Letter: Heritage Britain is not a 'fiction'

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The Independent Online
Sir: I have emerged perplexed after reading Frank Barrett's article 'This tourist trap, set in a silver sea' (18 June). Surely the cart is being place before the horse if we should expect tourist brochures to promote this country on the basis of its post- war culture.

Just what is to attract people? The only suggestions offered by Mr Barrett are the Lloyd's building (not readily open to the public) and Paul Smith suits. I thought of Jaguar cars of the 1950s, then noticed that one was in fact pictured on the featured Japanese tourist brochure; ironic given that most of these were exported to the US to raise cash. Any other suggestions? Post-war architectural nightmares such as the Barbican and the South Bank Centre? Piles of bricks at the Tate? Personally, I spend my time admiring historic sights.

Be honest and say that the history of this country is nearly unrivalled, and greatly overshadows any recent accomplishments. Then be positive and strive to improve the present state of the place. But blaming a post-war decline on tourists' impressions is unproductive, to say the least.

Yours faithfully,

MARK R. HAINES

London, W2

18 June

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