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In pictures: Museum of Liverpool finally opens doors

The long-awaited £72 million Museum of Liverpool has opened its doors to the public today (19 July)

Designed by Danish architects 3XN but delivered by Manchester-based practice AEW Architects, the scheme was originally due to open during Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture year, 2008.

Principal Architect and creative director at 3XN Kim Herforth Nielsen said: ‘This is one of the largest and most prestigious projects in [the practice’s] 25 year history. ‘The museum’s design is a result of a very rigorous process, where it was of utmost priority to listen to the city inhabitants, learn the city’s history and understand the potential of the historical site that the museum now sits upon.’

In May the Museum issued legal proceedings against 3XN (see below).

Previous story (AJ 13.05.11)

Museum of Liverpool sues 3XN

The Museum of Liverpool has issued legal proceedings against Danish architects 3XN – more than three and a half years after dropping the practice from the £72 million project

Revealed following a Freedom of Information request to the museum by the AJ, the move is the latest in a series of legal wrangles involving the team building the waterfront landmark and comes just two months before the museum opens its doors on 19 July.

Last year Manchester-based practice AEW Architects, which was brought in to replace 3XN on the job in late 2007, went to arbitration, successfully recouping £500,000 in unpaid fees for work on the museum (AJ 04.06.10).

Details of the museum’s claim against 3XN remain unclear but, with a proposed mediation appearing to have failed, it is understood the museum needed to begin litigation before it ran out of time to do so.

The move will undoubtedly elicit a counterclaim from the Danes. In 2008, 3XN admitted to the AJ that it had sought legal advice over ‘a substantial amount’ of unpaid fees and potential copyright infringement relating to the Liverpool museum job (AJ 22.04.08).

A spokesman for the museum said: ‘We can confirm we have issued legal proceedings against 3XN and therefore can make no further comment at this stage.’

Kim Nielsen of 3XN said: ‘At this time, it would be inappropriate to respond.’

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