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Blank walls

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ASTRAGAL

The bizarre effects of some access philosophies will be nowhere more apparent than in the Manchester City Art Gallery, Charles Barry's notable landmark now being extended by Sir Michael Hopkins & Partners.

Apparently people using the stairs will not see any artworks on the walls, because access groups say that since those in wheelchairs will not be able to see them, they should be displayed elsewhere.

Can this be true? More sad news is that visitors to Tate Britain will not now be treated to a splendid Stanley Spencer in the new entrance foyer on the west side of the upgraded building. Instead, a Tony Cragg brick number is to be crunched into the Armourcoat. I thought this sort of thing was supposed to go into Tate Modern.

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