Falconer calls for the Dome to be listed

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The Independent Online

Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the minister in charge of the Dome, has called for the beleaguered attraction to be granted listed building status for the sake of posterity.

Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the minister in charge of the Dome, has called for the beleaguered attraction to be granted listed building status for the sake of posterity.

"It's an incredibly impressive building and what's more it's a building very, very well known, both throughout the United Kingdom and throughout the world," he said yesterday.

"I'd read somewhere that it had to be in existence for 10 years, but, speaking entirely personally, I would very much like the Dome to be preserved indefinitely."

An English Heritage spokeswoman confirmed that Lord Falconer is deluded if he thinks rules about the listing of buildings would allow the Dome to be considered. "Buildings do have to be at least 10 years old before they can be considered," she said. Any changes to the rule would have to be introduced by the Department of Culture Media and Sport.

Few others had much good to say about the Dome. The Liberal Democrats denounced the Government's announcement that £43m extra is to be given to the project this year.

"There comes a point where people must ask: 'Do we want to keep this going to the 31st December just to make Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson happy or do we actually want to cut our losses now and use the money for other causes?" said Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on the Dome.

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