Beijing Simmering Over ‘The Egg’

From Los Angeles Times:

It’s the building Beijing residents love to hate. The dome of the new National Center for the Performing Arts glows luminescent as it emerges from a reflecting pool like a pearl or a rising sun. At least that’s the impression the French architects of Beijing’s arts center wanted to create.

The $360-million complex, an extravaganza of titanium and glass bigger than New York’s Lincoln Center or Washington’s Kennedy Center, is supposed to shout out to the world that Beijing has arrived, both as an economic and cultural capital. But to many here, the center resembles nothing grander than an egg plunked into a pot of boiling water. In fact, since it opened in December, the building has already acquired the nickname of “the egg.” “Egg” is not a flattering epithet in Chinese, being attached to various insults such as ben dan (stupid egg) and huai dan (rotten egg). (There is no “good egg” in Chinese slang.)


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