Tower Hamlets

Cash-strapped British towns sell art masterworks

Seeking to enrich the lives of their citizens, British cities and towns once embraced art for art's sake, scooping up masterworks for display in squares, train stations, schools and museums. But as Europe scrimps and saves amid a historic push to slash public debt, the motto here now is art for cash's sake.

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Urban growth: A gardening guru is getting children hooked on the joys

Tom Moggach has a way of falling silent in the middle of a sentence, as though he's just remembered something he ought to be doing. When it first happened, I fully expected that he'd excuse himself from our conversation and dash out of his house into north London's busy streets. He has plenty of reasons to do so.