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A Cultural Monument and the Doughboy Too

November 22, 2001

I welcome the article on Copia: The American Center for Food, Wine & the Arts ("A Monument to the Good Life in Napa," Nov. 17). More than "a monument to the art of living well," Copia is yet another manifestation of what sets us apart from animals. Man, like animals, engages in organized activities (e.g., females of a pride of lions engaged in cooperative hunting) and lives in beneficial communities (bees in a beehive). Man, unlike animals, can and does create artifacts to be enjoyed by generations yet to come. Animal artifacts are accidental: encased in amber, impressed in stone or fossilized. These artifacts do not benefit subsequent generations of the animal. Man creates texts, images, sounds and objects to be archived, displayed or retrieved for the benefit of subsequent generations.

Copia, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the L.A. Opera and uncountable other venues the world over exist to satisfy the thirst of all for knowledge. I also enjoy baseball, football, basketball and soccer. I do not feel threatened or denied by these sports or those who relish them. All our venues of knowledge exist for all. No one is threatened or denied by them. Elitism? No, simply Ensuring LIteracy Toward Eternity.

Robert L. Saurer

Rolling Hills Estates

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Robert Mondavi says that in supporting the creation of Copia, Napa's new American Center for Food, Wine & the Arts, he hopes to "let the world know we're more cultured than we're perceived to be." Then, to inaugurate its opening, he leads a parade that includes dancing grapes, the Pillsbury Doughboy and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. Thanks, Bob.

Harry Gordon

Long Beach

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