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Visitors criticise Diana memorial

 
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scupidu
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:52 pm    Post subject: Visitors criticise Diana memorial Reply with quote

Sightseers at the Princess Diana memorial were today divided over a new report condemning the fountain as a waste of money.

The House of Commons public accounts committee said the £5.2 million tribute, which costs £250,000 a year to run, was `ill-conceived and ill-executed.`

The fountain has been almost as jinxed as the new Wembley stadium. It opened late and was more than £2million over budget. Within two weeks it had to be closed after more than a dozen visitors were injured while paddling.

This morning Peter Hill, a chauffeur from Oxfordshire, scoffed at the suggestion that the memorial was worth the annual cost of running it.

He said: `I don't think it is a small amount of money at all. I know a few people who could run it for a lot cheaper. It isn't even open 24 hours.

`It would have been better to spend the money on something charitable like I'm sure Diana would have wanted instead of this. But they have no choice to keep it here now, it's cost so much money they have to keep it.`

John Fraser, a 63 year old accountant from Johannesburg in South Africa, said: `I don't think it serves the purpose it should.

`I don't know what it is meant to achieve. For what it has cost it is quite plain. I have heard about it before but to come here and see it is very disappointing. I would have like to see a statue or a proper monument instead.`

Brian *beep*, 71, a retired debt collector for British Gas, said: `I think it is a complete waste of money.

`The park has no money anyway so I don't know why they waste it on this. They should have had a small fountain, that would have been more appropriate for a lady like Diana.

`How can it give people joy? It just looks like a concrete drain.`

The project to build the Princess Diana memorial fountain was so badly conceived and carried out that it will drain public funds for years to come, a British parliamentary committee said.

Jacinta Marks, 44, from Leeds, agreed that the fountain was expensive but believed it was too late to change it now.

She said: `It is an interesting concept, but it is a shame it has become so controversial. In the big picture £250,000 is not a lot of money, but one wonders where it all goes.

`The whole idea was that people could play in the water, but now they can't because of health and safety. That should have been addressed before it was built.`

Her husband Greg, 45, added: `It would be a great shame to knock it down now because of all the money put in, but I can't help but feel it will become something of a white elephant.

`It obviously wasn't built right. It would be great shame if it was left to fall into a state of disrepair.`

Shahid Mahmood, 33, visiting from Fife in Scotland, said he found the fountain `magnificent.`

He added: `I think it is worth £250,000 a year. I don't think it is a waste of money at all, particularly because of what she did for charity during her life.

`It is beautiful, it is magnificent.`

His friend Jane Horne, 24, also from Fife, agreed saying: `I think it is really nice. It is not a lot of money to spend for someone like Diana.

`I would definitely like to see it left as it is. She was always helping other people and this is a fitting memorial.

`What it does it does very well. This is the first time I've seen it but I think it is something which is worth coming back to.`

Royal Parks chief executive Mark Camley defended the project saying: `People are able to enjoy it as an area for calm reflection on Princess Diana and her life and it is a beautiful water feature.

`It has become part of the visitors' experience of coming to London.`

Responding to the committee report he said: `It is unlikely we will change their views at this stage, but I do recognise we have learned lessons and have got a good outcome know.

`We have a new management system in place which staff have been trained in this month. It will see problems more quickly referred to a senior level before they escalate.

`There will be a risk registry, history logs and meetings about the management system.`

Source: LIFE STYLE EXTRA


Last edited by scupidu on Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scupidu
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


A floral dedication to the late Princess Diana is placed at the gates of her former residence at Kensington Palace, London in this April 8, 2005 file photo.






The fountain, designed by Kathryn Gustafson, officially opened in July last year.
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