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Great to be Greek

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Gavin Stamp's campaign on behalf of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson and his architecture has come to fruition. For years Stamp has argued that Glasgow neglects Thomson's achievements in favour of C R Mackintosh, but a new exhibition and book redress the balance. The exhibition, curated by Stamp and Murray Grigor, inaugurated Glasgow's architecture centre, The Lighthouse, last week (ironically a CRM building, now reworked by Page & Park). Published alongside it is Stamp's beautifully produced Alexander 'Greek' Thomson (Laurence King, £24.95). The book examines Thomson's output by building type. Original drawings and archive images complement Phil Sayer's splendid new photographs, which are especially sensitive to detail: for instance, a polychrome cast-iron capital in St Vincent Street Church. The book cannot but be a record of thoughtless destruction and continuing neglect. If Glasgow's authorities can't be blamed for the loss of the astonishing Queen's Park Church (that was enemy action), what of the current state of the Egyptian Halls? With its concluding catalogue of all Thomson's works, lost and surviving, the book will be vital to any future study of the architect. Only one quibble: why no index? Meanwhile at the opening of the exhibition, building inspectors almost prevented hundreds of people gathered for the party from gaining entry. 'Well,' sighed Stamp outside the development, 'building inspectors spoiled most of Thomson's buildings'. Let's hope it is well and truly finished when the Queen performs the official opening next week.

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