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Da Vinci gold

Next time your school appoints a maths teacher, perhaps it would be wise to find out whether the candidate's son has a penchant for overblown conspiracy theory.

Dan Brown, author of the ludicrous and ubiquitous blockbuster The Da Vinci Code, has just given a cool pound;1.2 million to the Phillips Exeter academy, near Boston, the high school where his father Richard taught for 35 years.

Not that the academy needs the money. A private establishment famous for teaching the privileged in groups of 12 around the kind of huge oak boardroom table many of them come to populate in later life. It has a total endowment of pound;290m. Money begets money, as they say.

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