This 12 December 2017 says about itself:
Japan has expressed regret following the Philippines‘ recent unveiling of a statue representing the so-called “comfort women”.
In a press briefing Tuesday, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan regrets any country installing a comfort woman statue, adding that it will decide how to react to through communication with the Philippine government.
On Friday, the League of Filipino Women and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines jointly unveiled the two-meter tall statue to honor some 1,000 Filipino victims who were forced into sexual slavery by Japanese soldiers during World War Two. The Philippine government said it would not take any position on the comfort women issue, hoping that the statue would not affect Manila-Tokyo relations.
From daily The Independent in Britain today:
Anger after Philippines removes sex slave statue
‘We kneeled down to the Japanese, that’s why it’s shameful, so shameful’
A statue honouring women who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during the Second World War was quietly removed from a busy seaside promenade in the Philippine capital, angering women’s groups.
Manila City Hall said in a statement that the bronze statue of a blindfolded Filipina, unveiled alongside Manila Bay in December, will be returned once drainage work is completed. It gave no time frame for the project, alarming activists who suspect that the Japanese government pressured the Philippines to take the monument down.
“What happened is that we kneeled down to the Japanese. … That’s why it’s shameful, so shameful,” said Teresita Ang See, co-founding president of a Chinese Filipino group.
Michael Charleston “Xiao” Chua, a professor at the De La Salle University Manila, called on the public to fight to get back the statue as a symbol of national dignity.
The monument was removed Friday night.
Japan’s Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Seiko Noda had expressed regret over the construction of the monument in January. According to Kyodo News service quoting the Japanese Embassy in Manila, the Philippine government had notified the embassy of its intention to remove the statue.
The emotional issue of “comfort women” has provided a dilemma for the Philippines’ relations with Tokyo, a major provider of aid and financing to Manila.
A National Historical Commission marker says the monument memorialises Filipinas who suffered abuses during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines from 1942 to 1945. It was built with donations from Chinese-Filipino groups and individuals.
Historians say 20,000 to 200,000 women from across Asia, many of them Koreans, were forced to provide sex to Japan’s front-line soldiers. Japanese nationalists contend that the so-called “comfort women” in wartime brothels were voluntary prostitutes, not sex slaves, and that Japan has been unfairly criticized for a practice they say is common in any country at war.
In 1995, Japan provided through a private fund 2 million yen ($18,000) each to about 280 women in the Philippines, Taiwan and South Korea, and funded nursing homes and medical assistance for Indonesian and former Dutch sex slaves. However, many women in South Korea and the Philippines have demanded a full apology accompanied by official government compensation.
Last year, Osaka terminated its 60-year sister-city ties with San Francisco to protest a statue commemorating Asian sex slaves that was erected by California’s Korean, Chinese and Filipino communities.
As this blog blogged earlier, on 2 April 2018 we arrived in Pamuling village in Sichuan, China. The next day, 3 April, we went up a dirt road to the about 4,000 meter high summit of Pamuling mountain. On that rather flat summit is the about 900-years old Tibetan Buddhist Pamuling monastery. The photo shows the view from a monastery gate to the immediate surroundings and the snowy mountains beyond.
The photo also shows a bit of the elephant sculptures at the gate; about which more later.
This photo shows some of the monastery’s monks at the inner courtyard.
This photo shows monks, and also a lion sculpture and an elephant sculpture. Lions live only in Africa and a small part of western India. If often strikes me that lions depicted in coats of arms etc. in countries where no lions live, whether in England or the Netherlands or Indonesia or Tibet, somehow don’t look realistic.
This photo shows the lion and elephant sculptures from outside the monastery.
It was not easy to photograph the elephant sculptures: as they are white and there was blaring sunlight.
There are quite some birds around Pamuling monastery. The monks feed them. These birds will be the subject of a later blog post.
From the CNRS in France:
February 13, 2018
At a remarkable site in northwest Saudi Arabia, a CNRS archaeologist)1 and colleagues from the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH) have discovered camelid sculptures unlike any others in the region. They are thought to date back to the first centuries BC or AD.)2 The find sheds new light on the evolution of rock art in the Arabian Peninsula and is the subject of an article published in Antiquity (February 2018).
Located in the province of Al Jawf in northwest Saudi Arabia, Camel Site, as it is known, was explored in 2016 and 2017 by a Franco-Saudi research team. The sculptures, some incomplete, were executed on three rocky spurs there. Though natural erosion has partly destroyed some of the works, as well as any traces of tools, the researchers were able to identify a dozen or so reliefs of varying depths representing camelids and equids. The life-sized sculpted animals are depicted without harnessing in a natural setting. One scene in particular is unprecedented: it features a dromedary meeting a donkey, an animal rarely represented in rock art. Some of the works are thus thematically very distinct from the representations often found in this region. Technically, they also differ from those discovered at other Saudi sites — frequently simple engravings of dromedaries without relief — or the sculpted facades of Al Ḩijr (Madâ’in Şâliḩ). In addition, certain Camel Site sculptures on upper rock faces demonstrate indisputable technical skills. Camel Site can now be considered a major showcase of Saudi rock art in a region especially propitious for archaeological discovery.
Though the site is hard to date, comparison with a relief at Petra (Jordan) leads the researchers to believe the sculptures were completed in the first centuries BC or AD. Its desert setting and proximity to caravan routes suggest Camel Site — ill suited for permanent settlement — was a stopover where travelers could rest or a site of worship.
 The archaeologist is a research engineer at the Orient et Méditerranée research unit (CNRS / Sorbonne University / University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne / EPHE / Collège de France). This project involves another researcher in France, from the TRACES research unit (CNRS / University of Toulouse-Jean Jaurès / French Ministry of Culture and Communication).
 These discoveries were made within the scope of the Dumat al Jandal archaeological project, directed by researchers Guillaume Charloux (CNRS) and Romolo Loreto (University of Naples L’Orientale), and supported by the SCTH; the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Labex RESMED, part of the French Investissements d’Avenir program; and the French Center for Archaeology and Social Sciences (CEFAS).
Fortunately for the makers of these sculptures, some 2,000 years ago the present regime in Saudi Arabia was not in power.
As Saudi Arabia is not just the only country in the world practicing the death penalty by beheading.
This video says about itself:
20 December 2017
The residents of Harbin, China brighten the long, frigid months by carving fantastical frozen sculptures for the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival that takes place in January and February. Once a mostly regional affair, the festival has grown to be a major international event and competition. So bundle up and pull on your sturdy boots to explore.
This Deutsche Welle video from Germany says about itself:
Franco’s terrible legacy | Focus on Europe
13 October 2016
The bodies of over 100,000 victims of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship have yet to be recovered. Spain is littered with mass graves. Many Spaniards are now searching for the remains of lost relatives.
By James Tweedie in Britain:
Wednesday 6th December 2017
Trust secretary Jim Jump spoke out after the statue of Yuriy Velikanovich in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv was toppled on Saturday night and scrawled with the graffiti “commies out.”
Mr Jump told the Morning Star that the IBMT “deplores such acts of vandalism” which were “sadly part of a trend in eastern Europe and elsewhere to denigrate those who fought fascism in the 1930s and ’40s.”
Mr Velikanovich was killed at the Battle of the Ebro, the largest and bloodiest of the three-year war, on September 4 1938 while fighting with the Taras Shevchenko volunteer company, named after the Ukrainian national poet.
He was a teacher by profession and served as a war reporter in Spain before joining combat.
His monument, designed by Theodosia Bryzh, was erected in the city’s Iron Water Park in 1982. Vandals cut the head off the statue in 2015, a year after the far-right Euromaidan coup, but it had been repaired.
A street in the city was also named after him but was renamed in 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.