When visitors and architecture stars from around the world flock into Venice on May 26 for the opening of the prestigious Venice Biennale of Architecture there will not be a South African Pavilion.

That’s because there will not be a South African exhibition this year.

Zimasa Velaphi, spokesperson for the department of arts and culture, confirmed the news this week: “The tender will be cancelled in the government tender bulletin and press [because] the tenders received and evaluated did not adhere to all the policy requirements and a decision was taken not to take part.”

The local architecture fraternity and bidders that City Press spoke to are, however, outraged.

They insisted it was the department that messed up by dragging its feet, and not them.

A South African no-show will throw away the estimated R1.5 million spent to lease and maintain the South African Pavilion in the tower-like building called Torre di Porta Nuova, in the Arsenale, a converted shipyard in the heart of the biennale action. Read more