Oct 24, 2014

By Michael Kramer

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A Spanish shocker from architect Frank Gehry.

The world renowned Canadian-U.S. architect was in Spain to receive a prestigious award – but stunned his hosts by responding to a reporter’s question with a “finger salute” and a harsh profanity – slamming most modern architecture.

The 85-year old Gehry was in the northern city of Oviedo to accept one of Spain’s Prince of Asturias prizes – from King Felipe of Spain.

On the eve of the ceremony, local media report that the architect reacted with a rude gesture at a news conference – when asked if his work was just about ” spectacle.”

Gehry said 98 per cent of buildings today lack sensitivity and respect for humanity or for anything else, adding, “they are just damn buildings and that’s it.”

His creations include the iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilboa Spain – which has helped to transform what was an industrial city in decline into a tourist destination – and a hub of cultural activity.

Gehry later apologized for his behaviour and explained that he had jet lag and had only just arrived. He said journalists had caught him at “a bad moment.”

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