The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, January 20, 2018


United States embassy's new 'off location' digs
A view of the new US Embassy in Embassy Gardens in south-west London on January 12, 2018. US President Donald Trump said today he no longer plans to attend the opening of the new US embassy in London. He announced the decision in a midnight tweet amid reports in Britain that a Trump visit would be met with protests. Daniel SORABJI / AFP.

by Alfons Luna


LONDON (AFP).- The new US embassy in London is located in a former post-industrial wasteland on the south side of the River Thames -- a world away from its historic home in the capital's luxurious Mayfair district.

Announcing on Friday that he would not come for the embassy's inauguration, US President Donald Trump said it was in an "off location" and that the former embassy had been sold to Qatar for "peanuts".

While Republican Trump put the blame on his Democrat predecessor Barack Obama, the decision to move from Mayfair to Nine Elms was in fact taken by the administration of Republican former president George W. Bush in 2008.

It followed the 1998 US embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya and the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States, which made security considerations paramount.

The most striking feature of the new embassy is a half-moon shaped moat surrounding it, which gives the 12-storey cube building a fortress-like feel.

It has had its share of critics even before Trump.

"Those desperate to find a symbol of the current American administration in the new embassy in Nine Elms will find one all too easily: it is a squat, fortified cube inside a moat," The Economist magazine wrote.

Peter Rees, the City of London's former head of planning, was quoted by The New York Times newspaper as saying that it was "like moving from New York's Upper East Side to New Jersey".

Trump said the building cost $1.2 billion (990 million euros) -- a price tag that reportedly makes it the most expensive embassy building in the world.

Architects KieranTimberlake, based in the US city of Philadelphia, were selected to build it in 2010.

'Centre stage'
The new embassy is located in a formerly rundown area now seeing vast construction projects where there were once warehouses and railyards.

Asked whether British Prime Minister Theresa May shared Trump's views about the area, her spokesman on Friday said it was "a vibrant and important part of London".

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, the borough where the area is located, rejected Trump's comments about being "off location".

"It is certainly centre stage today," he said.

Govindia called it an "iconic new zone", pointing out that Apple were moving their offices to the area.

He said a £15-billion ($20.5 billion, 17 billion euro) regeneration of the area would bring 20,000 new homes and 25,000 permanent jobs.

The Dutch embassy is also planning to move to the area and luxury apartment buildings are sprouting up, including one which will have a glass-bottomed swimming pool spanning a void between two towers.

'Wear and tear'
Embassy staff have gradually been transferred to the new building in recent months and it is due to open officially for consular services next week.

The US flag was lowered for the final time on Tuesday from the top of the former 600-room embassy in Grosvenor Square, where US General Dwight Eisenhower had his headquarters during World War II.

The area became known as "Little America" at the time.

Current ambassador Woody Johnson, a Trump appointee who owns the New York Jets American football team, called the lowering of the flag "a poignant moment".

The modernist embassy building by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen was completed in 1957 and sold in 2009 to Qatari Diar, the real estate investment arm of Qatar's government.

The price tag for the deal was never disclosed and Qatari Diar plans to turn it into a luxury hotel.

At the time of the selection, then ambassador Louis Susman said the old building was "over-crowded, does not meet modern office needs and required security standards" and was showing "wear and tear".

Asked about the prospect of Trump's visit, current ambassador Johnson said he was looking forward to it, adding: "I think he will be very impressed with this building and the people who occupy it."

He said the new embassy was a "signal to the world that this special relationship that we have is stronger and is going to grow and get better".


© Agence France-Presse





Today's News

January 13, 2018

Ancient mining ops buildings found in Egypt by a US-Egyptian mission in Aswan

Sotheby's to offer important Old Master paintings from the Collection of J.E. Safra

Galerie Karsten Greve opens an exhibition dedicated to multiples by Louise Bourgeois

Rachel Feinstein's first solo exhibition in Los Angeles opens at Gagosian

United States embassy's new 'off location' digs

British crown jewels buried in biscuit tin during WWII

Museum of the City of New York opens exhibition to honor Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years after his tragic death

Kopeikin Gallery opens exhibition of photographs by The Douglas Brothers

Hampshire Cultural Trust exhibition celebrates the region's relationship with the sea

North Carolina Museum of Art launches Matrons of the Arts initiative to highlight female artists

Art, Design, & Architecture Museum at UC Santa Barbara opens exhibition of photographs by Jane Gottlieb

Artcurial announces results of the second edition of the Paris#Marrakech auction

Berlin woman revives Red Army ghosts in Reichstag graffiti

Macron wants French baguette to get UNESCO heritage status

Artwork by noted New Orleans and other Louisiana painters will headline Crescent City auction

Chicago photographer and MacArthur Fellow Dawoud Bey exhibits at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Wilding Cran Gallery opens exhibitions of works by Marty Schnapf and Maria Lynch

Heritage Auctions' Animation Art department breaks record with 2017 sales of $3.9 million

Phillips expands presence in Florida, furthering auction house's expansion in the Americas

Exhibition presents new monumental bronzes in dialogue with some of Johan Creten's early pieces

PIASA announces highlights from its Scandinavian Design sale

Denver Art Museum breaks ground on Gio Ponti building renovation

Website? Century-old French newspaper seeks new Linotype instead

Sri Lanka's leading artist shows artworks at Saffronart, New Delhi

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- National Air and Space Museum releases "VR Hangar" app

2.- Inrap discovers a mikveh in the medieval Jewish quarter of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux

3.- Wellcome Collection acquires 17th century portrait of internationally renowned and hirsute Barbara van Beck

4.- The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation names Ghislain d'Humieres to oversee its core operations

5.- LACMA exhibits for the first time two photographic series by Richard Prince

6.- Jade and gold burial suit, finest to survive ancient China, featured in Nelson-Atkins exhibition

7.- Peru recovers 79 pre-Hispanic textiles from the Museum of Gothenburg in Sweden

8.- Vincent van Gogh's 'Watermill at Kollen' on display at Het Noordbrabants Museum

9.- Saint Louis Art Museum will acquire 'Portrait of Charlotte Cram' by John Singer Sargent

10.- British Museum opens the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful