O.K., it wasn't exactly the G-8. Still, when Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev hosted a summit of heads of neighboring Central Asian states in his capital of Astana earlier this month, there was a certain whiff of power being flexed, albeit arriviste power. The occasion was marked by the inauguration of the Palace of Peace and Accord a 62-m-high pyramid of steel and pale gray granite, designed
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by Norman Foster, with stained-glass panels by the artist Brian Clarke. Its art and sculpture were chosen to represent the world's major religions, to underscore the religious tolerance and respect...