Monday, August 13, 2007

1991: Prince Quits In Museum Design Row

The Prince of Wales has become embroiled in another row about architecture. Prince Charles, who called the original re-design plans for the National Gallery "a monstrous carbuncle", has resigned as the patron of Scotland's national museum over a competition to design a new building.

The winning entry - a five-storey stone building designed by London-based architects Gordon Benson and Alan Forsyth - was chosen from 400 designs submitted by architects all over the country.

But the prince said the competition for the new building in Edinburgh did not allow for public consultation.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said too much weight had been given to the opinion of ''so-called experts''.

The shortlisted entries were selected by a panel chaired by the architect Sir Philip Dowson and included two other architects, one professor of architecture, three museum trustees and the museum's director.

The Prince's resignation may make it considerably harder to raise the £5m still needed for the building.

The chairman of the museum's trustees, the marquis of Bute, said the Prince's timing was ''less than ideal''.

"We are disappointed the prince felt he had to withdraw but I don't think that retracts from the overall excitement of the achievements of the appointment of the designer for the new building," Lord Bute said.

One of the winning architects, Gordon Benson, also expressed his sadness at the prince's resignation but stressed the prince's objection was to the competition rather than his design.

No comments: