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Threatened French Communist Party HQ plays host to RIBA annual conference

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The RIBA's annual conference will be held at Oscar Niemeyer's French Communist Party headquarters in Paris, even though the building could be sold to cover the political party's debts.

The event will feature some of architecture's leading names such as Jean Nouvel, Rafael Viñoly, Spencer de Grey and Niemeyer himself, albeit via a video link.

The listed building, widely known as Niemeyer's favourite European project, is rarely open to the public but it could be sold by the French Communist Party following its disastrous performance in the recent national elections.

The party once benefited through generous donations from the art faculty, and Pablo Picasso and René Magritte were well known as being big supporters of the party.

But the party has since fallen on harder times, especially with the French population shifting to the middle right once again in their vote for Nicolas Sarkozy.

The RIBA conference, predictably named Entente Cordiale, aims to explore the concept of 'collaboration' - among architects on major projects, in the international sphere and between architects and artists.

For more information visit www.architecture.com

by Richard Vaughan

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