Fabled Brazil Architect Ornery at Turning 102

Tuesday, 15 Dec 2009 09:42 PM

 

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RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil's most famous architect, Oscar Niemeyer, celebrated his 102nd birthday Tuesday in typical fashion: at work on projects rather than pondering his supercentennial age.

"Turning 102 is crap, and there is nothing to commemorate," he told AFP.

Niemeyer, who was born in 1907 in Rio de Janeiro, where he still lives, is famed for designing some of Brazil's most distinctive buildings, among them Rio's Sambodrome and the nearby Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, and many of the futuristic edifices of the capital Brasilia.

His inspiration for the domes, curves and sweeping lines that make up his style he has said is "the body of the Brazilian woman."

Niemeyer has witnessed Brazil's progression from a chaotic new republic, a 1964-1985 military regime that forced him into exile in Paris, and the increasingly prosperous return to democracy that the country now enjoys.

His conclusion on Tuesday? Brazil is more "egalitarian since a former worker arrived in power," the former Communist said, referring to Brazil's current president, former trade union leader and steelworker Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

To read full AFP story — Go Here Now.





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