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Upset Down Under

A great row is brewing up in Australia, reminiscent of the brouhaha over the Sydney Opera House and, closer to home, the late Denys Lasdun’s concerns about proposed changes to the National Theatre. The row concerns the National Gallery of Australia, in Canberra, where the planned changes by Andrew Andersons of PTW do not meet with the approval of its 85-year-old original architect, Col Madigan. According to the Australian newspaper, Madigan has to be consulted on changes under moral rights legislation passed in 2000. Despite endless meetings, Madigan, whose original design is based on his ‘personal philosophy, a theology almost, of creative evolution, an arcane reading of Plato, Darwin and George Bernard Shaw,’ will not accept changes that will turn the building back to front. His backers include Pritzker Prize-winner Glenn Murcutt. Expect this to run and run.

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