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Oz-tensibly

Letters: Readers write

Whether the Sydney Opera House was or was not a success (NCE Letters 12 February) depends entirely on the criteria.

Judged 40 years on, who needs to know about major but transient disasters?

The Australians have long since forgiven the high cost, agonies and soul searching about insoluble design anomalies and the like, for the huge benefits of owning an undisputed architectural icon drawing admirers from around the world.

Serious students of project management, however, should know all about those transient events. Many insights and lessons may be gained from reading about the interminable mix of success and failure and overt acrimony surrounding the project.

The details of the saga are fascinating but it needs at least 30 years to put them into perspective. I shall read Peter Murray's book with interest, but the scholarly and definitive version of events must be that of Franþoises Fromonot whose Jorn Utzon (ISBN 88435-7805-7) is masterly.

Including wonderful photographs that had lain hidden for 30 years, her account is carefully balanced, but perhaps just a tad biased in the architect's favour!

Roger Harris, Charlton Grove, Charlton, Shaftesbury, SP7 0EN

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