(December 2010) Excitement in the Polish Cemetery branch has spread ever since the government announced that the State funeral allowance would be cut by roughly one third to about 1.000 €. The branch fears that loved-ones will scrimp on grave stones according to trade journal Świat Kamienia (6/2010). Already at this year’s Marmomacc in Verona Chinese exhibitors noted a sharp decline in orders from Poland.

Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District is to be the site of an art centre with art museum, over one dozen stages and a park. The competition for the best drafts is currently under way.

Sculptors’ symposium of the unusual kind is what one may expect in the town of Ibi in Mali from January 10th to February 10th 2010 (French), not least because it is taking place on the southern rim of the Sahara, meaning that local sand stone will be worked in desert climatic conditions.

Material on ecology and sustainability can be found on a website of the U.S.-based Natural stone Council. A study by the German Natural Stone Association on environmental performance evaluation of glass and stone facades is available as a brochure (German, Mail). The Spanish trade journal Litos compiled a digest of the study in its special edition for Central and Eastern Europe (Vol II, 2010) translated into English (Mail).

Draft plans for eight London railway stations conceived for the new Crossrail line were presented recently and may be viewed until December 8th in a special exhibit according to Crossrail.

Stonehenge is to be conserved using funds from the national lottery according to a press release of the English Heritage foundation. A rush of visitors to this prehistoric site is expected in 2012 when the Olympic Games are to be held in London.

Two translucent stories clad in alabaster and illuminated by night is what may be expected of the new National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo. The draft was completed by Berlin based Kleihues and Schuwerk Architects. Construction is scheduled to begin 2014.

Artwork relating to geology is presented by California based Two Wall Gallery.

Antique marble statues of Venus and Mars, whose hands and penis were missing, were completed albeit devoid of historic foundation and purportedly on behest of Italian Prime minister Berlusconi according to a newspaper report.

Video of the month: in China, too, one can view foreign films or upload them. We had a browse: a web page shows drug smuggling in natural stone. For anyone wishing to surf a little: marble in Mandarin is 大理石, granite 花岗岩, sandstone among others 砂岩.