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VMFA proud of its stewardship...Van Patten's performance still weak...New Year's Gala a special celebration 

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VMFA proud of its stewardship
I would like to clarify some details about the scratches that were seen on the False Door of Princess Wen-shet (.)

The article implied that museum staff immediately suspected vandalism by schoolchildren, which is incorrect.

The mission of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, like all art museums, is to protect and preserve original works of art, while making them accessible to the public. It is this principal function that guides the museum, and we hope that this incident could illustrate the extreme care we take to have registrars and conservators document the condition of art work upon its arrival. This document allows our professional staff to investigate any area of suspected new damage to determine whether it was preexisting Our detailed photographic and written records indicated that the scratches were indeed present on the object before the exhibit came to Richmond

We are proud that Splendors of Ancient Egypt served more than 250,000 people, approximately 85,000 of whom were students. Each visitor saw objects of the highest quality, presented in a compelling and instructive way.

Many of the school-age visitors formed memories and developed knowledge that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts prides itself on careful stewardship to ensure the preservation of invaluable cultural artifacts for future generations, while serving the public today.

Suzanne Hall
manager, marketing and public affairs
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts


Van Patten's performance still weak

On Nov. 30 my wife and I saw the play "Scandals" at TheatreVirginia. We found it to be a fun-filled evening, with one exception, Dick Van Patten's performance.

We agree with D.L. Hintz, Mr. Van Patten either has not rehearsed, is not feeling well or simply does not care (). After all, this is Richmond, not Broadway.

His supporting cast, thankfully, carried the show.

The review was based on a performance approximately one week before we attended. In that week's time, you would think he would have gotten his act together.

He has always been an entertaining professional. We hate to have to think of him based on our latest experience.

Steve Zaffuto

New Year's Gala a special celebration

Rob Morano's article "New Years Nada" () raised a very interesting question about the much-hyped and much-dreaded coming of the new Millennium: what the heck will be going on around Richmond, anyway? Will people be boarding up their homes and stockpiling necessities in hermetically sealed storm shelters? Or are we a big enough party town to laugh at the doomsayers, kick up our heels and party like it's, well, 1999?

As mentioned in his article, Special Olympics Virginia has hosted the New Year's Gala, a black-tie benefit held downtown at the Richmond Centre, for the past four years. Downtown Richmond had a serious void when it came to New Year's events, but the New Year's Gala has gotten people back into the city to celebrate. Our event has attracted a very diverse group of partygoers, too: black and white, young and old, singles and couples.

Contrary to another popular belief, many of Richmond's millennial events have been very successful selling tickets, including ours.

Morano mentions that it's not to say there is nothing going on this New Year's Eve; there's just nothing unique or special. If getting Richmond's diverse community together to enjoy an elegant evening of fun — downtown, no less! — while benefiting our organization isn't special, then I don't know what is.

Lauren Erera
Virginia Special Olympics
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