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WAN Poll

Monday 09 Jun 2008

Architects vote to save Ara Pacis

Copyright of Valeriano Della Longa 
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Incredible majority say Rome's Ara Pacis should stay 

In early May, the Italian publication La Repubblica and Reuters, reported that the Ara Pacis Museum, completed in 2006 by noted American architect Richard Meier, was in danger of being demolished or relocated to a suburban site.

Rome’s newly elected Mayor, Gianni Alemmano announced at a news conference in which he outlined his plans for Rome that “Meiers building is a construction to be scrapped.” Alemanno, later told TV audiences on the popular Italian show “Porta a Porta” that he would be holding a citywide referendum to allow Roman citizens to decide the fate of the Museum, the only modern structure built in the historical city center since Mussolini’s time and reportedly the third most visited site in Rome.

WAN decided to find out what the architects thought and held our own poll. Perhaps unsurprisingly the results show a majority of 95% of architects who wish to save the building.

It has proved to be a very passionately felt issue with one participant stating: "Please, do not demolish that building!!! I do not understand how there's people so stupid as to demolish a masterpiece, what would be think if Bernini or Brunelleschi's buildings were demolished centuries ago?? We have to remeber that the art we make today is not the same we'll make tomorrow."

Another adding: "The building reflects the beauty of the period around it. The elements are simple, monumental, with good massing and does not detract from the surrounding buildings."

Only time will tell if Rome's new mayor will take heed.

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Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

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