Letter: Under the Dome

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Great Exhibition and the Festival of Britain are cited as models for the Dome exhibition. But both earlier exhibitions contained magnificent objects which needed to be seen to be truly appreciated.

In contrast, advocates for the Dome imply that the displays will be primarily intellectual or even spiritual (mind-boggling) in content. Andrew Marr ("True confessions of a social outcast", 7 January) suggests several topics, among them: "Is the car culture going to carry on growing or shrivel away?", "What future is there for the countryside?", "Is there a limit to human longevity?" Each would make a fascinating newspaper article, book or television programme, but how do you create an attractive exhibition from such abstract themes? And what could be included that has to be seen in situ, over several acres, standing up, after a tedious journey with (in my case) small children in tow, rather than mulled over on video or in print in a comfortable armchair at home?

By all means let us mark the millennium with some stimulating debate, but do it in The Independent or take over the BBC for a day or a week and give the money to the numerous splendid, cash-starved museums and galleries around Britain which still have magnificence on display.


London W2