Small-minded Britons need a clearer vision

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve followed the controversy surrounding Anthony Gormley’s Gateshead angel. It does not surprise me that the local population is dead-set against this bold piece of public art. After all, the citizens of Paris and Rio de Janiero were outraged by the Eiffel Tower and the statue of Christ, both now the symbols of their respective cities.

What does surprise me is that the grey, analy-retentive species of Briton, frightened by its own shadow and voracious in its antipathy towards anything daring, now contributes to your diary. It takes a particular (or perhaps peculiar) mind to describe Gormley’s creation as an objet d’art (Diary, DW 26 April). Surely that’s the last thing it is?

So, while forward-thinking people like the Catalans get TV masts designed by Norman Foster to grace their cities and encourage trade, we get what we deserve – graceless retail sheds, identikit high streets and mock vernacular supermarkets.

Michael Mattinson

Financial Design

London EC2

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