Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Two steps forward - Stadiums and Swastikas

Following the scrapping of the Zaha Hadid design for a new National Stadium the new contender has been finally selected. In a burst of what must rank as some of the most intense creativity by an architect ever, plans for the latest incarnation were developed within fourteen weeks which is a significant improvement over the two+ years taken to create the previous ones. There is, however, some debate in the popular press as to whether there was a photocopier involved.  

Added to this there are now reports of disputes over payments and contract details and copyright infringements  for the work completed to date. At the same time the latest iteration of the official Olympic logo is in process of selection following the unfortunate withdrawal of the first version under a cloud of allegations regarding quite how authentic the design actually was. The several thousand entries have been whittled down to a handful and we should see it for ourselves relatively soon.

Meanwhile, other preparations for the 2020 Games continue to progress. One interesting question has arisen as to whether the symbol used for a temple should be updated on new maps to avoid a few raised eyebrows. An ancient Buddhist mark, it was unfortunately borrowed by the Nazis in the 1930s, inverted and rebranded "the Swastika". It's a fair point; the unsuspecting tourist could be forgiven for being surprised as to how many Third Reich branch-offices there appear to be around the country.

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