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Vacuum packed

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astragal

Alex Reid's pretend-ambition to turn the riba into a virtual institute seems to be coming to fulfilment even more quickly than he expected. Not only was Sir Norman Foster absent from the Stirling Prize ceremony - David Nelson stood in for him - but also Oscar Niemeyer finally decided that a journey from Rio to London to collect the Royal Gold Medal was not such a good idea at his advanced age, prompting David Rock to go to Brazil to present it himself. The riba press office could not resist announcing that the president was 'flying down to Rio'.

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