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October 2, 2007

Bono under fire over £100m hotel plan

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Bono and the Edge have been accused of presiding over the destruction of a historic area of Georgian Dublin through their plans to revamp an iconic hotel in the Irish capital. A £100million proposal to redevelop the U2-owned Clarence Hotel was described as the “biggest demolition of protected and historic structures” in Dublin in 10 years by a conservation expert. Michael Smith, a former chairman of An Taisce, has become a vociferous critic of the project being carried out by the internationally renowned London architect Lord Foster of Thames Bank. Lord Foster has promised that the new Clarence Hotel will define Dublin in the same way that the Savoy Hotel is associated with London. The five-star hotel on the bank of the Liffey was acquired by Bono and the Edge in 1996 and has 49 rooms. The redevelopment will see its capacity increased to 140 rooms. The building will be crowned by a “sky catcher” glass dome with a longboat-shaped atrium running up to the roof.

The Telegraph