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Stirling tarnish

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Rumblings reach me concerning the judging panel for the Stirling Prize.

Former RIBA president Michael Manser, who has given much time and energy to the award, has been deposed as chairman of the jury, to be replaced by Ian Davidson of Lifschutz Davidson (itself embroiled in controversy over the suddenly-it's-£50-million Hungerford Bridge upgrade). The decision appears to have been taken by current institute president Marco Goldschmied; but given that the Great Helmsman has pulled off such a terrific deal with Channel 4 over televising the awards, it is hard to criticise. However, it is vital that the architectural and critical credentials of the jury are beyond reproach. Michael Manser is not only a good architect but an acute critic. His voice is needed.

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