2002 You might not believe this, but probably the greatest museum in the world
was conned outright recently. But not only was this this con obvious, but
the museum in question was said to try and cover up its error. Even worse impropriety
occurred when the scandal came to light, as all governments and guardians of
the law & heritage decided to let the con artists off the hook, and display
their act of scullduggery forever in the most public of places. Unbelievable?
This story starts with the project that would uncover the inner courtyard of the great British Museum, hidden away for decades from public view. This refreshing old quadrangle, designed with a grand entrance portico on each side, housed the central secret Reading room, used by the select scholars of past eras. Sadly, this space was earmarked for storage space and slowly it suffered from damage from construction and general neglect.
Forward to the caring nineties when the museum heirachy declared this space returned for the people, and rebuilt its wrecked South Portico, naturally out of the Portland Stone required to match this work with the building. Surely nothing less would work, anything else would be noticably shocking, even at a glance, even to the poorly sighted?
Only those behind closed doors knew the reasons why they were to be sold the wrong colour stone and then build this specialist architectural monument over months and months, only to suddenly recognise that it was the wrong texture and colour. Who's fooling who? And then the great cover up, and then the great silence.
The people who spent £millions on what is one of the worlds most important acts of restoration escaped with no blame, nobody seemed to lose out on this except the public. The stone contractor seems to have gone to ground, with no prosecution, no damnation from an enquiry. They could have rectified this and at least owned up, but they went ahead and presented us with this great abomination in architectural balls ups. It does look so rediculous. I think they should pull the whole lot down and let the managers, architects, and stone contractors be made to personally put up a proper one by hand.
Charles (of London Town)