LETTERS : Navy turns to art

From Mr Colin Booth Sir: With regard to your article on the Royal Naval College at Greenwich ("Naval college in search of a new identity", 19 December), why not turn one of our most beautiful buildings into a new national gallery of art? The advantages over the present site are obvious: more space, better location, superb riverside setting and a building of grandeur and distinction that puts the present National Gallery to shame. Then there are the obvious economic benefits to the local community and a slight ceasing of the tourist jam in and around the West End.

But why stop there? As James Fenton pointed out in his column ("The fine art of building up the Tate", 19 December), a major re-think of how we accommodate and display all our great national collections is long overdue. The adjacent Seaman's Hospital andNurses' Home are also up for grabs. Perhaps they could be used to house some of the overspill from other museums to create a complementary gallery and museum complex that would rival the best in the world. Our days as a great maritime nation are long since over. What if Greenwich became known instead as a symbol of our unique cultural heritage.

Yours etc, COLIN BOOTH Hastings, East Sussex