Letter: Art is but one part of Holloway's heritage

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The Independent Online
Sir: May I comment on the correspondence in your columns about the sale of pictures from the Royal Holloway collection, from the point of view of someone who knows something about the college? As a patron of the college's centre for political study I know Royal Holloway to be a place of academic excellence dedicated to providing students with the best possible university experience.

Anyone who has seen the magnificent building will know that this is a unique part of our heritage. What is more, Thomas Holloway took a passionate interest in its design. The college is to be congratulated on the way it has not only maintained this building but continued to use it for its original purpose rather than relocating in cheaper modern accommodation.

It cannot afford, however, to continue to drain resources intended for academic purposes to this end, especially since it faces a programme of major refurbishment. If your correspondents are concerned about the founder's intentions they can be reassured that they are being fulfilled with energy and vision.

Some of your correspondents seem reluctant to realise that collections are generally formed by the purchase of pictures, often from other collections. It seems extraordinary to suggest that the college is the only appropriate home for the three pictures in question. On the other hand, the building and the college are a unique benefaction to the nation.

Yours faithfully,

RICHARD HOLME

House of Lords

London, SW1

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