Letter: Commission's role

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Sir: Amanda Baillieu's eulogium of the Royal Fine Art Commission (3 February) makes two serious errors. The commission did stop the Inland Revenue's design-build scheme at Nottingham, but it did not recommend Michael Hopkins, who is a commissioner. It recommended instead a competition, was asked to comment on the six invited entries and indicated a preference for another entry.

Second, it is true that the City Corporation refuses to submit schemes of its own accord, but the commission has the authority to call in schemes and, like a Select Committee of the House of Commons, to insist on the attendance of all those involved with a particular scheme at one of its meetings. In the case of the City Corporation, its planning department regularly informs the commission of all the more important schemes and the commission then calls them in.

Yours faithfully,

SHERBAN CANTACUZINO

Secretary

The Royal Fine

Art Commission

London, SW1

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