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In a country known for being in the forefront of architectural modernism, but that also has a love for history, The Prague Post reports on a controversy surrounding the construction of "The Octopus", the nickname of the as yet unbuilt national library. The building, described here, has become "so deeply ingrained in Prague public's psyche it's almost as though [it] has already been built."
The dispute over the new building has continued for months, as the design by architect Jan Kaplický dubbed “the Octopus” divided city officials and the public. Prague Mayor Pavel Bém, originally a supporter of the innovative purple design, is now one of its loudest opponents.
The latest solution appears to have come from National Gallery Director Milan Knížák, who considers the current Congress Center "extremely ugly", but nevertheless, wants it to "be rebuilt as a new National Library building" instead of allowing construction of "the octopus" . Reconstructing the old communist building (already reconstructed for the 2000 International Monetary Fund and World Bank summit and currently hosting cultural and scientific events) would help promote Prague as a tourist destination, serve its residents and solve the problems currently facing the National Library.”