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Jørn Utzon

Jørn Oberg Utzon, Hon. FAIA was a Danish architect, most notable for designing the Sydney Opera House in Australia; when it was declared a World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007, Utzon became only the second person to have received such recognition for one of his works during his lifetime, after Oscar Niemeyer. Other noteworthy works include Bagsværd Church near Copenhagen and the National Assembly Building in Kuwait, he made important contributions to housing design with his Kingo Houses near Helsingør. Utzon was born in Copenhagen, the son of a naval architect, grew up in Aalborg, where he became interested in ships and a possible naval career; as a result of his family's interest in art, from 1937 he attended the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts where he studied under Kay Fisker and Steen Eiler Rasmussen. Following his graduation in 1942, he joined Gunnar Asplund in Stockholm where he worked together with Arne Jacobsen and Poul Henningsen, he took a particular interest in the works of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

After the end of World War II and the German Occupation of Denmark, he returned to Copenhagen. In 1946 he visited Alvar Aalto in Helsinki. In 1947–48 he travelled in Europe, in 1948 he went to Morocco where he was taken by the tall clay buildings. In 1949, he travelled to the United States and Mexico, where the pyramids provided further inspiration. Fascinated by the way the Mayans built towards the sky to get closer to God, he commented that his time in Mexico was "One of the greatest architectural experiences in my life."In America, he visited Frank Lloyd Wright's home, Taliesin West, in the Arizona desert and met Charles and Ray Eames. In 1950 he established his own studio in Copenhagen and, in 1952, built an open-plan house for himself, the first of its kind in Denmark. In 1957, he travelled first to China and India, before arriving in Australia in 1957 where he stayed until 1966. All this contributed to Utzon's understanding of factors which contribute to successful architectural design.

Utzon had a Nordic sense of concern for nature which, in his design, emphasized the synthesis of form and function for social values. His fascination with the architectural legacies of the ancient Mayas, the Islamic world and Japan informed his practice; this developed into what Utzon referred to as Additive Architecture, comparing his approach to the growth patterns of nature. A design can grow like a tree, he explained: "If it grows the architecture will look after itself." In 1957, Utzon unexpectedly won the competition to design the Sydney Opera House. His submission was one of 233 designs from 32 countries, many of them from the most famous architects of the time. Although he had won six other architectural competitions the Opera House was his first non-domestic project. One of the judges, Eero Saarinen, described it as "genius" and declared he could not endorse any other choice; the designs Utzon submitted were little more than preliminary drawings. Concerned that delays would lead to lack of public support, the Cahill government of New South Wales nonetheless gave the go-ahead for work to begin in 1958.

The British engineering consultancy Ove Arup and Partners put out tenders without adequate working drawings and construction work began on 2 March 1959. As a result, the podium columns had to be rebuilt; the situation was complicated by Cahill's death in October 1959. The extraordinary structure of the shells themselves represented a puzzle for the engineers; this was not resolved until 1961, when Utzon himself came up with the solution. He replaced the original elliptical shells with a design based on complex sections of a sphere. Utzon says his design was inspired by the simple act of peeling an orange: the 14 shells of the building, if combined, would form a perfect sphere. Although Utzon had spectacular, innovative plans for the interior of these halls, he was unable to realise this part of his design. In mid-1965, the New South Wales Liberal government of Robert Askin was elected. Askin had been a'vocal critic of the project prior to gaining office.' His new Minister for Public Works, Davis Hughes, was less sympathetic.

Elizabeth Farrelly, Australian architecture critic has written that at an election night dinner party in Mosman, Hughes's daughter Sue Burgoyne boasted that her father would soon sack Utzon. Hughes had no interest in architecture or aesthetics. A fraud, as well as a philistine, he had been exposed before Parliament and dumped as Country Party leader for 19 years of falsely claiming a university degree; the Opera House gave Hughes a second chance. For him, as for Utzon, it was all about control. Utzon soon found himself in conflict with the new Minister. Attempting to rein in the escalating cost of the project, Hughes began questioning Utzon's capability, his designs and cost estimates, refusing to pay running costs. In 1966, after a final request from Utzon that plywood manufacturer Ralph Symonds should be one of the suppliers for the roof structure was refused, he resigned from the job, closed his Sydney office and vowed never to return to Australia; when Utzon left, the shells were complete, costs amounted to only $22.9 million.

