Roman Ruins Discovered Intact in Luxembourg

Roman Ruins Discovered Intact in Luxembourg

ArchAeologists in Luxembourg say they have discovered the finest Roman ruin to be unearthed in northern Europe for 30 years.

Archaeologists recently found the well-preserved floor mosaic, portraying muses, which apparently survived the destruction of a house by invading Huns in AD 275, officials at the Luxembourg natural-history museum said April 10.

''This is the most important find of the Roman era in the past 30 years in Europe north of the Alps,'' says Jean Krier, head of the Roman department at the museum.

The mosaic's still sharply defined portraits include muses of poetry, astronomy, dance, and tragedy, shown together with the Greek poet Homer, at whose feet is a bucket of scrolls.

Archaeologists believe the floor, measuring 33 feet by 19 feet, was located in the reception room of the house. The ruins were discovered late last year when foundations were being dug for a cow barn in the village of Vichten. Excavations will continue for at least two more months.

The mosaic is due to be transferred later in April to the natural-history museum as a permanent exhibit.

France sets incentives to boost sales of electric cars

The French government Monday offered to pay the difference between the cost of an electric car and that of a conventionally powered car in order to boost electric-car sales.

The program, which is effective immediately, would run until the end of 1996, the office of Prime Minister Edouard Balladur said.

France's PSA Peugeot Citroen and the state-controlled Renault both offer a range of electric cars.

The government said the state-run utility Electricite de France and the French car manufacturers had agreed on the program, aimed at encouraging ''this cleaner, quieter mode of transport.''

It said the objective was to have 100,000 electric cars on the road by the year 2000, equivalent to 5 percent of France's annual sales of conventional cars.

The government said it would work with local governments to boost electric vehicles to 10 percent of public vehicles in urban areas. It also said it wants to ensure an equivalent level of service for electric cars, the batteries of which need to be recharged far more frequently than a conventional car needs to be refueled.

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