Was Jørn Utzon fired or did he quit from the The Sydney Opera House construction project?

Was Jørn Oberg Utzon (9. April 1918 i København – 29. November 2008 i Helsingør) fired as he claimed:

“In a dispute, the minister
claimed Utzon quit, while Utzon declared that he had been fired.”

or did he quit as the Minister for Public Works Davis Hughes (24 November 1910 – 16 March 2003) claimed and wikipedia repeats:


“he resigned from the job, closed his Sydney office and vowed never to
return to Australia”

I look forward to your feedback

I haven’t the foggiest of ideas.

I’m not sure that there is a right answer to this question. For what it’s worth, a Spanish magazine recently carried a fascinating story about Jørn Utzon. The version of the story is almost identical to the one you’ve found on Wikipedia: “after numerous harsh arguments with the new Conservative government, the construction firms, and even [Ove] Arup himself, Utzon abandoned the construction [of the Sydney Opera House], closed his office in Sydney, and left Australia never to return again”.

So it seems that it was Jørn himself who gave up. For what it’s worth, he then moved to my home island of Mallorca, where he designed his own house - one of the most beautiful places I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.

If you look at the Sydney Opera House website:
"Although Utzon had spectacular plans for the interior of the completed shells he was unable to realise this part of his design. In mid 1965 a new Liberal government was elected in the State of NSW. The Minster of Works Davis Hughes began questioning Utzon’s designs, schedules and cost estimates and eventually stopped payments to Utzon who was forced to withdraw as chief architect in February 1966.

Following Utzon’s letter of resignation there were protests and marches through the streets of Sydney led by Australian architect Harry Seidler, author Patrick White and others, demanding Utzon be reinstated as architect. The NSW government did not offer him this role, Jørn Utzon left the country at the end of April 1966 with his family, never to return to see his masterpiece again."

So if you resign because they quit paying you, I think most of us would say it was closer to being fired.

Thank you all. Very helpful.

If the guy who designed Mount Rushmore had married the guy who designed the Sydney Opera House, he would have been Gutzon Utzon.

There seems to be an extremely low threshold of indignation in Sydney.