Following major changes to the original plans for the interiors, costs rose to $103 million. The Opera House was completed, opened in 1973 by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia; the architect was not invited to the ceremony, nor was his name mentioned duri

Second cabinet of Adolphe Thiers

The Second cabinet of Adolphe Thiers was announced on 1 March 1840 by King Louis Philippe I. It replaced the Second cabinet of Nicolas Jean-de-Dieu Soult; the ministry was replaced on 29 October 1840 by the Third cabinet of Nicolas Jean-de-Dieu Soult. The cabinet was created by ordinance of 1 March 1840; the ministers were: President of the Council of Ministers: Adolphe Thiers Foreign Affairs: Adolphe Thiers Interior: Charles de Rémusat Léon de Maleville Justice and Religious Affairs: Alexandre-François Vivien War: Amédée Despans-Cubières Finance: Joseph Pelet de la Lozère Navy and Colonies: Albin Roussin Public Education: Victor Cousin Public Works: Hippolyte François Jaubert Agriculture and Commerce: Alexandre Goüin Adolphe Billault

Azariah dei Rossi

Azariah ben Moses dei Rossi was an Italian-Jewish physician and scholar. He was born at Mantua in c. 1511. He was descended from an old Jewish family which, according to a tradition, was brought by Titus from Jerusalem, he was known among Jews as Azariah min-Ha'adumim, a play on his name as well as a possible allusion to the fact that he lived in Catholic Italy, Rome being regarded as a spiritual heir of Esau. Combining an insatiable desire for learning with remarkable mental power, Dei Rossi early in life became exceptionally proficient in Hebrew and Italian literature, he studied medicine, history and Roman antiquities, Christian ecclesiastical history. When about the age of thirty he married and settled for a time at Ferrara, he was found at Ancona, Bologna and again at Ferrara. In 1570 a terrible earthquake caused the death of about 200 persons; the house in which Dei Rossi lived was destroyed. During the disturbances consequent upon the earthquake Dei Rossi lived in an outlying village, where he was thrown into association with a Christian scholar, who asked him if there existed a Hebrew translation of the Letter of Aristeas.

Dei Rossi answered in the negative, but in twenty days he prepared the desired translation, which he entitled Hadrat Zekenim. His account of the earthquake, written shortly after, is entitled Kol Elohim, he is known chiefly for his book Me'or Enayim in which he used critical methods to test the literal truth of the Aggadah, the non legalistic and narrative portions of the Talmud. His views were criticised by Judah Loew ben Bezalel in the latter's Be'er ha-Golah. Dei Rossi's great work, Me'or Enayim, includes the two works mentioned and a third entitled Imre Binah; the latter is divided into four parts. Dei Rossi quotes from the writings of Philo, he criticizes him for having allegorized Biblical narratives of facts, points out that the Alexandrian philosopher never gives the traditional interpretation of the Biblical text. In the second part Dei Rossi criticizes a number of the assertions of the Talmudists, gives explanations of various aggadic passages which can not be taken literally; the third part is devoted to a study of Jewish chronology and translations from the writings of Philo and others, with commentaries.

The fourth part deals with Jewish archeology, describing the shapes of the priestly garments and the glory of the Second Temple, giving the history of Queen Helen and her two sons. Dei Rossi's followed the burgeoning scientific method of inquiry in his work and did not rely upon tradition, but this way of dealing with subjects which the multitude reverenced as sacred called forth many criticisms on the part of his contemporaries. Prominent among his critics were Moses Provençal of Mantua, Isaac Finzi of Pesaro, David Provençal, who endeavored to defend Philo. Dei Rossi appended to some copies of the Me'or Enayim an answer to the criticisms of Moses Provençal, a dissertation entitled Tzedek Olamim, in which latter he refuted the arguments of Isaac Finzi, he wrote a special work entitled Matzref la-Kesef, in which he defended his "Yeme'Olam" against its critics. Dei Rossi, however had to contend with those who considered his "Me'or'Enayim" as a heretical work. Joseph Caro commissioned Elisha Gallico to draw up a decree to be distributed among all Jews, ordering that the "Me'or'Enayim" be burned.

But, Joseph Caro dying before it was ready for him to sign, the decree was not promulgated, the rabbis of Mantua contented themselves with forbidding the reading of the work by Jews under twenty-five years of age. The "Me'or'Enayim" attracted the attention of many Christian Hebraists, who translated parts of it into Latin. Dei Rossi was the author of a collection of poems, among which are several of a liturgical character. Joseph Jacobs and Isaac Broydé, "Ross, Azariah ben Moses dei". Jewish Encyclopedia cite the following bibliography: Giovanni Bernardo De Rossi, Dizionario, p. 280. 119-124. Bodl. col. 747. Ix. 405 et seq.. Azariah de Rossi, The Light of the Eyes, 864 pp.. Description of Me'or Eynaim This article incorporates text from a publication