Friday, July 10, 2009

Thoughts from Penny pretty worthless

Nicholas Penny, Director of London's National Gallery, has claimed that Trafalgar Square is being 'trashed' and has become 'bloody awful'. It seems the great unwashed are playing music, drinking, climbing on plinths and so on and this is upsetting the equilibrium in what he describes as his 'temple of art'.

It's this kind of elitist snobbery that drives countless people away from high culture. 20 years ago, the great British public rioted in that 'bloody awful' square to protest against a poll tax that penalised the poor. Sports fans gathered there more recently to hear the news that London was to host the 2012 Olympics. Lord Nelson gazes down on an iconic stage that has played a massive part in the vibrant culture and history of the capital. And I'm not sure he pays much attention to the prima donnas and intellectuals who snipe from the sidelines.

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