Warsaw fires architect of planned art museum

Officials have fired the Swiss architect tapped to design an ambitious museum of modern art in Poland's capital, throwing the whole project off track.

Warsaw development official Pawel Baranski said Friday that the city had canceled an agreement with Christian Kerez because he missed deadlines and failed to secure permits needed for features such as plumbing, electricity and ventilation.

City Hall also is demanding almost 5.5 million zlotys ($1.6 million; €1.2 million) in fines from Kerez for what it says are delays in the design process.

Kerez blamed the delays on city officials who he said obstructed his work or made impossible demands. He also said it was city authorities' responsibility to get permission for plumbing, electricity and other installations.

The planned museum is supposed to be a vast building in a prime spot in the city center, just next to the landmark Palace of Culture.

Kerez won a competition in 2007 to design the museum, which Warsaw hopes will boost tourism. City officials are considering holding a new competition to find another architect.