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Anonymous
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Sorry James, there was indeed a lot of clutter in the BM courtyard around the Round Reading Room – not least the bookstacks of 1857 often referred to as the “iron library”, and later accretions – but “enclosed up to the cornice”? No.

Aerial pictures before the Foster work clearly show the gap around the edges. As do construction site photos as work began, looking across the court, showing the elevations to the courtyard very clearly. Exposed to the elements, and well weathered.

You’ll find these and much else in “Building the British Museum” by Marjorie Caygill and Christopher Date, published by the BM itself.

It’s always best to cross-check what comes out of the Foster publicity machine.

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