- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 30, 2014

PANAMA CITY (AP) - After years of delays Panama has inaugurated a museum designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry that officials hope will become a cultural symbol of the country’s economic ascent.

The Biomuseo at the Pacific Ocean gateway to the Panama Canal celebrates the isthmus’ history as one of the world’s most-diverse ecosystems, with more bird, mammal and reptile species than the United States and Canada combined.

The Los Angeles-based architect is married to a Panamanian and chose his wife’s homeland for his first design in Latin America.

The museum that opened Tuesday bears Gehry’s trademark radical metallic curves and canopies made famous by the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, but it’s painted in bright pastels to reflect its tropical setting.

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