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Stonehenge breakthrough as visitor centre agreed

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Author Topic: Stonehenge breakthrough as visitor centre agreed  (Read 79 times)
Konrad Verhagen
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« on: September 07, 2009, 12:16:36 am »

The site of Stonehenge's visitor centre was finally announced today, scaled down from the original vision but, the government hopes, able to be built in time to lure Olympics visitors in 2012.

The centre, for one of the world's most famous prehistoric monuments, is to be built at Airman's Corner, a mile and a half to the west of the stones and just outside the World Heritage Site.

The compromise, after decades of bitter argument and expensive public consultation, immediately split opinion. It was greeted by one archaeologist as "crazy and incomprehensible, archaeologically, educationally and economically", and by another as "probably sensible but inevitably rather dull".

The culture secretary, Andy Burnham, hailed the plans as "sustainable and affordable".

The one part of the announcement likely to be universally welcomed is the determination to close the A344 at its junction with the A303. The fork in the road is not only one of the worst bottlenecks on a main route to the south-west, and the site of many accidents, but is so close to the stones the minor road actually clips the Heel Stone, part of the ancient entrance to the sacred site.
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