Herzog & de Meuron Becomes Wing of Chinese Propaganda Ministry

I’m still fuming over the fact that Western architects are (so far) getting a free pass as they fellate dictators (I don’t know any female ones commissioning major Western architects) for money and ego projects that will put forth their vision of a prettified (but not more humane) 21st C.
Now, I see that the Chinese government has done exactly what any rational person knew they were going to do…use their big money building projects to airbrush their fucked up communism and human rights nightmare.
Check out their new PR-stunt note with Herzog & de Meuron‘s “bird’s nest” (though it looks more like a wicker toilet seat) Olympic Stadium:

This is what the regular one looks like:

According to NBC News:

The bank said it will issue 6 million notes beginning Tuesday, a tiny distribution meant almost as a souvenir. The new note is slightly larger than the ordinary 10-yuan note, which will continue to circulate.

The only strange part of this story that still perplexes me is that according to Wikipedia, the 10 Yuan note looks different and doesn’t include the image of Mao…well, Wiki ain’t perfect I guess.
And now Vanity Fair tells us that the officers of the Chinese propaganda ministry will be building a super-luxe condo in Tribeca slated to open in 2010….ooooo….maybe it’ll house some new Chinese consulate or cultural center with basement cells for dissidents!

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