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Statue of Ebih-Il

The Statue of Ebih-Il is a 25th-century BC statue of the praying figure of Ebih-Il, superintendent of the ancient city-state of Mari in modern eastern Syria. The statue was discovered at the Temple of Ishtar in Mari during excavations directed by French archaeologist André Parrot, it is made of gypsum, with inlays of schist and lapis lazuli. Claire Iselin of the Musée du Louvre, where the statue is displayed, describes it as "a masterpiece by virtue of its craftsmanship, state of preservation, expressive style." The statue, made of translucent smooth alabaster, depicts the figure of a man seated on a wicker hassock. The man is shown in a praying posture with hands clasped against his chest conveying his devotion to the deity; the man's head is shaved. His long beard is composed of vertical curls and has holes drilled, was inlaid with another, now-lost material; the beard accentuates finely sculpted lips that convey a half-smile. The figure's staring blue eyes were crafted with particular attention to detail.

A combination of schist and lapis lazuli was used to depict the eyelashes and eyelids and iris, respectively. The lapis lazuli inlays used were imported from as far east as Afghanistan; the figure has a thin waist. The hands are clasped against the chest, the left hand is closed and placed inside the right hand; the figure's only dress is the Sumerian-style ceremonial kaunakes skirt. The elaborate fleece skirt appears to be made from animal hide as evidenced by the presence of a tail at the back; the figure's feet are missing but their attachment piece is still showing under the dress. The inscription in proto-cuneiform signs on the rear, which identifies the work, reads: "Statue of Ebih-Il, the superintendent, dedicated to Ishtar Virile." The statue was discovered in two parts by the French excavation team under André Parrot. The head was found on the pavement of the outer court of the Temple of Ishtar; the body, along with the smaller statue of King Lamgi-Mari, was found a few meters away. When the statue was found, the left arm and elbow were broken, the base of the right elbow was shattered.

The statues were the first major discovery in the excavations, started in winter 1933, at the site of Mari. Art of Mesopotamia Investiture of Zimrilim Statue of Iddi-Ilum

St Julian's Church, Norwich

St Julian's Church, Norwich is a Grade I listed parish church in the Church of England in Norwich. The Lady Julian of Norwich, or Mother Julian, or Dame Julian, a 14th-century anchoress, took her name from the saint of the church, dedicated either to Julian the Hospitaller or Julian of Le Mans, her anchoress's cell was in a corner of the churchyard. Destroyed by bombing in 1942, the church was extensively restored by the architect A. J. Chaplin and reopened in 1953 to act as a Shrine Church for Julian of Norwich; the Friends of Julian have a lending library in a hall at the corner of the street. The church has an organ dating to 1860 by Henry Jones, installed here in 1966. A specification of the organ can be found on the National Pipe Organ Register. Church and shrine of St. Julian Norwich, St Julian's Church, Isaac's House, Carrow Priory Friends of Julian of Norwich, providing educational initiatives and resources for visitors to the Julian Shrine Information about the parish church of St Julian, from the Norfolk Churches website

Gruinard Island

Gruinard Island is a small, oval-shaped Scottish island 2 kilometres long by 1 kilometre wide, located in Gruinard Bay, about halfway between Gairloch and Ullapool. At its closest point to the mainland it is about 1 kilometre offshore; the island was dangerous for all mammals after experiments with the anthrax bacterium in 1942, until it was decontaminated in the late 20th century. The island was mentioned by Dean Munro, he wrote that it was Clan MacKenzie territory, was "full of woods", that it was "guid for fostering of thieves and rebellis", meaning good for fostering thieves and rebels. The island has been sold to an Australian man in 2016; the population was recorded as six in 1881. In 1942, during the Second World War, a biological warfare test was carried out on Gruinard by British military scientists from the Biology Department of Porton Down; the British government was investigating the feasibility of a bioweapons attack using anthrax. It was recognised that tests would cause long-lasting contamination of the immediate area by anthrax spores, so a remote and uninhabited island was required.

Gruinard was surveyed, deemed suitable, requisitioned from its owners by the British Government. Porton Down meteorologist Sir Oliver Graham Sutton was put in charge of a fifty-man team to conduct the trial, with David Henderson in charge of the germ bomb. Biology Department head Paul Fildes made frequent visits; the anthrax strain chosen was a virulent type called "Vollum 14578", named after R. L. Vollum, Professor of Bacteriology at the University of Oxford, who supplied it. Eighty sheep were taken to the island and bombs filled with anthrax spores were exploded close to where selected groups were tethered; the sheep began to die within days of exposure. Some of the experiments were recorded on 16 mm colour movie film, declassified in 1997. One sequence shows the detonation of an anthrax bomb fixed at the end of a tall pole supported with guy ropes. After the bomb explodes, a brownish aerosol cloud drifts away towards the target animals. A sequence shows anthrax-infected sheep carcasses being burned in incinerators at the end of the experiment.

After the tests were completed, scientists concluded that a large release of anthrax spores would pollute German cities, rendering them uninhabitable for decades afterwards. Those conclusions were supported by the inability to decontaminate the island after the experiment—the spores were sufficiently durable to resist any efforts at decontamination. In 1945, when the island's owner sought its return, the Ministry of Supply recognised that the island was contaminated, so could not be de-requisitioned until it was deemed safe. In 1946, the government agreed to take responsibility for it; the owner or her heirs would be able to repurchase the island for £500 when it was declared "fit for habitation by man and beast". For many years, it was judged too hazardous and expensive to decontaminate the island sufficiently to allow public access, Gruinard Island was quarantined indefinitely. Visits to the island were prohibited, except for periodic checks by Porton Down personnel to determine the level of contamination.

In 1981 newspapers began receiving messages with the heading "Operation Dark Harvest" which demanded that the government decontaminate the island, reported that a "team of microbiologists from two universities" had landed on the island with the aid of local people and collected 300 lb of soil. The group threatened to leave samples of the soil "at appropriate points that will ensure the rapid loss of indifference of the government and the rapid education of the general public"; the same day a sealed package of soil was left outside the military research facility at Porton Down. A few days another sealed package of soil was left in Blackpool, where the ruling Conservative Party was holding its annual conference; the soil did not contain anthrax, but officials said that the soil was similar to that found on the island. Starting in 1986 a determined effort was made to decontaminate the island: 280 tonnes of formaldehyde solution diluted in sea water was sprayed over all 196 hectares of the island and the worst-contaminated topsoil around the dispersal site was removed.

A flock of sheep was placed on the island and remained healthy. On 24 April 1990, after 48 years of quarantine and four years after the solution was applied, junior defence minister Michael Neubert visited the island and announced its safety by removing the warning signs. On 1 May 1990, the island was repurchased by the heirs of the original owner for the original sale price of £500; the island is mentioned in the novels The Anthrax Mutation by Alan Scott, The Enemy by Desmond Bagley, Sea of Death by Richard P. Henrick, The Fist of God by Frederick Forsyth, Quantico by Greg Bear, The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde, Forbidden Island by Malcolm Rose, And you die by Iris Johansen, The Island by R J Price and The Impossible Dead by Ian Rankin, it features as the principal setting for the novel El año de gracia by Cristina Fernández Cubas, in which the protagonist spends a winter shipwrecked on the island. In issues 187–188 of the comic book Hellblazer, in a story titled "Bred in the Bone", the protagonist's niece finds herself on Gruinard surrounded by flesh-eating children.

The issues were released in 2003 and were written by Mik