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Snails, anyone?


Astragal is not saying that the Matisse: The Fabric of Dreams exhibition at the Royal Academy wouldn't draw the crowds on its own, but the offer of champagne and quality canapés certainly helped last Thursday night. Organised by MacCormac Jamieson Prichard, the event attracted high-flyers from art, media and architecture.

Following its work on the revamped Broadcasting House, it was unsurprising that there were also lots of BBC superstars in attendance, including current Beeb boss Michael Grade. But it was the world's 81st treasure, broadcaster Dan Cruickshank, who made the biggest splash of the night, with a swipe at Norman Foster's uninspiring scheme in Spitalfields, east London. After speaking affectionately about MJP's original - and unbuilt - plans for the market back in the 1980s, Cruickshank turned on the new Foster office scheme, claiming it was 'just bland'. Not one for his next series, then.

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