father bought the bulk of them with family money, even at shamefully low prices – then many of them could be returned to Cornelius.

An awesome find – now for the lawsuits
BY ROBIN SIMON, DAILY MAIL ART CRITIC

This is the most significant art find ever to have emerged from the chaos of the Second World War. It is also a big step towards answering the art world’s most nagging question: Where did all the pictures go?

We know that after the defeat of the Nazis in 1945, the Russians, Americans and British all had sticky fingers when it came to seizing works of art. Individuals and governments alike connived in the removal of numerous pieces from post-war Germany.

But opportunist looting never explained the disappearance of a mass of masterpieces from the so-called ‘Degenerate’ exhibition, let alone the 1,000-plus other pictures acquired – often at knock-down prices from those desperate to escape Nazi persecution – by a collector named Hildebrandt Gurlitt.

Now we know: They were mouldering behind a pile of food in a Munich flat.

The ‘Degenerate’ show was put on by Hitler’s acolytes in 1937 to display the kind of modern art which they insisted showed ‘decadence’ and ‘racial impurity’.

The works in the exhibition had been ripped from the walls of museums across Germany: Now that so many have been recovered, there will surely be a feeding frenzy on an unprecedented scale as the heirs of the original owners, real or imaginary, call in lawyers in an attempt to recover such spectacular treasures.

Who can blame them? A single Picasso can be worth up to £60million. A Matisse £30million.
The list of German painters alone reads like the roll-call of a lost generation.

Precisely because the Nazis condemned their work as degenerate, surviving paintings by such hallowed names as Kirchner, Liebermann and Nolde are rare today, and correspondingly expensive.

Certainly, German collectors will be falling over themselves to buy – if these works are ever put up for sale.

Restitution is already a controversial issue in the art world as families deprived of their inheritance seek redress from private collectors and public museums all over the world whose walls are lined with great paintings acquired in the most dubious of circumstances.

No international exhibition now takes place without elaborate legal agreements, in case any legal heirs turn up to spoil the show, demanding the return of treasures looted during the war.

The current exhibition at Tate Modern of works by Paul Klee, one of the stars of this secret collection in Munich, will be no exception.

Oils by Klee – who was dismissed by the Nazis from his post at the Düsseldorf Academy in 1933 – were fetching £5million as long ago as the late 1980s. Even a tiny watercolour by Klee went for £1million at auction in 2008.

Today, you would have to be very rich indeed to get a sniff of one. Yet claimants to the Klees in Gurlitt’s collection will be hoping to get one for free.

Most of the paintings involved in this find will have been recorded in catalogues and sale records. Most original owners will be identifiable.

But there will be relatively few descendants around to come forward and plead their case.

And if all the heirs fail to materialise, Cornelius Gurlitt, in a bitter twist of fate, could be legally entitled to keep some these paintings – once denigrated as abominations by Hitler, but now declared almost beyond price.

plyNew Comment 7 63 Click to rate

Gatvol, Johannesburg, 1 day ago
Did they find the Fallen Madonna with the big boobies by van Klomp?
ReplyNew Comment 4 37 Click to rate
Azzurrolou, Seattle, 1 day ago
Leni Riefenstahl was an actress as well as a film maker?
ReplyNew Comment 1 14 Click to rate
Bill Silcott, Alphretta, United States, 1 day ago
You don’t know Picasso!
ReplyNew Comment 2 0 Click to rate
Chloe Smith, Sydney, 1 day ago
I think all the paintings should be auctioned off and all the proceeds be divided among survivors. But there will be difficulty in matching owners to each painting. How could you prove ownership after all this time, after the destruction of so many records?
ReplyNew Comment 32 10 Click to rate
BagLady, Sihanoukville, Cambodia, 1 day ago
These art works should not be handed over to private individuals but to the German State to be hung in museums for all to enjoy. These are historical masterpieces and the descendants of the original owners have no more right to their value than anyone else. In any event, the value is in the eye of the beholder and not the clink of a till.
ReplyNew Comment 66 42 Click to rate
Oldncynical, Newport, United Kingdom, 1 day ago
If he “bought” them, at whatever price, surely they are his or his descendants.
ReplyNew Comment 38 58 Click to rate
jamozal, melbourne, Australia, 1 day ago
I hope every piece gets back to it’s rightful owner’s family.
ReplyNew Comment 26 52 Click to rate

