Letter : Lack of vision beneath the `dustbin lid'

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The Independent Online
Sir: As the litany of the Millennium Commission's exhibition continues with its faltering progress ("Labour deals blow to millennium festival", 23 December) , you reasonably ask for ideas (leading article, 13 December; letters, 18 December).

What better demonstration of time past, with Greenwich looking to the future, than to use the great historic buildings along the Thames as the exhibition, with Greenwich as the jewel in the crown?

The historic buildings are built. We have three years to make a living exhibition in each. The costs would be nominal compared with those mooted for the present ideas. The river would be brought to life; due to the spread of events the London transport system might just handle the millions of visitors foreseen, which with the present scheme it has little chance of doing; and we would leave behind some wonderful exhibitions which could continue. The interest of many other sponsors could be engaged.

Turning to Greenwich, this would become one part of a 20-mile exhibition, and thus could become very much smaller. It should be about how we see a sustainable future; it should demonstrate how we can harmonise the disparate aspects of our lives for our survival in the new century - resources, peoples, religions, science, medicine, architecture and art - and cannot rest on the spurious notion that we can buy ourselves out of our responsibility for long-term thinking with a trade fair. The greatest minds in this country and beyond should be invited to ponder this future and advise on a serious approach to these issues.

RICHARD BURTON

Ahrends Burton and Koralek, Architects

London NW1

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