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Libeskind and Foster go head to head in Monaco

World renowned architects Daniel Libeskind and Norman Foster are leading the race to build a major maritime extension to the Mediterranean state of Monaco. The competition was initiated in 2006 when Prince Albert II announced plans to extend the principality by creating a new peninsula, roughly the size of 20 football fields, extending into the sea from below the world famous Monte Carlo casino.

The Monaco development is set to cover 275,000 square meters (3 million square feet) of housing, retail and tourist facilities, as well as a flagship new public building – details of which have yet to be released.

Monaco Prime Minister Jean-Paul Proust recently announced that designs by Daniel Libeskind and Norman Foster stood out among the five shorlisted bids for their technical and environmental qualities.

Prime Minister Proust has yet to release a decision, but said that Monaco authorities would review all bids in the light of the global economic crisis to ensure that they are fiscally sound.

Libeskind's project is being championed by the Monte-Carlo Sea Land consortium, made up of Japanese architect Arata Isozaki and Dutch and Belgian building groups Van Oord-Dragados and BESIX.

The winner of the Monaco competition will be announced later this year.

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