Jacques, Small Town, Canada, 1 day ago
From what I can determine the art was ‘legally acquired’ albeit unscrupulously in some circumstances but if anything, the art world should be forever grateful the irreplaceable pieces of art were salvaged from destruction no matter the means. In the article it was suggested that there are very few possible heirs surviving who would try to get dibs on the artwork so about the only issue Cornelius will have to deal with is to declare the sales and pay tax! By a twist of fate, I believe he legally ‘owns’ the artwork!
ReplyNew Comment 22 45 Click to rate
Dr.Amy, West Chester, United States, 1 day ago
Perhaps the government of Germany could pay the cost of returning these paintings to their rightful heirs.
ReplyNew Comment 25 38 Click to rate
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‘It wasn’t believable!’ Ben Stiller reveals he didn’t buy ‘hair gel’ scene in There’s Something About Mary
‘It wasn’t believable!’ Ben Stiller reveals he didn’t buy ‘hair gel’ scene in There’s Something About Mary
He didn’t think audiences would buy it
Hilary Duff
She’s up fur-it! A smiling Hilary Duff shows off her tail on a trip to beauty salon
Foxy lady added a furry tail to her look on Monday
Trying to get Orlando Bloom to notice you? Miranda Kerr’s pal posts sexy, nude photo of her then the newly single mom displays message about ‘honouring love’
In bed with Miranda Kerr: Topless model slips between the sheets and shows Orlando Bloom what he’s missing
The model is now single
Sporty date night: Patrick Schwarzenegger, left, and his girlfriend Taylor Burns, right, attended a Los Angeles Lakers game at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California on Friday
Patrick Schwarzenegger and his college sweetheart Taylor Burns hold hands on date at LA Lakers game
Date at Staples Center
‘They are in grave danger’: New trailer for Desolation of Smaug hints at a darker times ahead for The Hobbit
‘They are in grave danger’: New trailer for Desolation of Smaug hints at a darker times ahead for The Hobbit
The journey is now a little less unexpected
Mel B wows in red and gold bikini as she frolics on the beach with husband Stephen Belafonte
Nothing scary about that! Mel B wows in red and gold bikini as she frolics on the beach with husband Stephen Belafonte
Singer was in Sydney
Brooke Mueller’s restraining order against Charlie Sheen is rejected after she claimed her ‘life was threatened’ following the actor slamming her as ‘an awful parent’
Brooke Mueller’s restraining order against Charlie Sheen is REJECTED after she claimed her ‘life was threatened’ following the actor’s insults
Renee Zellweger at Bee Movie Film Premiere, Mann Village Theatre, Westwood, California.
Is that really you, Renee? New man, new career and a startling new look for Bridget Jones star
Chiselled cheekbones and a heavy brow
Catherine Zeta-Jones steps out in all-black outfit and orange print scarf amid rumours of a reconciliation with husband Michael Douglas
Catherine Zeta-Jones heads out shopping in stylish black coat and orange print scarf amid rumors of reconciliation with husband Michael Douglas
Little Miracle! Drew Barrymore ‘expecting second child’ with Will Kopelman
Little Miracle! Drew Barrymore expecting second child with Will Kopelman
Their daughter Olive has a little brother or sister on the way
The making of Middle-earth: Hobbit fans treated to a sneak peek behind the scenes of The Desolation of Smaug
The making of Middle-earth: Hobbit fans treated to a sneak peek behind the scenes of The Desolation of Smaug
Fan event in Wellington
‘She was underage so I snuck her in the back door’: Melissa Joan Hart admits she took Britney Spears to her first club 10 years ago… and left her there
‘She was underage so I snuck her in the back door’: Melissa Joan Hart admits she took Britney Spears to her first club 10 years ago… and left her there
Check us out! Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick wear matching plaid shirts and leather jackets for a Big Apple lunch date
Check us out! Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick wear matching plaid shirts and leather jackets for a Big Apple lunch date
Couple are in NYC
Miranda Kerr App preview
Want to be as clean-living as Miranda Kerr? There’s an app (or nine!) for that: Model reveals the tools that help her stay virtuous
Help to keep you healthy
Justin
Now Justin Bieber ‘parties with 30 girls’ following his visit to a popular brothel in Brazil
The singer has been causing controversy while in South America
Nick Jonas shows off his killer abs while Isabel Lucas strips down to a tiny bikini in new trailer for Careful What You Wish For
Nick Jonas shows off his killer abs while Isabel Lucas strips down to a tiny bikini in new trailer for Careful What You Wish For
Watch the trailer now
Sweet moment: Beyonce posted a snap of Jay Z bonding with Blue Ivy on Monday
Daddy’s little girl! Beyoncé posts snap of Jay Z sharing a sweet moment with their daughter Blue Ivy
Shot in an idyllic tropical setting
Temptress: Rumer Willis donned a simple yet revealing black ensemble as hit up Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, California on Saturday
Rumer Willis legs it out around town in racy stockings and mini-dress
The 25-year-old was at Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood
Annie Lennox and her daughters
Money can’t buy it: Annie Lennox is honoured at Music Industry Trust awards and wins praise from Adele and Elton John
Singer is now 58
Katharine McPhee
Keeping her head down: Katharine McPhee steps out for the first time after kissing married Smash director Michael Morris
Spotted after the scandal
‘We are 1000% stronger than ever’: Kyle Richards clears up rumours spread by Housewives co-star Lisa Vanderpump that her marriage was rocky
‘We are 1000% stronger than ever’: Kyle Richards clears up rumors spread by Housewives co-star Lisa Vanderpump that her marriage was rocky
Claire Danes
Stunning Claire Danes poses topless for sexy new shoot as she reveals she gets a ‘euphoric high’ playing Carrie Mathison on Homeland
‘This thing is getting totally out of hand’: Corey Feldman’s mother Sheila Kenner hits back at his explosive tell-all that claims she abused him and force fed him diet pills
‘This thing is getting out of hand’: Corey Feldman’s mother Sheila Kenner hits back at his tell-all that claims she abused him and force fed him diet pills
Nina Agdal for Ocean Drive magazine
‘I’m too young to know what love is’: Max George’s model girlfriend Nina Agdal opens up on romance… as she shows off her figure in beachwear
Adam Lambert dodges questions after being photographed handing Miley Cyrus a suspicious rolled-up cigarette
Adam Lambert dodges questions after being photographed handing Miley Cyrus a suspicious rolled-up cigarette
Grilled about whether it contained marijuana
The making of Middle-earth: Hobbit fans treated to a sneak peek behind the scenes of The Desolation of Smaug
WATCH IT HERE: Hobbit fans delight as Peter Jackson joins cast to promote new film
Watch the live stream from Wellington, New Zealand
Kate Beckinsale
The ultimate jet-set look! Kate Beckinsale chooses style over comfort in skintight leather trousers and a fur coat as she arrives in the UK
Did Eminem lip-sync on SNL? Rapper accused of miming his way through performance on the live show
Did Eminem lip-sync on SNL? Rapper accused of miming his way through performance on the live show
The rapper has come under fire for the show
Porsha Stewart suggests estranged husband Kordell might be gay as she opens up about split on Real Housewives Of Atlanta
Porsha Stewart suggests estranged husband Kordell might be gay as she opens up about split on Real Housewives Of Atlanta
Watch the clip here
Courtney Love
‘I’m simply too old for grunge’: Rocker Courtney Love on how she prefers classier styles now she’s 49
Loves classic designs by Calvin Klein
Cover girl: Courtney Love graced the cover of Fashion magazine and gave a typically candid interview
‘I deserve a second chance’: Courtney Love graces cover of Fashion magazine and opens up on new projects, Hollywood hopes
Life is back on track
