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Director of Paris Opera reinstated for season opener

A JUDGE reinstated conductor Myung-Whun Chung as musical director of the Paris Opera Aug. 29, banning management from hiring substitutes to launch the new season.

The dispute between the conductor and the Paris Opera is the latest to plague the opera house on Bastille Square built for the 1989 bicentennial of the French Revolution.

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The judge ruled that Mr. Chung, whose contract runs to 2000, should get his job back pending a final ruling.

The opera was banned from starting with another conductor Sept. 19.

The opera management fired Chung Aug. 12 in a dispute over the duration of his contract, saying he had rejected all compromise proposals.

Chung, born in South Korea and trained in the United States, says the opera had received the ruling it deserved because it did not have the right to end his contract unilaterally. ``The management of the opera has violated virtually every rule of human decency, artistic rights, and even legal rights,'' he told Reuters. He says the dispute centered primarily on his freedom to select works and artists.

No comment was available from the Paris Opera management. Incoming director Hughes Gall wanted Chung's pay cut and the length of his contract shortened to 1997.

A series of artistic squabbles, added to money problems and design flaws including poor acoustics, have dogged the opera house ever since it was opened with great fanfare. Smithsonian seeks to balance atomic-bomb exhibit

THE Smithsonian Institution in Washington, bending to pressure from United States lawmakers, announced Aug. 29 that it will add an exhibit on World War II in the Pacific to its planned show on the atomic bombing of Japan.

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The Smithsonian says it was responding to complaints from veterans' groups and military historians that the atomic-bomb exhibit was unbalanced because it failed to provide adequate justification for the bombing.

The exhibit, which will include the front fuselage of the Enola Gay, the B-29 that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, is scheduled to open in about nine months at the popular National Air and Space Museum.

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