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This report is taken from PN Review 32, Volume 9 Number 6, July - August 1983.

Stop Press: Report from Little Sparta
Little Sparta, Lanarkshire, 15 March (from our own correspondent): Readers of PNR will be familiar with the work and the long war surrounding the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay. In this issue of PNR we publish a photodocumentary account of the most public event in that war with Strathclyde Region in defence of a Garden Temple and of civic law. After the events recorded there, the Region was invited once again to discuss the matter and the Scottish Arts Council, in a notably unemphatic manner, suggested a meeting at Little Sparta between the Region, the artist and themselves (as mediators). The Region has once again refused, despite the international outcry that surrounded their penultimate and their last attempts to seize Mr Finlay's and his collaborators' works.

However, on 15 March, the Sheriff Officer arrived unannounced with an unidentified 'second party' (possibly a valuer) and seized from the Garden Temple works to a value of over £5000 (the alleged 'dues' hardly exceed £1000), effectively sacking the temple but leaving behind the documentation which is an integral part of the works themselves. In leaving behind (or refusing to consider) the documentation, they have the precedent of the Scottish Arts Council and of the Crown Office who have consistently refused the artist the right to document his works, though without the documentation they are deprived of context and value. When we approached the Sheriff Officer to discover the whereabouts of the works, we were told that they were with a Glasgow auctioneer. ...


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