Harry Styles gets mobbed
They’re FINALLY home: One Direction get mobbed as they return to London after wrapping up their sell-out world tour
Boys arrived in London
‘The most common misperception is that I cheated:’ Jon Gosselin hits back at reports of affair in new interview with Oprah Winfrey
Jon Gosselin slams reports he cheated on Kate and says reality TV left their children with problems ‘developmentally’
Pair divorced in 2009
Forever family! Nikki Reed reunited with her Twilight parents, Peter Facinelli and Elizabeth Reaser, over lunch on Friday
‘I love my fam’: Nikki Reed shares a snap over coffee with her Twilight parents Peter Facinelli and Elizabeth Reaser before showing her legs for MTV
Eva Longoria flashes her toned stomach as her top rides up during beachside jog
Eva Longoria flashes her toned stomach as her top rides up during a  beachside jog
Her tank top was caught in a gust of wind on Malibu Beach
Cover girl: Selena Gomez appears on the cover of Teen Vogue as well as an exclusive interview inside
‘I’m not a one night girl:’ Selena Gomez talks about being rebellious and learning from her mistakes in Teen Vogue interview
Inspirational 21 year old
No pain no gain! Pamela Anderson is left bruised and sore after taking on the New York Marathon
No pain no gain! Pamela Anderson is left bruised and sore after taking on the New York Marathon
Joined thousands of other runners in NYC
kim k
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West flout fancy dress as they attend 18th birthday celebrations for sister Kendall Jenner
Too cool for school
JUDE LAW
‘I think it’s being written now’: Jude Law confirms plans to join forces with Robert Downey Jr again for Sherlock Holmes 3
Co-stars to film again
Proud dad: Josh Duhamel proves he’s a hands on dad to baby as he’s spotted cradling the tot on a morning Starbucks coffee run in Los Angeles
What sleepless nights? Hands on father Josh Duhamel takes baby son Axl out on a morning coffee run while Fergie stays home
Ran errands in LA
He’s back, innit! Sacha Baron Cohen to record new Ali G material and signs ‘first option’ deal with FXX comedy channel
He’s back, innit! Sacha Baron Cohen to record new Ali G material and signs ‘first option’ deal with FXX comedy channel
The role that famed him
‘We’ll really miss you Mrs K’: Bart writes touching tribute to Marcia Wallace on latest episode of The Simpsons
‘We’ll really miss you Mrs K!’ Bart writes touching tribute to Marcia Wallace on the blackboard in The Simpsons
Plays Mrs Krabappel
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DON’T MISS
‘It won’t be happening again, I guarantee it’: Josh Brolin swears off alcohol following embarrassing drunken bar brawl
‘It won’t be happening again, I guarantee it’: Josh Brolin swears off alcohol following embarrassing drunken bar brawl
It was an eventful night
Not the most romantic of date nights! Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Chris Martin were seen dining out in Los Angeles on Sunday night, with daughter Apple (centre) coming along too
Not the most romantic of date nights! Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin grab dinner… along with daughter Apple
Family went to an eatery in Los Angeles
The Girls Next Door alum wore an A-line magenta dress, topped with a floral-printed, sheer blue layer of fabric.
Her living doll! Holly Madison dresses daughter Rainbow Aurora in a matching princess dress
The 33-year-old brought matched her daughter
lady gaga
EXCLUSIVE: ‘My intention was to put art culture into pop music’: Lady Gaga reveals she aimed to ‘reverse Warhol’ in new record
Talked to MailOnline
Kiss me quick: The couple put on a show off affection at the YouTube Awards
Pictured: Lady Gaga puts split rumors to bed by putting on an amorous display with boyfriend Taylor Kinney at YouTube Awards
Rumored they had split
Miss Universe
America’s Miss Universe contestant sports VERY unglamorous ensemble inspired by Transformers film
Costumes from hit films
Even Harry went as Miley! Styles goes shirtless in nude hotpants as he dresses up as Cyrus for raucous Halloween party
Even Harry went as Miley! Styles goes shirtless in nude hotpants as he dresses up as Cyrus for raucous Halloween party
Popular costume choice
Spot the star! Alanis Morissette cuts a stylish figure at the grocery store in a polka dot shirt
Spot the star! Alanis Morissette cuts a stylish figure at the grocery store in a polka dot shirt
She’s one of the world’s most successful singer/songwriters
Blake Lively attends the presentation announcing her as the new L’Oreal Paris Egerie for makeup, coloring and hair care at
Blake’s slimming secret: Lively credits her figure to her love of chocolate
Consumes chocolate for breakfast and as an evening snack
Demi Moore returns to LA with her guru after ‘soul searching’ pilgrimage to India… as her divorce from Ashton Kutcher nears finalisation
Demi Moore returns to LA with her guru after ‘soul searching’ pilgrimage in India… as her divorce from Ashton Kutcher nears finalisation
Incognito: She wore a short black curly wig and hat and sported a milky white complexion
Who’s the Little Monster now? Lady Gaga sports terrifying toothy smile… and goes without trousers at YouTube Music Awards
Matches single cover
ADELE (Read-Only).jpg
Someone like us! It’s Adele the busy mom: Singer blends into the crowd as she takes son Angelo on shopping trip
Dressed casually in a patchwork cape
Olivier Sarkozy and Mary-Kate Olsen attend the Minnesota Timberwolves vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden
Perfect for the kiss cam: Olivier Sarkozy plants an affectionate kiss on Mary-Kate Olsen courtside at Madison Square Garden
Watching basketball
Princesses
Real-life heroines including Hillary Clinton and Malala get a Disney princess make-over to show how ‘ridiculous’ the archetype is
Aloha! Gwen Stefani spills out of her low-cut floral frock but covers up her ‘pregnancy’ bump at friend’s party
Blooming lovely! ‘Pregnant’ Gwen Stefani spills out of her low-cut floral frock which cleverly hides baby bump at friend’s party
Pretty in pink in LA
The very best accessory! Kaley Cuoco brightens up her casual outfit with her sparkling engagement ring as she hosts animal benefit with fiancé Ryan Sweeting
Kaley Cuoco brightens up her casual outfit with her sparkling engagement ring as she hosts animal benefit with fiancé Ryan Sweeting
‘If I give up, no one in his life would be able to help,’ Khloe Kardashian reveals fears for husband Lamar as he goes missing on new reality episode
‘If I give up, no one in his life would be able to help,’ Khloe Kardashian reveals fears for husband Lamar as he goes missing on new KUWTK episode
Doesn’t that look good! Violet Affleck shields her father Ben’s eyes with a candy bar as he takes her to her basketball game
Doesn’t that look good! Violet Affleck shields her father Ben’s eyes with a candy bar as he takes her to her basketball game
Don’t look dad!
Marisa Tomei ditches the glamour as she goes make-up free for a flight out of Los Angeles
Comfort comes first! Marisa Tomei ditches the glamour as she goes make-up free for a flight out of Los Angeles
Decided to let her skin breathe
Taylor Swift
It’s a black out! Taylor Swift channels Audrey Hepburn as she works tight-fitting turtle-neck top and trousers on The X Factor UK
Channeled the ’50s star
Photoshopped Model Preview
Meet the woman behind THAT Photoshop makeover: Model in time -lapse video showing radical effect of airbrush reveals why she’s proud to be imperfect
Couple no more: Jennifer Morrison and Sebastian Stan, shown together in March 2012 in Canada, have ended their relationship after they ‘grew apart’
Once Upon A Time stars Jennifer Morrison and Sebastian Stan call an end to their storybook romance
They had a low profile relationship
Get long, lean legs in three simple steps: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s fitness guru James Duigan on achieving perfect pins with FEMAIL video exclusive
Get long, lean limbs in three simple steps: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s fitness guru James Duigan shows us how in this exclusive video
