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UNESCO has just confirmed its firm opposition to the tunnel scheme so the public will be puzzled as to why so called “conservation” bodies are supporting it. In the case of English Heritage the possible motivation is clear: it stands to gain a monopoly on the viewing of the stones if the tunnel goes ahead (see our complaint about this to The Competition and Markets Authority). A monopoly! By what right? Whose heritage is it anyway?! Yet they have form – see the suggestion that was made in 2011:

“The magic of Stonehenge could be shared every evening with all who pass, many of whom can’t afford a ticket, just as it was a magical place thousands of years ago, sometimes with the Moon and clouds shining as well. With subtle lighting sunk well out of view and endless possibilities of solar energy, the monumental power of ancient man’s achievement in another age would inspire all who pass by.

“Perhaps in depressing times a cocktail of cost-free magic is the very least we can expect from the guardians of the national heritage.”


An interesting idea, at least for a few days a year. “A cocktail of cost-free magic, for free“. But no. English Heritage hasn’t done a thing about it. Maybe they sided with archaeoastronomer Clive Ruggles: “It would spoil the dark skies over the monument at night” (that’s the monument no-one can see because it’s dark!!). Or maybe they cited previous road accidents during floodlighting (yet didn’t explore measures which could obviate them). But maybe they also didn’t like the fact that, even for a few days a year, more people would have a free view?!

To repeat: Whose heritage is it anyway? It categorically isn’t theirs, mere functionaries, hired to look after ancient monuments, nothing else.


July 2019

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