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The first race was held in 1896, the brainchild of two wealthy Roubaix textile manufacturers, and has been held every year since, apart from the war years.

Soldiers' graves, as well as munitions and memorabilia, have been unearthed during the construction of new motorways and TGV high speed rail lines in Northern France.

Following its success at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the exhibition at the Fondation Custodia offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the creative process of seventeenth-century Dutch painters.

The immediacy and true-to-life character of Dutch landscapes, still lifes and scenes of daily life seem to suggest that artists painted such scenes from life.

They look like small tombstones, a miniature version of the war graves I had visited near the town of NĂ´tre Dame de Lovette a few days earlier.

I am about to enter cycling's answer to Dante's Inferno, the most infamous section of the torturous Paris-Roubaix, the 165-mile classic cycle race that takes place on the second Sunday of April each year.

In the run-up to the Battle of Arras in 1917, British and New Zealand forces dug an extensive network of tunnels beneath Arras, making use of excavations dating back to the Middle Ages.

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