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Hackney's carriage

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The usually combative Rod Hackney was in remarkably genial mood at last week's riba council meeting, where he has taken over from James Thomas as honorary librarian. Nattily outfitted in a deckchair-striped blue and green jacket, Rod expounded on the delights of a visit to Phyllis Lambert's collection of drawings in Montreal. 'You are escorted personally to an elevator to the 14th floor,' he told agog councillors. 'Then you get overshoes and gloves and are led into the inner sanctum.' He described how Lambert took out from a drawer a carefully mounted and protected drawing by Frank Lloyd Wright of Taliesin West, remarking naughtily, 'Only I am allowed to do this,' as the curators looked on disapprovingly, and explained that it now has a market value of $2 million. How very like Portman Square.

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