The astonishing attack followed the unveiling of the Fiera Milano exhibition centre site, featuring a bent tower (pictured) designed by Libeskind which Berlusconi claimed creates a ‘sense of impotence’.
According to The Art Newspaper, the comments have enraged Libeskind, who has since blasted the Italian premier, calling him a xenophobe involved in ‘repugnant’ politics, and causing him to compare the Italian’s dislike toward the tower with Fascism.
‘In Fascist Italy everything that was not “straight” was considered “perverse art”,’ said Libeskind. ‘My tower is inspired by the work of Leonardo da Vinci and great Italian culture.
‘[Berlusconi] does not have the time or intellect to study these. As an American and Jew brought up in Poland, I find Berlusconi abominable. His concept of nationalism, of closing borders and denying what’s different is repugnant. He hates foreigners.’
Libeskind’s words are believed to have led to Berlusconi threatening to pull planning permission for the building, which sits between buildings designed by Zaha Hadid and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki.