Mark Wigley

AFTER A DECADE OF PLANNING, AN ENDLESS STREAM of symposia, surveys, retreats, reports, competitions, publications, exhibitions, reconnaissance missions, and negotiations, enormous investment, and three and a half years of construction, the new MoMA is open. An old friend has returned from the spa—refreshed.

As with any extreme makeover involving reconstructive surgery, daring implants, and advanced skin treatment, there is no point in extravagant celebration, even less in criticism. To complain that the resultant building is attractive but tame, that the architecture has been domesticated, neutralized, just as the artworks it houses have had their social and intellectual edge removed to be enlisted for a singular global mission, is as pointless as accusing a church of preaching. MoMA is devoted to a particular form of education and does not pretend otherwise. With unmatched expertise, it

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