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astragal

Why did it take so long? That was one question reverberating around the RIBA as Council confirmed that Oscar Niemeyer would be this year's Royal Gold Medallist. His best work was done years ago, so why wait until he becomes a nonagenarian before awarding him the big one? There is a case for making an award for survival, since he has managed to evade rightwing terrorists for years. Once, when invited to remove his jacket in a Paris restaurant on a hot August evening he declined to do so: 'I would rather not reveal my revolver.' Other questions surrounding the Portland Place honours list: how many of the jury have actually been to Brasilia? At the last count only one- Stuart Lipton.

And does an honorary fellowship to Imre Makovecz mark a new warmth between the institute and the PoW?

Imre is, after all, one of the Prince's favourite architects. Perhaps the award is recompense for the Princebacked exhibition that never was . . .

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