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Three cheers, no sneers, for Coventry's strengths


Astragal's note (AJ 9.9.04) of Richard MacCormac's wellearned Stirling Prize shortlisting didn't need any gratuitous sneer at previous 'attempts to put right' the 1940 bombing to smithereens of central Coventry.

Much of it may well be into dated and decrepit old age, like the few surviving perpetrators, as led brilliantly by Donald Gibson and Arthur Ling, with Terry Gregory and Harry Noble rounding off. But it has been demanded, sponsored and relished with pride by the elected city council, and long observed, reported with detailed illustration, and admiringly encouraged by Astragal, no less, among many others.

Basil Spence's cathedral apart, nothing was to last forever.

Coventry's great strength was developing ideas through centuries, proudly watching others move on from its pioneering, and reworking where needs changed and as technology and affluence accumulated. Even Godiva's statue got turned 90 ¦.Dan Levett, London SE21

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