Letter: Greenwich 2000

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The Independent Online
From Mr Peter Price

Sir: The choice between Greenwich and Birmingham as the main site for Britain's Millennium Exhibition symbolises a national dilemma. Are we an outward-looking nation, determining our priorities in relation to what is going in the world around us. Or have we forsaken that glorious past and become inward-looking, concerned only about what takes place in these islands?

Greenwich symbolises the outward-looking. Here is the world centre of time - GMT - from which time is calculated all around the world. Here is also situated the 0 degree meridian. A great exhibition at Greenwich could attract visitors from all over the world. It is the only place where the whole world could celebrate the Millennium.

Birmingham, on the other hand, symbolises the latest inward-looking fashion. There is no reason for any American or Japanese visitor, or even a German, French or other citizen of our own continent, to come to Birmingham. They will have their own national exhibitions and events. Located there, our great exhibition would be no more than a national event.

The choice is fundamental. The dithering shows how uncertain we British have become about our place in the world.

Yours faithfully,

Peter Price

Chislehurst, Kent

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