Cute couple: Kate Bosworth and Michael Polish attend a screening of their film Big Sur in West Hollywood
Heart warming! Cute couple Kate Bosworth and Michael Polish attend screening of their film Big Sur in cosy winter outfits
Couple recently married
Raf Simons Puff Preview
Don’t flatter me – just buy the clothes! Dior’s Raf Simons insists his success lies in sales — not critics labeling him a ‘genius’
45 year old spoke out
Selfie enthusiast: The privileged teenager – wearing a simple white vest – donned bedazzled masks alongside her friends and family
Party time! Kendall Jenner marks her 18th with Kylie, Kim and Khloe Kardashian as they don masks for a family dinner
Celebrated with family
‘Happy 18th Birthday to the sweetest girl!’ Kendall Jenner gets the loving treatment from her family in a series of tribute tweets
‘Happy 18th to the sweetest girl!’ Kim Kardashian leads birthday tributes to Kendall Jenner as she shares childhood snaps
Sharing memories
Halftime performer: Selena Gomez posed with two Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders in a photo shared on Sunday via Twitter
‘It’s such a great honor!’ Selena Gomez named as halftime performer for Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving game
In her native Texas
Rocker Rod Stewart
Showing the youngsters how it’s done! Rod Stewart enjoys kick-about with sons Sean and Alastair and shows off his impressive soccer skills
Purrrfect! Gisele celebrates her feline side in a Wild Instinct T-shirt and leopard print blazer as she jets out of Sao Paulo
Simply purrfect! Gisele shows her feline side in Wild Instinct T-shirt and leopard print blazer as she jets out of Sao Paulo
Gisele Bündchen opted for a feline look
Melanie Griffith
That awkward hug-kiss: Melanie Griffith gives male companion a peck on the neck after pair are unsure how to say goodbye
Diana
Naomi Watts’ Diana film flops on opening week in US where it grossed just $63,000 at the box office
Critics also disliked the Princess Diana biopic
‘You’ll never guess who I had in the back of my cab…’ Nicole Kidman gets ‘picked up’ by taxi driver Matt Lucas in a scene from the forthcoming Paddington Bear movie
Nicole Kidman swaps her long hair for a villainous bob as she gets to work on new Paddington movie with Colin Firth
Filming in London
She can do glamorous too! Pink gets dressed up in elegant all-black and lots of red lipstick for date night with Carey Hart
She can do glamorous too! Pink gets dressed up in elegant all-black and lots of red lipstick for date night with Carey Hart
Couple’s romantic night
‘I’ll never be able to thank her for what she did’: Lea Michele reveals Glee co-star Kate Hudson helped her after Cory Monteith died
‘I’ll never be able to thank her for what she did’: Lea Michele reveals Glee co-star Kate Hudson helped her after Cory Monteith died
Opening up about grief
David Beckham
Trying out a new look? David Beckham looks as stylish as ever in grey felt fedora hat as he arrives at JFK Airport
Another new style for the retired soccer ace
Back together? Kristen Wiig has a ball with ex-boyfriend Fabrizio Moretti at New York Knicks game
Back together? Kristen Wiig has a ball with ex-boyfriend Fabrizio Moretti at New York Knicks game
The former couple called it quits in July
Idris Elba
Phew, he made it! Idris Elba looks a little poorly as he mops his brow at Mandela premiere in South Africa a day after being hospitalized for asthma attack
Naomie Harris
Naomie Harris glitters in white dress featuring tulle and sequined skirt at Mandela premiere in South Africa
She joined her co-star Idris Elba at the event
She’s got some new men in her life! Joanna Krupa kisses boy at charity event
Real Housewife Joanna Krupa shows her caring side as she meets sick children at charity event
Joanna Krupa planted a big kiss on a boy’s cheek
Celebs take selfies too! Gina Gershon and Heather Graham take pics together on the set of My Dead Boyfriend
One for the album! Gina Gershon and Heather Graham snap a selfie as they pose on the set of My Dead Boyfriend
Actresses were filming in New York City
It just gets worse! First he was spotted ‘sneaking out of brothel,’ now Bieber storms off stage after being hit by bottle in Brazil
It couldn’t be more apt! Justin Bieber storms off stage after being hit by a bottle in Brazil… as he releases his new single Bad Day
Bieber stormed off stage
Bieber
The moment Justin Bieber tried to ‘sneak out of brothel covered by bedsheets’ while on tour in Brazil
But he was recognized by his tattoo
Katy Perry roars past Justin Bieber to become most followed person on Twitter
Katy Perry roars past Justin Bieber to become most followed person on Twitter
Katy had 46,528,597 to Justin’s 46,507,210 Twitter followers
Rashida Jones
Actress Rashida Jones presents YouTube Music Awards hosts Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts with two crying babies
Meant to be a joke?
Ender’s Game launches its way to the top of the box office with $28 million opening weekend
Ender’s Game launches its way to the top of the box office with $28M opening weekend
Harrison Ford stars in the film, which is set to be a hit
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend! Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is every inch the stylish jetsetter in printed cardigan and VERY skinny jeans
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend! Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is every inch the stylish jetsetter in printed cardigan and VERY skinny jeans
Rita Ora and Austin Powers
The spy who styled me: Rita Ora copies Austin Powers’ look to co-host British radio show
The singer was up bright and early for the gig in London
Model Alexa Chung
Now YOU can look like Alexa Chung: Model unveils debut make-up range
Teamed up with indie brand Eyeko to launch a range of cosmetics
Sharon stone
Red alert! Sharon Stone has lipstick on her teeth as she suffers a makeup malfunction at the Lakers game
Even stunning women can not pull that off
Moesha star Marcus Paulk charged with domestic assault for allegedly hospitalising girlfriend with kick to the stomach
Moesha star Marcus Paulk charged with domestic assault for ‘hospitalizing girlfriend with kick to the stomach’
Faces up to four years
Naomi Watts’ son Sammy debuts pink-streaked hair while scooting through Manhattan with brother Sasha
Naomi Watts’ son Sammy debuts pink- streaked hair while scooting through Manhattan with mom and brother Sasha
Also wore a rainbow wig
pamela
Pamela Anderson, Bill Rancic and man dressed as Jesus join almost 50,000 runners in New York City Marathon a year on from Superstorm Sandy
Vanessa Hudgens gets thrown to the floor by an overzealous fan… But don’t worry it is only for a music video
Vanessa Hudgens gets thrown to the floor by an overzealous fan… in a bizarre skit at YouTube Music Awards
Vanessa Hudgens put her body on the line
Flying visit! Reese Witherspoon jets back to work in Oregon after enjoying a lazy day with the men in her life in Los Angeles
Flying visit! Reese Witherspoon jets back to work in Oregon after enjoying a lazy day with the men in her life in Los Angeles
Actress is on the move
Cinema chic! Kirsten Dunst cuts a classy figure in black T-shirt and belted blue trousers for solo afternoon at the movies
Cinema chic! Kirsten Dunst cuts a classy figure in black T-shirt and belted blue trousers for solo afternoon at the movies
Without actor boyfriend
House fire: Music producer Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, shown in March in New York City, had firefighters called to his Los Angeles house on Saturday after a blaze broke out in his bathroom
Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds escapes injury thanks to sprinkler system as fire breaks out at his LA mansion
A blaze broke out in the bathroom
Pregnant again: Kendra Wilkinson, shown on Thursday in New York City, has been coping with morning sickness in the early stages of her second pregnancy
‘I want my energy back’: Newly pregnant Kendra Wilkinson reveals her battle with morning sickness
Reality star’s struggles in first trimester
David Hasselhoff and Hayley Roberts in Dubai
