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January 18, 2000
Correa among 9 jurors to select design for King monument in DC
J M Shenoy
Charles Correa, one of the most acclaimed architects globally, will be one of the nine jurors -- all architecture professionals -- who will select the best design for a national monument to Martin Luther King Jr in Washington.
Correa, who designed the Gandhi Museum in India, will be a visiting professor at University of California, Berkeley early this year.
The organizers behind the monument project said Correa's connection with the Gandhi project was significant. Martin Luther King Jr was inspired by the Mahatma's nonviolent protest movement, and used Gandhian tactics in the 1960s to win civil rights to African Americans -- and by extension, to all minorities.
The jury also includes Wu Lang Yung, an architecture professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
The fiercely competed contest to build a memorial has attracted over 1,100 designers and architects from across the world. News reports say the number of contestants is greater than the ones who submitted designs for the Vietnam Wall Memorial in Washington. May 1 is the deadline for the King monument contest.
While the winner will receive $ 20,000, the monument is expected to cost several million dollars which are being raised from private donations. The project will go into construction by late 2003.
The memorial will be the first monument on the National Mall in Washington to honor an African American. It will be constructed close to the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials where King delivered his 'I Have A Dream' speech in 1963.
Ed Jackson Jr, director of research for the American Institute of Architects who is in charge of the monument's design, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the competition was open to people from every country 'to reflect King's message of including all races.'
'Martin Luther King is not necessarily and should not necessarily be considered just a national figure,' said Jackson. 'He is an international figure. The words of King have significance all around the world.''
Jackson said the jury meets in May for two days to evaluate what he expects to be at least 2,000 designs. The winner will be announced on June 15.
People competing to design the 'living memorial' are encouraged to express the themes of 'the man, the movement and the message,' according to the organizers.
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