Jay-walking over the past

9th June 2000 at 01:00
SHOCK, horror: ex-prime minister's daughter sent kids to posh school. It was Baroness Jay's turn to get embroiled in the elitist university row stirred up by her colleague, Gordon Brown. The leader of the House of Lords was also accused of lying about her own education when she claimed that she went to a "pretty standard grammar ". This turned out to be Blackheath high in south-east London, a former direct-grant school, which now charges about pound;5,000 a year.

A long-simmering row moved to the front-burner when George Papandreou, the Greek foreign minister, made another attempt to wrest the Elgin Marbles from the British Museum and return them to Athens in time for the Olympic Games in 2004. The Prime Minister and the director of the museum declined.

But budding archaeologists have exciting prospects ahead with the discovery of two cities submerged more than 1,000 years ago near Alexandria in Egypt. At least 5 years of excavation work is needed to uncover their secrets, says Egypt's head of antiquities.

Yet more hidden treasures will be revealed in Cambridge where the Parker collection of books and manuscripts at Corpus Christi College is to be rehoused and open to the public for the first time in a pound;20 million project.

The collection was made by Matthew Parker - the original "nosey Parker" of the 1560s. In the wake of the destruction of libraries during Henry VIII's

dissolution of the monasteries, he earned his nickname because a Royal warrant allowed his agents to scour the country unearthing books.

The French art of gastronomy was successfully challenged by a scientist who produced caramelised shallots and a perfect flan, from an equation rather than a recipe, to the satisfaction of a three-star chef. This may spark a culinary revolution, said chemist Herve This. Or yet another TV series.


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