Still going strong! David Hasselhoff and girlfriend Hayley Roberts share a tender moment as they enjoy the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Mind the age gap
Joan Collins
Joan Collins: ‘I am probably a feminist – but there’s nothing wrong with wanting to cover yourself in jewels, couture and make-up’
The star is now 80
One Direction Story of My Life video
Story Of My Life: New photos show One Direction with their family past and present for music video
Directioners across the world have been waiting
X factor Judges Gary Barlow, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger arrive for dinner at Nobu
Judges’ night out: Nicole Scherzinger wears lace jumpsuit as she kisses Sharon Osbourne goodbye after X Factor UK show
Her act was saved
Hat’s the way to do it! Alessandra Ambrosio and children Noah and Anja wear stylish matching headgear
Hat’s the way to do it! Alessandra Ambrosio and children Noah and Anja wear stylish matching headgear
Strolled the sidewalks of Venice, California
Cara Santana
Wrapped up in a bow! Cara Santana looks pretty in pastel pink as she hangs out with American Idol’s Pia Toscano
Without beau Jesse
James Hewitt
Back home, Princess Diana’s dashing ex-lover: James Hewitt seen walking with his mother as it’s revealed he has moved back in with her
Annoyed: His silence makes me uncomfortable
How can I make my man turn up the volume? ROWAN PELLING’S sex advice column
My partner and I have a good sex life, apart from one thing: he’s so quiet
‘I’m shocked!’ Amber Riley arrives to DWTS rehearsals in tight fitting workout gear after revealing she’s gotten ‘smaller’ from dancing
‘I’m shocked!’ Amber Riley arrives at DWTS rehearsals in tight fitting workout gear as she reveals she is getting ‘smaller’
Wearing a big smile
Racy in lace! Anna Faris outshines stars of husband’s film wearing sheer black dress to Delivery Man premiere
If only she was in the movie! Anna Faris wows in sheer lace as she joins husband Chris Pratt at Delivery Man premiere
All eyes were on her
It’s a boy! Proud father Emile Hirsch bonds with son Valor on day out with the newborn’s mother
It’s a boy! Emile Hirsch cast in a new role as proud father as the actor bonds with son Valor
The actor has a lot to celebrate these days
Having a Disney moment: Heidi watches over little Lou as her daughter enjoys a ride on the carousel
Well it is The Happiest Place On Earth! Heidi Klum can’t hide her delight as she watches her brood take a spin around Disneyland
Went on carousel
Worn out angel: Mischa Barton looks totally exhausted in dowdy winged sweater during ATM run
Make-up free Mischa Barton runs errands after opening up about ‘full-on breakdown’
Mischa Barton has come a long way since her days on The OC
Chilling out! Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beats don heavy clothes to beat the New York cold on family day out
Chilling out! Alicia Keys and Swizz Beats don heavy clothes to beat the cold as they support New York Marathon runners
Covered up for the event
‘I LOVE Daylight Saving coming to an end!’ Alyson Hannigan celebrates getting her kids to bed early after family stroll tires them out
‘I LOVE Daylight Saving coming to an end!’ Alyson Hannigan celebrates getting her kids to bed early after family stroll tires them out
Kate Beckinsale dazzles in shimmering mermaid-style dress at LA gala
Shining bright! Kate Beckinsale dazzles in shimmering blue mermaid-style dress at glittering LA gala
The 40 year old honored Martin Scorcese
Jessica Simpson REALLY gets her body confidence back as she nearly pops out of low-cut frock on date night with Eric
Jessica Simpson REALLY gets her body confidence back as she nearly pops out of low-cut frock on date night with Eric
Joined by sister Ashlee
Samantha Cameron
Britain’s First Lady Samantha Cameron glitters in a spectacular autumnal sari as she celebrates Diwali on visit to Hindu temple
Married to PM Cameron
She earned this! Karina Smirnoff shows off her amazing dancer’s body in backless black dress at fundraiser event
She earned this! Karina Smirnoff shows off her amazing dancer’s body in backless black dress at fundraiser event
The dancer was partying for a good cause
ABBEY CLANCEY AND PETER CROUCH P
British soccer star Peter Crouch puts the smile back on wife Abbey’s face after she survives tearful Strictly dance off
Couple were in London
Shooting some hoops! Delta Goodrem shows off her basketball skills… as pal Dita Von Teese watches from the sidelines
Shooting some hoops! Delta Goodrem shows off her basketball skills… as pal Dita Von Teese watches from the sidelines
Enjoying some b-ball
The weekly farmers market has become a firm fixture in Ariel Winter’s calendar. The Modern family actress was spotted hanging out with her family and friends
It’s tatt time of the week again! Modern Family actress Ariel Winter gets herself another fake tattoo at the farmers market
Loves transfers
Paula Abdul connects to her Jewish roots on tourist trip to Israel
‘It’s been magical and emotional’: Paula Abdul connects to her Jewish roots on tourist trip to Israel
The singer explored her spiritual side
Michael C. Hall enjoys a romantic morning stroll with his girlfriend Morgan MacGregor
A lovely day for a walk: Michael C. Hall and girlfriend Morgan Macgregor take their dog for an early morning stroll
Dexter star was in LA
Pleasing to the red eye! Jessica Chastain looks stunning after flying into Los Angeles
Pleasing to the red eye! Jessica Chastain looks stunning after flying into Los Angeles
It is not easy to look your best after a long haul flight
x factor
Nicole Scherzinger denies viewer claims she was drunk during UK X Factor… merely ‘getting into the disco spirit’
Denied drinking
Living After Midnight! Hugh Jackman and Barbara Walters lead the way at Broadway opening of jazz musical
Living After Midnight! Hugh Jackman and Barbara Walters lead the way at Broadway opening of jazz musical
The aussie loves Broadway
Dolly Parton defends Miley Cyrus
‘It’s not easy being young!’ Dolly Parton comes to the defense of her ‘goddaughter’ Miley Cyrus
Seems the whole world has turned against her
My little cutie! Jillian Michaels beams over son Phoenix as she turns trip to the Farmers Market into a fun family affair
On the same wavelength! Jillian Michaels and partner Heidi co-ordinate in grey as they spend the day with Phoenix and Lukensia
Pop icon: The music of Britney Spears, shown in September in Las Vegas, will be used in a new musical to tell the story of the life and death of Jesus Christ
‘The Gospel According To Britney!’ New musical tells the story of Jesus Christ through Spears’ pop songs
Britney Spears will meet the Bible
rosie huntingdon
First look at Christmas ad starring Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and David Gandy
Commercial is an annual tradition for the British retailer
Muscle mum! Melissa Joan Hart gave her son Braydon a piggyback ride as she and the family left the Farmers Market in Studio City, California on Sunday
Melissa Joan Hart cradles son Tucker before giving older son Braydon a piggyback ride during family day out at the farmer’s market
Eliza Doolittle flashes midriff while enjoying walk with Daisy Lowe in inappropriate cropped top and fluffy coat
‘Best way to start a Monday’: Eliza Doolittle flashes midriff while enjoying walk with Daisy Lowe in inappropriate cropped top and fluffy coat
Make a wish! Milla and husband Paul W.S Anderson pose alongside their daughter Ever and her friend at the birthday party
Milla Jovovich dons a pair of wings as she throws daughter Ever a fairy-themed birthday party
With her director husband Paul Anderson
Tom Hiddleston dons Loki costume to lord over children’s classroom for Comedy Central spot
Tom Hiddleston dons Loki costume to lord it over children’s classroom for Comedy Central spot
Ironic since Thor is rated PG-13
She’s on fire! Jena Malone is worlds away from her Pride & Prejudice days as she dons sheer blouse and cut-out miniskirt for Hunger Games: Catching Fire tour
She’s Catching Fire! Jena Malone is worlds away from her Pride & Prejudice days in sheer blouse for Hunger Games tour
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Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

