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February 6, 2005

Honoring the greatest Briton

He had his flaws, certainly, but they were dwarfed by his bravery and eloquence. Sir Winston Churchill, the man who led Britain through the desperate days of World War II, will be honored with a national museum opening Friday in London at the Cabinet War Rooms complex.

The Churchill Museum will be the heart of the Churchill Project, a $25 million undertaking at the prime minister's once-secret underground war rooms. Among exhibits will be a 50-foot-long lifeline chronicling his extraordinary life. In all, there will be more than 150 original objects and more than 70 audiovisual and interactive displays.

The opening marks the 40th anniversary of Churchill's death. In those four decades, esteem has risen to the point where, according to a survey by the BBC, he is considered the greatest Briton who ever lived.

Churchill Museum: At the Cabinet War Rooms, Clive Steps, King Charles Street, London; http://churchillmuseum.iwm.org.uk. One ticket (about $14 for adults and free for children under 16) provides admission to both the museum and war rooms.

RICHARD P. CARPENTER

Unfurling the golden gates

If you've missed seeing the work of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, now is your chance to experience it in person as ''The Gates," Central Park, New York, 1979-2005, comes to the park on Saturday. The entire park will become a work of art, as 7,500 saffron fabric panels suspended from 16-foot-high gates are unfurled along 23 miles of footpaths.

The artists describe ''The Gates" as ''a golden ceiling creating warm shadows," and say that when seen from above, it ''will seem like a golden river." What better way to see New York on a frigid winter day? Don't tarry, though. This temporary work will last only 16 days, before the materials are removed and recycled.

www.christojeanneclaude.netNECEE REGIS

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