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Libeskind breaks silence to voice fury over WTC 'misconceptions'

Nina Libeskind has hit back at claims that her husband has been sidelined on the project to rebuild on the World Trade Center site.

Daniel Libeskind's wife and business partner broke a gagging order on Monday night to speak to the AJ and refute the 'misconceptions' raging in the press. And she declared her 'fury' at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) for forcing the pair to remain silent in the face of increasing press 'spin'.

Last week the LMDC issued a brief statement announcing 'an historic collaboration' between Studio Daniel Libeskind and developer Larry Silverstein's preferred architect, SOM, on the design of the central skyscraper, the 'Freedom Tower'. David Childs of SOM is named as the 'design architect and project manager' and Libeskind as 'collaborating architect during the concept and schematic design phases'.

The arrangement has been widely reported in the press as the triumph of Silverstein's commercial interests over Libeskind's vision, suggesting Childs will retain the upper hand in design decisions and that Libeskind is set to lose control over the masterplan.

However, Nina Libeskind denied that the new arrangement was a defeat for her husband, insisting that 'we never expected to be the lead architect on the skyscraper'.

'There were two schemes on the table, one from SOM and one from Studio Libeskind, ' she said.

'The scenario today is that SOM is working with us on the Libeskind tower, as we imagined it.'

Libeskind said they had been 'extremely deferential' and honoured the gagging order.

'Fifty journalists called on Wednesday, I didn't speak to a single one, ' she said. 'But it's been so aggravating. Today I just flipped out.'

She added: 'I'm going to email [the LMDC] and say it's not acceptable.We will not stand for it.'

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