While I am away on a book tour of Australia - I'm promoting the Oz version of Watermelons - I learn to my horror that one of London's most magnificent tourist attractions, the glorious sailing ship Cutty Sark, has been completely trashed in a botched restoration job by ambitious petty officials with too few brain cells and too much public money.
Once it was recognisably a ship. Now it's some kind of ghastly synthetic visitor experience with elevators and glass bubbles.
I wonder if there are any US equivalents of this kind of cultural vandalism. I remember on my first visit to the Natural History Museum in New York being blown away by the old dioramas of stuffed animals in mock-ups of their natural habitat. Then I was appalled to discover that London's own Natural History Museum had had similarly splendid Victorian dioramas which had been stripped out by trendy curators in the Eighties in a bid to make the museum more modern, more relevant...
Sometimes, oftentimes, the best thing to do with historical artefacts is leave them well alone.