The Spanish city of Seville took social distancing to the extreme during Epiphany celebrations earlier this week commemorating the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus - this year the wise men took to the skies above the city and made an appearance in a hot air balloon. Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar (represented by a white man wearing black face paint - a practice which reportedly hasn't yet attracted the same level of controversy and condemnation in Spain as in other nations) made the unusual appearance after the more regular street parade was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Waving to children from the balloon's basket, the wise men later expressed the hope they would return with a parade next year but in the meantime told people to follow health recommendations.

• Amid ongoing sightings of metallic monoliths around the world, someone in the US city of San Francisco took a different approach over the Christmas period and installed a 2.3 metre tall three sided monolith made of gingerbread. 'Gingerlith', which was found in the Corona Heights Park, didn't last long - it was reportedly toppled just a day after being found. Earlier, Phil Ginsburg, general manager of Frisco's Recreation and Parks Department, told local radio earlier that there was no official plans to remove the sculpture but that officials would instead "leave it up until the cookie crumbles".

A sword stolen from US Revolutionary War hero General William Shepard in Westfield, Massachusetts (well, a statue of him anyway), has been returned 40 years after it was taken. City officials said the man contacted them with a cryptic message before meeting up with Cindy P Gaylord, chair of the Westfield Historical Commission, and explaining how he had taken the sword in what he described as a "drunken mistake" while a student in 1980. He said he recently found the sword again while going through some of the family's belongings with his sister. "He had a great deal of shame and remorse," Gaylord told The Springfield Republican. "He is a veteran and told me the fact that he did this to another soldier troubled him. He wants the story printed to remind people that something you do in your youth could haunt you for the rest of your life." The sword has been restored to the statue.