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Cambridge blues

astragal

Our old friend Gavin Stamp starts a new architecture column for the revamped monthly arts magazine Apollo in typically trenchant style. Returning to Cambridge University 30 years after his graduation, Stamp finds 'much remains the same, and unfortunately this includes the result of one of the greatest aesthetic scandals of the past century - the mutilation of the interior of the east end of King's College Chapel to incorporate Rubens' painting The Adoration of the Magi'. Stamp uncovers a sorry tale in which the victims included Maguire & Murray, which had no option but to resign when provost Noel Annan forced through his 'barbaric' proposal. With King's now strapped for cash, Stamp has a solution:

sell the Rubens and use the proceeds to make the college solvent again as well as restoring the original east-end floor levels and missing panelling. 'Can King's be shamed into behaving decently?' he asks. Don't hold your breath.

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