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Frankl debunks 'myth' of HLF scuppering library plans

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riba council

Honorary secretary Clare Frankl has attacked 'fundamentally misleading' press reports which claim that the RIBA's attempts to win lottery cash for its library and special collections have been scuppered by a change of direction at the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Frankl joined James Thomas, honorary librarian and chairman of the presidential library task force, in debunking 'myths' surrounding the collections by pointing to a letter from the HLF which says that 'priority will be given to projects which carefully manage budgets and cost control'. 'That's what we need, ' she said, 'and any suggestion that a change of lottery funding has scuppered our plans is a fundamental misreading of what this report is about.'

Thomas said that the report by KPMG and L&R was 'not all doom and gloom', and poured scorn on suggestions that the collections could be valued at £350 million - even though honorary treasurer Colin James again cited the figure. Thomas also said he could not raise money from a partial selloff because the drawings were on deposit in the British Architectural Library Trust 'until a descendant of Queen Victoria ceases to be on the throne, when they would go back to Chatsworth'. It would also be contrary to policy agreed in May last year.

However, president David Rock said in his written report to Council: 'We must not skirt round the difficult issues of, for instance, possibly selling part of the Collections to save the majority, or possible partnership with others.'

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