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In defence of Pasmore ruling

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Comments made in David Taylor's recent article (aj 23.4.98) about my reasons for not listing the Pasmore Pavilion in Peterlee deserve a response.

My decision followed very careful consideration of all the relevant evidence and a site visit. The sculpture undoubtedly has artistic merit, but it is not sufficiently 'special' in my view to warrant listing. The pavilion was designed partly to provide a bridge and partly as a cover for a ground- level path over a stream. It was altered in the early 1980s by the removal of the access steps, so part of its original function and its architectural integrity has been lost. Changes to its surroundings over the years have also undermined what Pasmore set out to achieve.

I am aware that the sculpture has had some undesirable effects on the local ecology and has acted as a focus for anti-social activities. However, neither of these factors influenced my decision which was entirely based on the pavilion's architectural merits.

TONY BANKS

Department of Culture, Media & Sport, London SW1

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