Peter Aspden & Bettany Hughes debate luxury & culture at the V&A Museum » Frost Magazine

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Sep 08

Peter Aspden & Bettany Hughes debate luxury & culture at the V&A Museum

 Thursday 6th September, 3.45pm
 V&A Museum
What does it take to create something of note? 

That is what Frost went to find out.  Arts & culture commentator Peter Aspden and award-winning historian Bettany Hughes were a great match together. The bounced off each other perfectly. Peter noted iconic moments in history – Elvis Presley singing Hound-dog to an actual hound dog, Michael Jackson – and Bettany, just back from a trip to Albania funded by Lord Rothschild,  certainly knows her stuff. Things I found out from her during the debate: it took 18 years to build the pyramids and they were made not by slaves as is popularly thought, but by citizens of Egypt for the gods.

While Peter said we should not be beholden to the past, Bettany said: “we live with the past, it is in everything we think and do”.

It was a lively debate with lots of good questions being asked. Chivas Brothers hosted the event at the beautiful Victoria & Albert museum. Chivas Brothers certainly know about good things taking time. Their whiskey takes 20 odd years to make. I saw one bottle which was thirty years old. They started making whiskey in the 1800s. They are now in the top 3 whiskey makers in the world.

The debate also raised the point that one of the reasons a 21-year-old whiskey is such a luxury is that the moment you drink it 21-years is gone.

If whiskey does not have an age statement then it is three years old, as whiskey has to be at least three years old.

Other things I learnt:

“Did you know that most of us only live for 800 months?” A.C Grayling.

The Taj Mahal took 25 years to build

Alcohol is an Arabic word.

Symposium  means “drinking together”.

What do you think?