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Prince Charles has called for more cash to be spent on books and the arts to drag children away from computer games.

Speaking yesterday at the British Museum, Charles said there was a need to "expand the minds and fire the imagination" of Britain's youngsters.

"One of the great battles we face today is to persuade our children away from the computer games towards what can only be described as worthwhile books," he said.

"None of us can underestimate the importance of books in an age dominated by the computer screen and constant wish for immediate gratification."

Charles said he hoped he wouldn't get into trouble for saying he felt lottery bosses could be "more imaginative" in running projects to give youngsters access to the theatre, music and arts.

Charles made the comments while attending an event to celebrate the completion of the Everyman Millennium Library project. The £8 million scheme has so far distributed 250 classic books, such as George Orwell's 1984, to 4,500 schools. ®

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