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Rome Modernizes Amid Controversy

Rome, a city steeped in history, is struggling to retain and protect its historical identity as the city modernizes and expands.
July 9, 2010, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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This article from The New York Times explores how the city is changing, and how new design ideas are both easing the transition and challenging the city's sensibilities.

"Change is never easy here. When a museum designed by Richard Meier, a glass and marble building to house the Ara Pacis, opened a few years ago, Romans howled. But then, it resembles a clunky, fascist mausoleum. Maxxi, whose style presents a whole other set of problems, has fared much better in terms of public approval, attracting some 74,000 visitors in its first month and accelerating talk by leaders like Mr. Alemanno about Rome in the 21st century.

But it's one thing for politicians to support a new headline-grabbing museum. The art crowd rolls into town, bestows its blessing, then rolls out. It's another to take on grittier challenges like immigration, transportation and sprawl."

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Published on Tuesday, July 6, 2010 in The New York Times
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