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Dixon Jones founder fires off Canada salvo

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Dixon Jones founder Edward Jones has told the AJ he still thinks there is ‘a chance’ of building the practice’s National Portrait Gallery of Canada – but not under the present administration.

The architect has made doubly sure of that after launching a fierce broadside at Canada's current Conservative government, which decided to ditch the firm’s competition winning proposals when it came into power in 2006 (AJ online 19.06.06).

A frustrated Jones hit out at the party for turning the project, won following an international contest back in 2003, into a ‘victim of party politics’, and went on to say: ‘Shame on Canada and shame on the present government for reversing the previous government’s decision.

‘[Our] Royal Opera House in London was introduced by Margaret Thatcher [Conservative] and completed by Tony Blair [Labour].’

Jones was also critical of the renewed attempts to build a replacement scheme for the dropped project (pictured) in Wellington Street, Ottawa. Eight other cities have been allowed to compete for the right to build the prestigious cultural building – however, Jones fired back saying that the national gallery ‘should be built in the capital.’

Meanwhile, he also admitted the firm had suffered a ‘colossal financial loss… taking too many boring flights’ to Ottawa.

Bids from the cities battling it out for the gallery are expected late next month.

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