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Street treat for old paintings

Dust-gathering paintings were given a radical revamp today by a team of graffiti artists.

Around 100 unloved pieces were carted along for a facelift at the Antics Rogue Show in Dublin, where a crew of stencil and street artists worked their magic to make paintings of kittens, fruit bowls and puppy dogs unrecognisable.

"We're turning suburban art into wonderful urban masterpieces and rescuing our living spaces from the blandness of boring, mass-produced canvases," said organiser Will St Leger.

The show was set up as part of the SoGo Dublin Arts Festival, a three-day celebration of culture in the capital.

Latin America trip for Navy

One of the country's top Naval Service patrol ships will set sail tomorrow on a 10-week trade and diplomatic mission to Latin America.

The LE Niamh will embark on an extensive programme of charity work and meetings designed to strengthen links and promote Ireland.

The first port of call will be Rio de Janeiro on May 15, where the ship's company will help build a new centre for disadvantaged children.

The visit will also see the vessel dock in Argentina, Chile and Veracruz on the Mexican Gulf coast before its final stop in Miami.

Nuclear pact is crucial -- Martin

A pact set up 40 years ago to stop the spread of nuclear weapons faces unprecedented challenges, Foreign Minister Micheal Martin warned today.

Mr Martin said threats from countries like Iran and North Korea made the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as crucial as ever.

The minister told a UN conference in New York that the agreement -- signed by 189 states -- also faced serious risks because some countries were reluctant to fully implement all aspects of it.