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Blood on our hands

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Oh dear, it really doesn't do to upset a living national treasure.

Alan Bennett reproduces extracts from his diary for 2007 in the latest issue of the London Review of Books. On 24 October he went to Bath for a reading and decided that he hates what has happened to the town, where streets of 19th-century housing have been demolished for 'acres of indifferent modern buildings all carefully constructed in Bath stone as if that were enough to hold the city together'.

And he weighs into the debate over Eric Parry's proposed extension to the Holburne Museum – 'now badly compromised because even fans of decent modern architecture are nervous of championing it in Bath where fingers have been burned so often.'

But before you start to think that Bennett may be a friend of the architect after all, read his conclusion: 'Before they are artists, before they are craftsmen, be they genius or mediocrity, architects are butchers.' Ouch.

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