Letter: A millennial Palace of art

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From Mr Roger Guedalla

Sir: During a recent week in Republican France, I was reminded that the Louvre had once been a Royal Palace. Could not this set an excellent example to us in Britain, as we search for a great project for the millennium and, at the same time, seek some significant change in the institution of the monarchy?

My suggestion is that Buckingham Palace, already reputed to be unpopular with members of the Royal Family, be turned into one the world's greatest art galleries by displaying the contents of the Royal Collection. The Queen herself would move into St James's Palace which was, I believe, the London home of the Royal Family before Buckingham Palace was built.

Not only would this be seen as a wonderful gesture on the part of the Royal Family, leading among other things to a significant reduction in expense, it would also abolish one of the great scandals of our time. What may well be the greatest of all art collections is currently hidden from view with the slight exception of the small annual display in the Buckingham Palace Gallery. It would also provide a permanent and wonderful symbol for the millennium.

Yours sincerely,

Roger Guedalla

Ilford, Essex