Letter: Timetable for Bow sculpture

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The Independent Online
Sir: I take strong exception to Nigel Glendinning's suggestion (in his letter about Rachel Whiteread's House, 20 November) that I have abused my local authority office. The award of the Turner Prize to Ms Whiteread does not change any of the facts.

In March, the Bow Neighbourhood Committee, of which I am chair, endorsed the decision of the Bow Parks Board, of which I am also chair, to allow the Artangel Trust to take over the property in Grove Road so that Rachel Whiteread's 'sculpture' could be created. At the same time it laid down a timetable by which the sculpture had to be removed and the site cleared. This timetable was adopted unanimously by the committee with no dissent of any kind, was accepted by Artangel, and was supported by the Neighbourhood's officers.

What I have done publicly ever since is promote and defend that evidently sensible decision by my committee with which I entirely agree. If defending committee decisions is abusing my local authority office, then, on reflection, I have been doing it for years.

For the record, the agreement Artangel signed stipulates that the structure should be removed by 31 October and the site completely cleared by 30 November. They are already in default of that agreement, so it is hardly surprising if I am being resolute about the final date.

Surely those like Mr Glendinning should not be whining about a local authority wishing to stick to a universally agreed contract, but should be grateful that this piece of experimental nonsense which they love so much was permitted to exist in the first place.

The antics of Artangel in failing to abide by the agreement, of course, will make this and other councils wary of such agreements in future.

Yours faithfully,



Bow Standing Neighbourhood


London, E3

24 November