Architecture: Open Hand in Venice

Venice is the greatest of museum cities, and it guards its monuments jealously. In fact, the city has largely resisted new architecture ever since the façade that closed the Piazza San Marco was built during Napoleonic days. Frank Lloyd Wright in 1953 tried to build a modest hanging-gardens-type palazzo on the Grand Canal, but civic fathers rejected the design as presumptuous. Now another brash suitor, France's Le Corbusier, has come to woo a place in the city that seems determined to sink into the sea unchanged.

"Corbu," of course, is remembered as the man who would have started improving Paris...

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