LETTERS: Take your pick

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The Independent Online
From Mr Michael Mordaunt

Sir: Before the war every house in the Americas (and some in Europe) owned an ice-box. Ice was driven about towns and cities in sacking-covered heaps and homes, hotels, hospitals and food shops handled quantities of ice which came in large blocks. To cut or break these blocks, every user needed an ice-pick.

These ice-picks were very sharp, very strong steel spikes some six inches long with a secure wooden hand grip. Possession excited no comment.

So, when Trotsky was assassinated in sub-tropical Mexico by stabbing with an ice-pick, why must central European artists always suppose that an Alpine ice-axe was the chosen weapon. John Keane's painting "Art and Revolution" (Exhibitions, 22 December) even shows the tropical vegetation and a European mountaineer's ice-axe. Surely not?

Yours etc,

Michael Mordaunt

Eastbourne, East Sussex

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