The last time King Tut came to New York, back in 1979, he was appropriately entombed in the neo-classical temple of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now, some 30 years on, he returns to less exalted digs at the Discovery Center in Times Square. Yet the change of venue underscores the enhanced fortunes of both Times Square and the Met. Three decades ago, at the perigee of New York’s civic fortunes, the area around this new exhibition would have been buzzing with hookers and addicts and littered with porn shops (and litter).
James Gardner, formerly the architecture critic of the New York Sun, now writes on culture for several publications. To put the matter politely, presidential libraries tend not to inspire very good architecture. One generalization that can be made about the twelve libraries already in existence is that they tend to err on the side of dullness, like the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda and the Bush 41 Library in Texas.
James Gardner, formerly the architecture critic of the New York Sun, now writes on culture for several publications. That Golem that was just unveiled in one of the main squares of Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, turns out to be none other than William Jefferson Clinton. Apparently he is something of a god over there: The locals are grateful for his initiating, in 1999, the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia that curbed Serbian aggressions against the ethnic Albanians, and so they have raised this astounding monument to the man.