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GEOFF MANAUGHARCHAEOLOGY 10/21/13 2:20pm
27,987g37L
Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

There are more than 450 artificial caves excavated from sandstone beneath the streets and buildings of Nottingham, England—including, legendarily, the old dungeon that once held Robin Hood. Not all of these caves are known even today, let alone mapped or studied.

The city sits atop a labyrinth of human-carved spaces—some of them huge—and it will quite simply never be certain if archaeologists and historians have found them all.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser scans courtesy of the Nottingham Caves Survey show Castle Rock and the Mortimer’s Hole tunnel, including, in the bottom image, the Trip to Jerusalem Pub where we met archaeologist David Strange-Walker; images like this imply an exhilarating and almost psychedelic portrait of the city, invisibly connected behind the scenes by an umbilical network of caves and tunnels.

I had the pleasure last summer of tagging along with archaeologist David Strange-Walker of the Nottingham Caves Survey to learn more about the organization’s ambitious subterranean laser-scanning project, visiting many of the caves in person.

The purpose of the Nottingham Caves Survey, as their website explains, is “to assess the archaeological importance of Nottingham’s caves. Some are currently scheduled monuments and are of great local and national importance. Some are pub cellars and may seem less vital to the history of the City.” Others, I was soon to learn, have been bricked off, taken apart, filled in, or forgotten.

“All caves that can be physically accessed will be surveyed with a 3D laser scanner,” the Survey adds, “producing a full measured record of the caves in three dimensions. This ‘point cloud’ of millions of individual survey points can be cut and sliced into plans and sections, ‘flown through’ in short videos, and examined in great detail on the web.”

“Even back in Saxon times, Nottingham was known for its caves,” local historian Tony Waltham writes in his helpful guide Sandstone Caves of Nottingham, “though the great majority of those which survive today were cut much more recently.” From malt kilns to pub cellars, “gentlemen’s lounges” to jails, and wells to cisterns, these caves form an almost entirely privately-owned lacework of voids beneath the city.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Map of only the known caves in Nottingham, and only in Nottingham’s city center; map by Tony Waltham, from Sandstone Caves of Nottingham.

As Waltham explains, “Nottingham has so many caves quite simply because the physical properties of the bedrock sandstone are ideal for its excavation.” The sandstone “is easily excavated with only hand tools, yet will safely stand as an unsupported arch of low profile.”

In a sense, Nottingham is the Cappadocia of the British Isles.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

The extraordinary caves at 8 Castle Gate; scan courtesy of the Nottingham Caves Survey.

On a short visit to England last summer, I got in touch with Strange-Walker, the project’s manager, and arranged for a visit up to Nottingham to learn more about the project. Best of all, David generously organized an entire day’s worth of explorations, going down into many of the city’s underground spaces with David himself as our guide.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

We met the likable and energetic David—who was dressed for a full day of activity, complete with a well-weathered backpack that we’d later learn contained hard hats and floodlights for each of us—outside Nottingham’s Trip to Jerusalem pub.

Rather than kicking off our visit with a pint, however, we simply walked inside to see how the pub had been partially built—that is, expanded through deliberate excavation—into the sandstone cliffside.

The building is thus more like a facade wrapped around and disguising the artificial caves behind it; walking in past the bar, for instance, you soon notice ventilation shafts and strange half-stairways, curved walls and unpredictable acoustics, as the “network of caves” that actually constitutes the pub interior begins to reveal itself.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser scan showing the umbilical connection of Mortimer’s Hole, courtesy of the Nottingham Caves Survey.

My mind was already somewhat blown by this, to be honest, though it was only the barest indication of extraordinary spatial experiences yet to come.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

We headed back outside, where afternoon rain had begun to blow in, and David introduced us to the sandstone cliff itself, pointing out both natural and artificially enlarged pores pockmarking the outside.

The sandstone formations or “rock units” beneath the city, as Tony Waltham explains, “were formed as flash flood sediments in desert basins during Triassic times, about 240 million years ago, when Britain was part of a hot and dry continental interior close to the equator. Subsequent eons of plate tectonic movements have brought Britain to its present position; and during the same time, the desert sediments have been buried, compressed and cemented to form moderately strong sedimentary rocks.”

The city is thus built atop a kind of frozen Sahara, deep into which we were about to go walking.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Outside here in the cliff face, small openings led within to medieval tunnels and stairs—including the infamous Mortimer’s Hole—that themselves curled up to the top of the plateau; doors in the rock further up from the Trip to Jerusalem opened onto what were now private shooting ranges, of all things; and, with a laugh, David pointed out shotcrete cosmetic work that had been applied to the outer stone surface.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

We headed from there—walking a brisk pace uphill into the town center—with David casually narrating the various basements, cellars, tunnels, and other urban perforations that lay under the buildings around us, as if we were traveling through town with a human x-ray machine for whom the city was an archaeologically rich cobweb of underground loops and dead-ends.

We soon ended up at the old jails of the Galleries of Justice. A well-known tourist destination, complete with costumed re-enactors, the building sits atop several levels of artificial caves that are well worth exploring.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Scan of the Guildhall caves, courtesy of the Nottingham Caves Survey.

We were joined at this point by the site’s director, who generously took time out of his schedule to lead us down into parts of the underground complex that are not normally open to the general public.

