A clash of egos
In 1982, the newly elected French president Francois Mitterrand decides that an ultra-modern opera house will be built on the Bastille Place, a symbol of the Revolution.
In a blind competition, 750 hopeful firms send designs. Word leaks out in advance that the winner will be prominent American architect Richard Meier.
During the formal announcement, the Minister of Culture stutters an unexpected name: Carlos Ott from Canada. No one has heard of him, and he certainly is not Richard Meier. What happened?
François Mitterrand looks thrilled, but not so much his sworn enemy and Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac, who did everything to stop the construction of the Bastille Opera.