Letter: Role of the Fine Arts Commission

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Sir: In response to your comments ("The Byzantine oddity in stylish world of its own", 22 May) on Sir Geoffrey Chipperfield's leaked report on the Royal Fine Art Commission, can I put in a word for the organisation?

The RFAC could benefit from greater clarification of its role, changing it from an English club to a policy-making body with statutory powers to call schemes in.

The chairperson should be an eminent architect, critic or art historian who can speak with the authority of his or her profession. But even as it stands, the RFAC plays a critical role in improving the design of the built environment and encouraging architect and client to think about things more important than cost and profit.

The array of prominent architects, historians, developers, professors and public figures who sit on the RFAC's Council assure that a wide range of experience and points of view are brought to bear on its decisions, where organisations like English Heritage, the Victorian, Georgian and 20th Century Societies can be partisan. The RFAC has, on the whole, proved itself open-minded and discerning.

RICHARD ROGERS

Richard Rogers Partnership

London W6

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