Heading downward—at first by elevator—we eventually unlocked a door, stepped into a tiny room beneath even the jail cells, crouching over so as not to bang our heads on the low ceiling, and we leaned against banded brick pillars that had been added to help support all the architecture groaning above us.

Avoiding each other’s flashlight beams, we listened as our two guides talked about the discovery—and, sadly, the willful reburial—of caves throughout central Nottingham.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

We learned, for instance, that, elsewhere in the city, there had once been a vacuum shop with a cave beneath it; if I remember this story correctly, the shop’s owners had the habit of simply discarding broken and unsold vacuum cleaners into the cave, inadvertently creating a kind of museum of obsolete vacuum parts. Discontinued models sat in the darkness—a void full of vacuums—as the shop went out of business.

We heard, as well, about a nearby site where caves had been discovered beneath a bank during a recent process of renovation and expansion—but, fearing discovery of anything that might slow down the bank’s architectural plans, the caves were simply walled up and left unexplored. They’re thus still down there, underneath and behind the bank, their contents unknown, their extent unmapped—a fate, it seems, shared by many of the caves of Nottingham.

Rather than being greeted by the subterranean and historical wonder that such structures deserve—and I would argue that essentially all of subterranean Nottingham should be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site—the caves are too often treated as little more than annoying construction setbacks or anomalous ground conditions, suitable only for bricking up, filling with concrete, or forgetting. If the public thinks about them at all, in seems, it is only long enough to consider them threats to building safety or negative influences on property value.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

In any case, on our way out of the Galleries of Justice, we lifted up a ventilation grill in the floor and looked down into a small vertical shaft, too narrow and contorted even for Ellis to navigate, and we learned that there are urban legends that this particular shaft leads down to a larger room in which Robin Hood himself was once held… But we had only enough time to shine our flashlights down and wonder.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

From here, we headed over to our final tourist-y site of the day, which is the awesomely surreal City of Caves exhibition, located in Nottingham’s Broad Marsh shopping mall.

You literally take an escalator down into an indoor mall, where, amidst clothing outlets and food courts, there is an otherwise totally mundane sign pointing simply to “Caves.”

If you didn’t know about Nottingham’s extensive sub-city, this would surely be one of the most inexplicable way-finding messages in mall history.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Caves; photo by Nicola Twilley.

Here, where we picked our copy of Tony Waltham’s Sandstone Caves of Nottingham pamphlet, from which I’ve been quoting, we learned quite a bit more about how the city has grown, how the caves themselves have often been uncovered (for example, during building expansions and renovations), and what role Nottingham’s underground spaces served during the Nazi bombings of WWII.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

The specific underground complex beneath the shopping mall offers an interesting mix of old tanning operations and other semi-industrial, pre-modern work rooms, now overlapping with 20th-century living and basement spaces that were sliced open during the construction of the Broad Marsh mall.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

That these caves were preserved at all is testament to the power of local conservationists, as the historically rich and spatially intricate rooms and corridors would have been gutted and erased entirely during post-War reconstruction without their intervention.

As it now stands, the mall is perched above the caves on concrete pillars, with the effect that curious shoppers can wander down into the caves through an entrance that could just as easily lead to a local branch of Accessorize.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Again, we were fortunate to be taken down into some off-limits areas, stepping over lights and electric wires and peering ahead into larger rooms not on the tourist route.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

This included stepping outside at one point to wander through an overgrown alleyway behind the mall. Small openings even back here stretched beneath and seemingly into the backs of shops; one doorway, a short scramble up a hill of weed-covered rubble, appeared to contain a half-collapsed spiral staircase installed inside a brick-lined sandstone opening.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

At this point, we began to joke about the ease with which it seemed you could plan a sort of speleological super-heist, breaking into shops from below, as an entire dimension of the city seemed to lie unwatched and unprotected.

Nottingham, it appeared, is a city of nothing but doors and openings, holes, pores, and connections, complexly layered knots of space coiling beneath one building after another, sometimes cutting all the way down to the water table.

Incredibly, the day only continued to build in interest, reaching near-impossible urban sights, from catacombs in the local graveyard to a mind-bending sand mine that whirled and looped around like smoke rings beneath an otherwise quiet residential neighborhood.

Leaving the mall behind, and maintaining a brisk pace, David took us further into the city, where our next stop was the Old Angel Inn, another pub with an extensive cellar of caves, in this case accessed through a deceptively workaday door next to an arcade game.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham
The Old Angel Inn (top), including the door inside the pub that leads down to the caves below; photos by Nicola Twilley.

Once again, it can hardly be exaggerated how easy it would be to visit or even live in Nottingham and have absolutely no idea that underground spaces such as this can be found almost anywhere.

As Tony Waltham points out, “It would be a fair assumption that every building or site within the old city limits either has or had some form of cave beneath it. About 500 caves are now known, and this may be only half the total number that have been excavated under Nottingham.”

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

The caves of the Old Angel Inn, courtesy of the Nottingham Caves Survey.

In any case, “Although the Old Angel is a ‘modern’ brick building,” as the Nottingham Caves Survey describes the pub on its website, “an investigation of the caves below reveals stone walls belonging to an earlier incarnation. It is likely that there were buildings on this site as far back as the Anglo-Saxon period. Whether the caves beneath are also this old cannot be demonstrated definitively.”

Typical, as well, for these types of pub caves, we found ventilation and delivery tunnels leading back up to the surface, and the walls themselves are lined with long benches, perfect for sitting below ground and, provided you have candles or a flashlight along with you, enjoying a smoke and a pint of beer. As Tony Waltham explains, pub cellars often include “perimeter thralls,” or “low ledges cut in the rock,” normally used for storing kegs and barrels of beer but quite easily repurposed for a quick sit-down.

But I sense I’m going on way too long about all this, especially because the two most memorable details of the entire day were yet to come.

Jumping forward a bit, we left the Old Angel and followed some twists and turns in the street to find ourselves standing outside a nightclub called Propaganda.

Here, David revealed that he has been working on what, in my opinion, will easily be one of the must-have apps of the year. In a nutshell, David has managed to make the subterranean 3D laser-scans of the Nottingham Caves Survey accessible by location, such that, holding up his iPod Touch, he demonstrated that you could, in effect, scan the courtyard we were standing in to see the caves, tunnels, stairways, cellars, vents, storage rooms, and more that lay hidden in the ground around us.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Ideally, once the Survey’s extensive catalog of 3D visualizations and laser point-clouds has been made available and the app is ready for public download, you will be able to walk through the city of Nottingham, smartphone in hand, revealing in all of their serpentine complexity the underground spaces of the city core.

For anyone who has ever dreamt of putting on x-ray glasses and using them to explore architectural space, this app promises to be a thrilling and vertiginous way to experience exactly that—peering right through the city to see its most ancient foundations.

