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Dixon Jones founder fires off Canada salvo

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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