European Eves


The eves of Europe come with variable weather. The year of convergence toward a single European currency has been both sunny and rainy for Spain. Sunny in the economic and social fields, with a rise in stock values and optimism; rainy in the political and meteorological realms, with the tension caused by conflicts in the media and the courts competing with the storms provoked by El Niño. So have cloudy and clear days alternated in the cultural field, where alarm at the diffusion of conservative folklorism has been compensated by the festive mood of much awaited inaugurations. The year of architecture can be summed up in four names: Juan de Herrera, the centenary of whose death has served as prologue to a complex debate about Spanishness; Sverre Fehn, whose winning of the Pritzker Prize initiated a chain of Scandinavian celebrations; Aldo Rossi, whose sudden demise closed a chapter of contemporary architecture; and Frank Gehry, who on completing the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao reached the peak of his career while providing a great symbol for the turn-of-the-century culture of spectacle...[+]

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