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Kaplicky goes to Czech senate to defend controversial Prague library

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Jan Kaplicky, whose Future Systems studio is designing the National Library in Prague, has visited the Czech senate to defend the scheme, which has come under attack from no less a figure than Czech president Václav Klaus.

The British practice is already embroiled in a row with the Czech Chamber of Architects, which has claimed that the competition to design the library was flawed ( Future Systems' winning Prague National Library 'broke competition rules' ).

Now Kaplicky - who was born in Prague - has faced down objections raised from Klaus, who claimed that designs for the purple blob-like building were 'very obstinate, almost arrogant'.

Klaus also bemoaned the scheme's apparent lack of natural light.

However, according to reports in the Prague newswire CTK, during a presentation of the project to the Czech senate, Kaplicky retorted: 'Daylight is not exactly what books, especially old ones, need.'

Making references to Future Systems' work on the Maserati Museum in Modena, Italy - the shape of which will resemble a car bonnet - and its Selfridges store in Birmingham, Kaplicky said: 'We won the competition and the Italian president did not protest.

'Even the Queen is looking at my building and does not protest,' he added.

by Max Thompson

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