Conservation piece

September 16, 2005

The excellent feature on the conservation of Jeremy Bentham's auto-icon ("Radical pants and the pursuit of happiness", September 9) related the history of how Bentham's skeleton and clothes were stabilised and prepared for another generation of University College London students to admire.

Unfortunately, Negley Harte fell down on just one point.

Conservationists may have been worried about the fate of the carpet beetles freeze-dried out of Bentham's hair as they are concerned with living things.

But those who cared for Bentham's underwear were not "textile conservationists", since textiles are not animals. They were conservators.

Alastair McCapra Chief executive Institute of Conservation

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