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Famous architect to revamp Maltas capital

on Wednesday,January 28,2009 22:01

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An internationally recognized architect has been tapped to rebuild the gateway to the Maltese capital and design its Opera House.

Renzo Piano - whose architectural credits include the New York Times Building, the Pompidou Center in Paris, and Osaka''s Kansai International Airport - will design Valletta''s premier cultural venue and revamp its famous City Gate, according to Bloomberg.

This is not the first time the Italian architect will be working in Malta: he was tasked with a regeneration project in 1988, but - as the Times of Malta reports - creative disagreements with the hosts prevented the project from being completed.

Piano has welcomed a chance to work again in a city that he is clearly fond of. "When you walk in Valletta and look south, north, west and east, on each crossing you see always sea and water. This is an incredible sensation," he said during a press conference in Valetta last Sunday, quoted by dailymalta.com.

According to Bloomberg, the two projects will cost between $76 million and $101 million. The designs will be ready in three months and the projects should take about four years to complete.

Valletta was built by the Knights of St. John in 1566. Enclosed within a series of defensive walls, the city''s main style is Baroque. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
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