I’ll wind up this already quite long post with just a few more highlights.

Nottingham’s Rock Cemetery, north from the center of town along the Mansfield Road, contains, among other things, the collapsed remains of a sand mine. Three of the mine’s old entrances are now gated alcoves surrounded by graves, like something out of Dante. They “are the only surviving remnants of the mine,” Waltham writes in his pamphlet.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

However, an ambitious plan to carve sizable catacombs, inspired by Paris and Rome, through the sandstone beds of the ancient desert here resulted in the never-completed Catacomb Caves, “probably done in 1859-63,” Waltham suggests. These long arched tunnels, accessible through one of the gates described above, eventually lead to a radial terminus from which branch the unused proto-catacombs.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

The air there is cloudy with sand—leading me, several days later, to experience an absurd attack of hypochondria, worried about developing silicosis—the walls are graffiti’d, and years of trash are piled on the sides of the sandy floor (which has since taken on the characteristics of a dune sea in places, as 150 years of footfall and a collapsing ceiling have led to the appearance of drifts).

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham
What was so extraordinary here, among many other things, was that, for most of this walk through the catacombs, we were actually walking below the graves, meaning that people were buried above us in the earth.

It was like becoming aware of a different type of constellation, with bodies—and all the stories their lives could tell—held above us in a terrestrial sky, new legends and heroes in the darkness, our own contemporary versions of Orion and Cassiopeia, as we looked up at the vault, flashlights in hand. An x-ray view of the ceiling would have looked like a classical star map: a planetarium of bodies arching over us everywhere we walked.

But the best site of all was next.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Serving as something of the ultimate proof that Nottingham is a city of overlooked doors that lead into the underworld, there were two locked doors—one of which (the black door, near the sidewalk) appears in the photo, above, another of which, on a street nearby, leads down into the Peel Street Caves—simply sitting there on the sidewalk that, if opened, will take you down into extensive and now defunct sand mines.

David’s laser-scans of these for the Nottingham Caves Survey are absolutely gorgeous, as you can see, below.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham
The Peel Street Caves sand mine, courtesy of the Nottingham Caves Survey.

For a variety of reasons, I am going to avoid being too specific about some of the details here, but, aside from that, I can only enthuse about the experience of donning our hard hats and heading down several flights of comparatively new concrete steps into a coiling and vast artificial cavern from the 19th century, one we spent nearly an hour exploring.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Getting lost down there would be so absurdly easy that it is frightening even to contemplate, and, in case the group of us somehow got split up or our batteries ran out of juice, we joked about—if only we could remember them—the easy techniques for navigating a labyrinth offered in Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of the Rose.

Indeed, many of the existing way-finding signs are actually incorrect, David explained, and seem to have been painted as a kind of sick joke by someone several years ago.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Avoiding falling prey to this misdirection, we found men’s and women’s latrines; we popped our heads through holes allowing glimpse of other levels; and we cracked our helmets loudly against the low and rough roof more times than I could count.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

Inside the sand mine; all photos by Nicola Twilley.

And even that doesn’t complete the day. From here, heading back out onto the street through a nondescript steel door, as if we had been doing nothing more than watching football in someone’s basement, we went on to eat pie and chips in a restaurant built partially into a cave; we walked back across town, returning to where we started, talking about the future and seemingly obvious possibility of Nottingham’s caves being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and thus saved from their all but inevitable destruction (it’s easy to imagine a future in which a tour like the one David gave us will be impossible for lack of caves to see); and we all said goodbye beneath an evening sky cleared of clouds as a late-day breeze began to cut through town.

On our way out of the city, we passed through our final “underground” space of the day: the magnificent Park Tunnel, where the banded strata clearly visible in the walls show how the tunnel was carved through the dunes of an ancient desert.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

David proved to be a heroic guide that day. His energy never flagged throughout the tour, and he never once appeared impatient with or exhausted by any of our often ridiculous questions—not to mention our tourists’ insistence on pausing every three or four steps to take photographs—and he remained always willing to stay underground far longer than he had originally planned, all this despite having never met any of us before in person and only communicating with me briefly via a flurry of emails the week before.

Meeting David left me far more convinced than I already was that the Nottingham Caves Survey fully deserves the financial support of individuals and institutions, so that it can complete its ambitious and historically valuable work of cataloging Nottingham’s underground spaces and making that knowledge freely accessible to the general public.

Weirdly, England has within its very heart a region deserving comparison to Turkish Cappadocia—yet very few people even seem to know that this subterranean world exists. There very well could be more than 1,000 artificial caves beneath the city, many of them fantastically elaborate, complete with fine carvings of lions and ornate stairwells, and it is actually somewhat disconcerting to think that people remain so globally unaware of Nottingham’s underground heritage.

With any luck, the work of David Strange-Walker, Trent & Peak Archaeology, and the Nottingham Caves Survey will help bring this extraordinary region of the earth the attention—and, importantly, the focused conservation—it is due.

Laser-Scanning Hundreds of Artificial Caves Beneath Nottingham

(This post was originally published on BLDGBLOG. For further reading, don’t miss Nicola Twilley’s write-up of the tour on her own blog, Edible Geography. Tony Waltham’s Sandstone Caves of Nottingham, cited extensively in this post, is worth a read if you can find a copy).
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Microsoft’s Windows 95 beginnings ?

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A comment from URL: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/03/ms-patent/

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What is amazing is that because of the Amiga, we have the version of windows we have today.. Much of what windows does, even long file names, was part of and fully capable even in the first Amiga OS.  These patents are ridiculous and petty.   In reality, years ago I could have proved that Microsoft directly stole my software and made it part of Windows 95. My code was for a tool/utility for the Commodore Amiga that became a best seller.

I had sent Microsoft a copy and we corresponded about possibly including my software in Windows 3.0 which was out at the time.  My software basically gave Windows V3.0 and dos a taskbar, command/start button and many other features it did not have at all.   Shortly after they get the copies I sent, Microsoft all of a sudden says no thanks.   A couple years later imagine my shock when Win 95 is announced and released and I see my work, my invention and my idea now part of the new OS.  To this day I still have the original packaging, code, discs etc of that program and utility I sent them.  in fact it actually still runs even on Windows 7.  *grin* Of course I was young and pretty naive then..  I also did not have anywhere near the power, clout and money that Microsoft had so I could not afford a big time attorney back then.  So Instead I left the industry, closed my development company and went into another career and said screw them.  Now I know I should have sued the pants off them back then.  If this had happened to me today I would have hired a lawyer and went after them.  Regardless, some of these patents and ideas are just plain stupid and should be thrown out.  It is amazing what these companies are doing to the industry and innovation with all these patents and lawsuits..  they are killing it.

[/important]

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