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Spotting talent

After years of campaigning, and much debate in parliament, we now have a Marine and Coastal Access Act. This is a truly momentous event for our marine life. As the new age of marine conservation dawns, we are still discovering new marine species. Last month divers discovered two types of sponge never before found in UK waters, one previously unknown to science. The new act is timely, providing the necessary legislation and tools to ensure they – and thousands more marine plants and animals – will be protected for the future. New legislation is only the beginning. The decisions made, and actions taken, over the next five years will determine whether the UK's seas will thrive again.

Michael Allen

Chairman, The Wildlife Trusts

• Since 1968 the Rembrandt research project in Amsterdam has been examining every painting attributed to Rembrandt in order to establish a definitive catalogue of his work (Anyone can learn to paint like Rembrandt, says Hirst, November 14). The four volumes so far include the category "Paintings Rembrandt's authorship of which cannot be positively either accepted or rejected". It is fairly clear that, at least in Rembrandt's time, a number of people were able to paint works that remain uncertainly distinguishable from those of the master.

Simon Wilson


• Anyone can learn to paint like Hirst.

Lewis Peake


• I once heard a new theatre-goer at the pantomime (Letters, 14 November). Cinderella's party invitation had been sitting on a mantelpiece, and when her wicked stepmother snatched it there was a gasp of consternation from the stalls. The silence was broken by a youthful Glaswegian cry of "Gie her it!" The actors must have loved it.

Peter Lowthian 

Marlow, Buckinghamshire

• The 100 years of great press photographs made me laugh and cry, made me angry, frustrated, happy, amazed. I do hope the series will be made into a book, so that I can look at these fantastic windows into our world whenever I want to. Thank you for stirring my emotions.

Gillian Beggs

Penrith, Cumbria © Guardian News & Media Limited 2009 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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