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Making an issue of the power games of Bilbao

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Letters

Am I dreaming or is that the same radical, campaigning Sam Webb now joining the old mods in ecstatic rapture over Frank Gehry?

Whatever happened to architecture as an expression of political power, Sam? Did it disappear with Ronan Point? Are you happy that the regeneration of poor little Bilbao has to depend on the whim of American multinational cultural imperialism which controls the site selection, the contents of the building, the architect and the hype? I thought we had a European Union to do these things.

Oh, sorry, these are outmoded lefty ramblings, are they not? Architecture is now purely about aesthetics, consumerism and image.

And function is redundant too. The building does not even need any contents to be successful, see Berlin's Jewish Museum.And Zaha Hadid could have transformed Wales if the loathsome burghers of Cardiff had realised what incredible power architects have! So how about a nice Gehry in your Canterbury?

Though I don't think Guggenheim would be interested, too much interfering democracy in this green and pleasant (and wet) isle.

So come on, Sam. Forget the tear-jerking tales of starry- eyed little children and Jeff (Ty)Koons'puppy and confront the issues.

Sheila Mullon, London SW4

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