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Scottish Parliament Building is striking and controversial

A strange-looking building. If our tour guide hadn’t told me what we were seeing, I might not have realized this was a government facility.

Scotland’s Parliament Building in Edinburgh has been quite a controversial site. I can understand why.

In 1997, the people of Scotland voted for the creation of the first Scottish Parliament in almost 300 years.

Construction started in 1999 on a site that had originally been a brewery at the foot of the historic Royal Mile.

A budget of 40 million pounds was set aside. But, as often happens, construction cost far more and took far longer.

The formal opening by Queen Elizabeth II took place on Oct. 9, 2004 – three years past the scheduled completion date.

The estimated total cost turned out to be a whopping 414 million pounds. As is to be expected, this expense resulted in a huge public outcry.

Controversy plagued the project from the beginning when a non-Scottish architect – Spanish architect Enric Miralles – was chosen to design the building. Miralles died before its completion.

The building has been heralded as a masterpiece of abstract modernism and has won numerous architectural awards. I agree that it certainly is eye catching and thought provoking.

What do you think?

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