Australia Sydney, 1961

A short history of Australia's best known landmark--the Sydney Opera House
Australia Sydney, 1961
Australia Sydney, 1961

It&rsquos arguably Australia&rsquos best known landmark. Sitting pretty on the Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour since 1973, the Sydney Opera House is the youngest cultural site to be listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. The Opera House was a brainchild of the Danish architect J&oslashrn Utzon, who won an international design competition for a new venue, large enough for big theatrical productions, in 1955. Utzon received the prize money of &pound5,000 and was named the chief supervisor of the project.

But this beautiful building was not without controversy, primarily because of Utzon&rsquos disagreements with the Australian government on progressive revisions on his design. He resigned in 1966, memorably calling the situation &ldquoMalice in Blunderland&rdquo and wasn&rsquot acknowledged at the Opera House&rsquos gala opening in 1973, when it was inaugurated with a performance of Beethoven&rsquos Symphony No. 9. It was ten years late, and had gone a whopping 1,457% over the initial budget Today it is considered a landmark architectural achievement, and Utzon was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the field&rsquos highest accolade, in 2003, a year before his death.

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