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Orchestral manoeuvres threaten Foster's New York arts scheme

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New York's famous arts venue the Lincoln Center is suffering a financial crisis that is threatening Foster and Partners' $250 million (£150 million) plans for the Avery Fisher Hall.

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra's decision to move to a new, permanent venue has left the centre cash-strapped and forced to reassess its financial and construction commitments.

On top of that, the center's redevelopment chairman, Peter Lehrer, has resigned, citing problems with the redevelopment plans, predicting that 'none will ever get off the ground'.

If Foster's scheme does get the go-ahead it will see the construction of a new auditorium within the confines of the Avery Fisher Hall, improving acoustics and public facilities. The redevelopment also involves work by New York-based Diller + Scorfidio.

But the centre's vice-president for public relations, Betsy Vorce, said 'there is no way we can tell at the moment what we can and can't afford'.

However, she insisted that the center is still committed to making improvements 'as it is very important that we prove to the New York public that we still have a lot to offer'.

A spokeswoman for Foster and Partners was also adamant that the scheme was still going ahead. 'As far as we are concerned, nothing has changed, ' she said.

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